Mar 03, 2024  
2019-2020 Catalog 
2019-2020 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. Testing must be completed prior to enrolling in classes.

The 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 .

TSI Waivers and Exemptions

All students taking college-level courses must satisfy Texas Success Initiative (TSI) Assessment requirements, unless they qualify for a TSI waiver or exemption.

TSI Waivers and Exemptions apply only to TSI requirements. Official 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. All prerequisites for enrollment in specific courses must be met.


  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 15th hour of ESOL. All TSI waivers must be renewed each term and all course prerequisites must be met.
  5. A student who has successfully completed College Preparatory courses is eligible to receive a waiver for one year from the date of high school graduation. Successful completion of College Prep English/Language Arts allows for a one year waiver for Reading and Writing. Successful completion of College Prep Math allows for a one year waiver for Math.

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


  1. TASP Exempt–Students who attended regionally accredited post-secondary 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 post-secondary 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 post-secondary 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.

Exemptions are permanent and do not need to be renewed each semester.

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 additional help 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.

Students enrolled in developmental courses may choose to register for a paired course. 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. This allows a student sooner entry into their credit course requirements. The developmental component of the pairing/co-requisite provides support for successful completion of the college-level credit course.

A non-course based option (NCBO) is an educational intervention that uses learning approaches to prepare the student for college-level work.

The following are non-course based options (NCBO):

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:

Adult Education Courses

Adult education courses (MATH 0090  and INRW 0090 ) are designed for students who are assessed and need additional review or 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.

Attendance in Developmental Courses

Students taking developmental Mathematics, Integrated 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.

English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)

ESOL waivers apply to English Language Learners requesting to waive their Texas Success Initiative Assessment (TSI-A). 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 TSI-A;
  2. Student understands that he/she can take ESOL courses only while remediating; 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-A 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 students who are TSI-liable in at least one content area.

Transition to College Success is a non-degree credit, one-hour course. 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 a least “4” and placement score of at least “340”;
    with a placement score of less than “340” and ABE level of at least “4” and an essay score of at least “5”
  • 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 an Academic Success Plan in any remaining area(s).

TSI Assessment



310 – 335
with ABE Diagnostic
Level 1 – 4

MATH 0090   MATH 0090  

310 – 335
with ABE Diagnostic
Level 5 – 6


336 – 339

MATH 0361   

Student can take#

  1. Credit‐NCBO Pair:
    MATH 1332  & MATH 0132 ** or
    MATH 1342 * & MATH 0142 ** or
    MATH 1342 * & MATH 0242 ** or
  2. Credit‐Developmental Course Pair:
    MATH 0361  & MATH 1332  or
    MATH 0361  & MATH 1342 * or
  3. MATH 0361  
340 – 349

Student can take#

  1. Credit‐NCBO Pair:
    MATH 1314  & MATH 0214 ** or
    MATH 1324 * & MATH 0224 ** or​
  2. Credit‐Developmental Course Pair:
    MATH 0362  & MATH 1314  or
    MATH 0362  & MATH 1324  or
  3. MATH 0362  

MATH 1332 + or MATH 1342 *+

350 – 390


MATH 1314  or MATH 1324 



MATH 1332  or MATH 1342 *

* TSI completion in Reading is required for enrollment in MATH 1342 
** MATH 0132 = 1 hour NCBO for MATH 1332
** MATH 0142 = 1 hour NCBO for MATH 1342
** MATH 0242 = 2 hour NCBO for MATH 1342
** MATH 0214 = 2 hour NCBO for MATH 1314
** MATH 0224 = 2 hour NCBO for MATH 1324
# Each campus will offer at least one of the listed options, but possibly not all
+ To successfully complete this course, students will be co-enrolled in a supporting non-course based option (NCBO)






310 – 337

and ABE Level 0 – 6

310 – 327

and ABE Level 0 – 6

and Essay 0 – 4

INRW 0090  
338 – 347

328 – 335

and ABE Level 4 – 6

and Essay 0 – 4

INRW 0399  + Approved Credit Course* +/- INRW 0112 **

* ENGL 1301 HIST 1302 HIST 1301 ,

PSYC 2301 , or SOCI 1301 

348 – 350

336 – 339
and Essay 0 – 4


≥ 340

and Essay 0 – 3

Approved Core Course* + INRW 0114**

* ENGL 1301 , HIST 1302 HIST 1301 ,

PSYC 2301 , or SOCI 1301 



and Essay 4


< 340

and ABE Level 4 – 6

and Essay 5


** INRW 0112  and INRW 0114 are non-course based options (NCBO), just-in-time support that prepares the student for college-level work.

English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)



Level 1

ESOL 0301 


ESOL 0304 


ESOL 0307 


ESOL 0310 



28 – 40 Versant 28 – 38 Versant 28 – 40 Versant 28 – 38

310 – 341

and ABE 3 – 6


320 – 329

and ABE 1 – 3

and Essay 0 – 4

Level 2

ESOL 0302 


ESOL 0305 


ESOL 0308 


ESOL 0311  



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

320 – 329

and ABE 4 – 6

and Essay 0 – 4

Level 3

ESOL 0303 


ESOL 0306 


ESOL 0309 


ESOL 0312  (INRW)



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

330 – 339

and ABE 1 – 6



and Essay 0 – 3





60 – 70 Versant 60 – 70 Versant 63 – 70 Versant 60 – 70




27 – below Versant 27 – below Versant 27 – below Versant 27 – below

The above Versant cut‐scores are intended to be a starting point for advising ELLs. Advisors should consult the diagnostics from the TSIA in combination with the Versant scores to advice students holistically.

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