Apr 17, 2024  
2017-2018 Catalog 
2017-2018 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Texas Success Initiative (TSI)

Texas House Bill 286 created the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) to ensure that all new-to-college students are provided (1) assessment of their readiness for freshman-level academic coursework, (2) advisement and educational support necessary to assist students who are not ready to enroll in academic coursework and (3) evaluation to determine when they are ready to enroll in college-level coursework.

TSI measures mathematics, writing, and reading skills to determine a student’s readiness to enroll in entry-level freshman courses. Students are required to test and to be advised based on the results of their TSI Assessment scores. Students will not be denied admission to Tarrant County College based on TSI or other college placement scores. However, testing must be completed prior to enrolling in classes.

Testing Centers on each campus administer tests required for the Texas Success Initiative. Testing appointments may be required. A fee may be required. Students should contact the campus Testing Center for additional information.

Test scores are usually available immediately following testing. Academic advisors will assist students with score interpretation.

Students must complete a pre-assessment activity (PAA) prior to taking the TSI Assessment Test.

Free TSI Workshops may be offered to review test topics and provide practice for students retaking areas of the TSI Assessment. Students are encouraged to attend a TSI Workshop and to retest.

Testing Requirements for Mathematics, English and Reading Restricted Courses

All TSI-liable students will be required to submit appropriate test scores before enrolling in college-level mathematics, English and/or reading restricted courses. Successful completion of prerequisite courses may substitute for placement test scores. Testing requirements for specific courses are outlined in the course descriptions .

Approved Exemptions and Waivers

TSI Exemptions and Waivers apply only to TSI requirements. Documentation of eligibility for an exemption or waiver is required. Students should contact the campus Admissions and Registrar office for additional information about TSI requirements and restrictions, and to determine specific documentation required.

Students who qualify for a TSI Exemption are not required to test for TSI purposes, may not enroll in developmental coursework and/or interventions in the corresponding area of exemption, and do not need to develop and follow an Academic Success Plan. However, all prerequisites for enrollment in specific courses must be met.


  1. TASP Exempt–Students who attended regionally accredited postsecondary institution prior to the Fall of 1989.
  2. Score Exempt – Students who achieved certain scores on the SAT, ACT, TAAS, TAKS, or STAAR EOC test may be fully or partially exempt.
  3. Degree – Students who have earned an associate or higher degree from a regionally accredited postsecondary institution or from a recognized international institution.
  4. Private or Out-of-State Transfer – Students who have earned at least three semester hours of college-level credit at a regionally accredited private or out-of-state postsecondary institution.
  5. Military Exempt – Students who were honorably discharged, retired or released from active duty or from Texas National Guard on or after August 1, 1990.


  1. Certificate Waiver – Students pursuing a one-year Certificate of Completion of no more than 42 semester hours are exempt from all three parts of TSI testing and may enroll in any course required for that certificate.
  2. Casual Student Waiver – Students who are not seeking a degree or certificate from a Texas public institution of higher education may qualify; enrollment may be restricted.
  3. Military Waiver – Students serving on active duty as a member of the Armed Forces of the United States or the Texas National Guard, or serving as a member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States for at least the three-year period preceding enrollment.
  4. English Language Learners Waiver – Students who are not native speakers of English may request a waiver from the TSI-A in order to develop their academic English skills. Students will take an English Placement test instead to determine correct placement in ESOL courses. Students using this waiver will be required to take the TSI-A before they complete the fifteenth hour of ESOL. All TSI waivers must be renewed each term and all course prerequisites must be met.

All TSI waivers must be renewed each term and all course prerequisites must be met.

Developmental Studies

Students who score below specified levels of the TSI Assessment will be required to enroll in developmental studies until C or higher grades are earned in developmental courses or until the student passes a retest in the same skill area. A First-Time-in-College (FTIC) student assessed as needing remediation in any developmental skill area is required to be continuously enrolled in at least one required developmental course until all of the required developmental courses are complete. All students must have an Academic Success Plan by the end of their first term. More information about the Academic Success Plan is available in campus Advising and Counseling Centers.

