Texas Success Initiative Assessment (TSIA)

(The Heart of Texas P-20 Council includes representatives from K-12 education, higher education and employers. They meet regularly to help coordinate efforts to launch our young people into productive lives as workers and citizens. This post is one in a monthly series of posts intended to share information about the work of this important group in our community. For more posts in this series, click here: P-20 education. – ABT)

By Christine Holecek

The TSI Assessment (TSIA) is part of the Texas Success Initiative program designed to help your college or university determine if you are ready for college-level course work in the areas of reading, writing, and mathematics. If you are an incoming college student in Texas, you are required to take the TSI Assessment – unless you are already exempt through ACT or SAT or other exemptions – to determine your readiness for college-level work. Based on how you perform, you may either be enrolled in a college-level course and/or be placed in the appropriate developmental course or intervention to improve your skills and prepare you for success in college- level courses.

The HOT P-20 Council is addressing some strategies to help students and ISD’s better prepare for the TSIA and move towards College Readiness. In a recent meeting held at Education Service Center Region 12 the following strategies were addressed.

  1. Develop a TSIA test taking strategies guide to share out:
    • Describe the type of writing prompt (use of spare paper, proof reading, use of paragraphs)
    • Pay attention to the word count
    • This is not the STAAR writing test
    • How to physically and mentally prepare for the TSIA
    • Recommend timing strategies – Testing freshman as they complete Algebra I
    • Recommend resources, apps, and other tools to help students better prepare for the test
  2. Offer varied TSIA Boot Camp options to include:
    • test taking strategies/Pre-Assessment Activity/test preparatory option
    • intense training on TSI sections with test taking and college preparation strategies, Math/Writing
    • refreshers for students who haven’t taken Math or writing in over a year before taking the TSI
  3. Make TSIA testing available to HS and college faculty – Algebra II and English III teachers to take the test and help formulate questions that are similar
  4. Promote the Waco Querium (A computer-based program for reinforcing STEM skils) cohort among local schools and colleges
  5. Disaggregate TSIA diagnostic data by ISDs and share out with individual school districts
  6. Share aggregate TSI diagnostic trend data with the community, use in College Prep courses and share with high school curriculum coordinators
  7. Getting the word out on the importance of the TSIA to parents, faculty and community
  8. Emphasize the importance of the College Prep courses to students, parents, faculty and school administrators

The HOT P-20 Council meets monthly at ESC Region 12 from 8:00 – 9:00. Please contact fhills@mclennan.edu or cholecek@esc12.net to get involved or for more information.


This Act Locally Waco blog post was written by Christine Holecek. Christine is an Education Specialist at Education Service Center Region 12 in Waco. She has worked in the area of Adult Education and Career & Technical Education for the past 25 years. She earned an AAS degree from MCC, a BAAS and Master’s Degree from the University of North Texas and is currently enrolled in the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Tarleton State University.

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email ashleyt@actlocallywaco.org for more information.

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