Tarrant County College considers the provision of a comprehensive program of developmental studies to be an integral part of its mission. Mandatory placement testing in the basic skills of mathematics, writing, and reading identifies students who are performing below college level; a range of developmental courses in each of the three areas allows students to address and correct their deficiencies.

Developmental courses do not transfer as college credit to other colleges and universities, do not count as credit toward graduation requirements, and are not included in the calculation of the grade point average.

A paired course refers to a developmental course paired with a credit transfer course as a co-requisite. Course pairing is an instructional strategy whereby a student is enrolled simultaneously in a developmental education course and/or intervention and a gateway course within the same semester. The developmental component provides support that advances the student’s success in the gateway course.

Placement in developmental courses is based on TSI scores and, in some instances, on scores on other departmental tests. Additional information about state mandates is available at any campus Advising and Counseling Center.

The following courses are developmental:

ESOL - All English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)

INRW 0395 - Integrated Reading and Writing I  

INRW 0399 - Integrated Reading and Writing II  

MATH 0114 - Developmental Mathematics Part One  

MATH 0115 - Developmental Mathematics Part Two  

MATH 0116 - Developmental Mathematics Part Three  

MATH 0117 - Intermediate Algebra Part One  

MATH 0118 - Intermediate Algebra Part Two  

MATH 0119 - Intermediate Algebra Part Three  

MATH 0361 - Developmental Mathematics I  

MATH 0362 - Developmental Mathematics II (Intermediate Algebra)  

RDNG 0160 - College Study Skills  

STSC 0111 - Transition to College Success  

Adult Education Courses

Adult education courses are designed for students who are assessed and need additional remediation to review or learn additional foundational material to increase success in developmental or college level courses. Courses will follow the attendance policies and curricula is aligned with developmental education courses (MATH 0090, RDNG 0090 and ENGL 0090).

Attendance in Developmental Courses

Students taking developmental mathematics, reading and/or writing courses are required to attend class and to keep up with course assignments. Since attendance and participation are essential to student success, the following guidelines apply:

  • A student in an on-campus course who misses 15 percent of the class meetings and does not keep up with course assignments may be withdrawn at the discretion of the instructor.
  • Student attendance in online courses has two requirements:
    1. Successful completion of the online course orientation, and
    2. Active participation in the course as described in the Instructor’s Course Requirements (ICR).

A student in an online course not completing the orientation and not actively participating in the course may be withdrawn at the discretion of the instructor.

English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)

ESOL waivers apply to English Language Learners requesting to waive their Texas Success Initiative Assessment. Students that apply for this waiver must be in agreement with the following guidelines set by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB).

  1. Student is a non-native speaker of English who wishes to remediate before taking the Texas Success Initiative Assessment (TSI-A);
  2. Student understands that he/she can take ESOL courses only while remediating; however, if a student elects to take the TSI-A for mathematics and passes, he/she may enroll in math courses for which he/she is eligible;
  3. Student understands that he/she must take the TSI Assessment before he/she completes the 15th hour of ESOL developmental education;
  4. Student will need to take the placement test in order to register for the correct level of ESOL.

Student Transition to College Success Course

Tarrant County College is committed to supporting students in meeting their educational goals by requiring a learning skills course (STSC 0111 ) for all First Time in College (FTIC) students.

Transition to College Success is a non-degree credit, one-hour course required for those students with at least one area of TSI liability. It is intended to be taken during a student’s first term in college. TSI-liable students who do not register for STSC 0111  in their first term will have a hold placed on their registration for future terms.

TSI Completion Requirements

A status of TSI compliant or Exempt in Mathematics, Writing and Reading is required to receive any degree and some certificates of completion. To achieve this status, a non-exempt student must meet one of the following requirements for each skill area:


  • Meet the TSI Assessment with a minimum score of “350”
  • Earn a grade of “C” or better in MATH 0119  or  MATH 0362  
  • Earn a grade of “C” or higher in one of the following courses:
    MATH 1314   MATH 1316   MATH 1324   MATH 1325   MATH 1332  
    MATH 1342   MATH 2412   MATH 2413      
  • Students with a professionally diagnosed mathematics disability may contact Student Accessibility Resources on campus to discuss alternatives available for completion of the mathematics requirement.


  • Meet the TSI Assessment with an essay score of “5” or better;
    OR pass with a minimum objective score of “340” and an essay score of “4”
  • Earn a grade of “C” or better in INRW 0399  or ESOL 0312  
  • Earn a grade of “C” or higher in one of the following courses:
    ENGL 1301  or ENGL 1302  


In addition, to the requirements above:

  1. Students who passed a state approved TSI test in any skill area and were enrolled in a regionally accredited college or university prior to August 26, 2013 are TSI complete in the corresponding area.
  2. Students transferring from a regionally accredited college or university who have completed one or more of the above designated courses with a grade of “C” or higher will be considered TSI-satisfied in that curricular area. An official transcript from the transfer institution is required.
  3. Students whose previous Texas public college or university determined that they have met Minimum Passing Standards in Reading, Writing and/or Math are met in the curricular area(s) indicated but must develop and pursue a Plan for Academic Success in any remaining area(s).

TSI Assessment *


310-341 1-2 INRW 0090  College Readiness NCBO (RDNG 0011 )
310-341 3-6 INRW 0395  or ESOL 0307   NCBO (RDNG 0011 )
342-348   INRW 0395  or ESOL 0308   NCBO (RDNG 0011 )
349-350   INRW 0399  or ESOL 0309   NCBO (RDNG 0011 )
351-390   COLLEGE READY  

* Placement in INRW is determined by lowest cut score.


310-319 1-6 0-4 INRW 0090  College Readiness  NCBO (ENGL 0011 )
320-329 1-3 0-4 INRW 0395  or ESOL 0310    NCBO (ENGL 0011 )
320-329 4-6 0-4 INRW 0395  or ESOL 0311   NCBO (ENGL 0011 )


340 or higher





INRW 0399   or ESOL 0312    

NCBO (ENGL 0011 )

340 or higher

< 340


4 or higher

4 or higher

5 or higher



* Placement in INRW is determined by lowest cut score.


310-335 1-4 MATH 0090  
College Readiness
310-335 5-6 MATH 0361        
336-339   MATH 0361        

MATH 0362  or


MATH 1332  and NCBO Math
MATH 1342  and NCBO Math


MATH 1314  and NCBO Math
MATH 1324  and NCBO Math


MATH 1314   
MATH 1324   

MATH 1332 
MATH 1342 


ESOL Course Placement Scores

Level 1 ESOL 0301

ESOL 0304

ESOL 0307

ESOL 0310
Versant 28-40 Versant 28-38 Versant 28-40 Versant 28-38
TSIA NA TSIA 310-319 TSIA 310-341 &
ABE 3-6
TSIA 320-329 &
ABE 1-3 &
Essay 0-4
Level 2

ESOL 0302

ESOL 0305

ESOL 0308

ESOL 0311

Versant 41-50 Versant 39-49 Versant 41-50 Versant 39-49
TSIA NA TSIA 320-329 TSIA 342-348 TSIA

320-329 &
ABE 4-6 &
Essay 0-4

Level 3

ESOL 0303

ESOL 0306

ESOL 0309

ESOL 0312

Versant 51-59 Versant 50-59 Versant 51-62 Versant 50-59
TSIA NA TSIA 330-339 TSIA 349-350 TSIA

330-339 &
ABE 1-6 &
Essay 0-4 &
340+ Essay 0-3

 Students should consult the campus Advising and Counseling Center for more information.