Texas Success Initiative (TSI)

Purpose Statement

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (TAMU-CC) faculty and staff are actively engaged in responding to the rapidly changing evidence-based thinking around college readiness. The purpose of this policy is to support student completion of college readiness courses.


College Readiness Course: courses paired with college-level courses to support students learning and successful course completion.

Texas Success Initiative (TSI)

The Texas Success Initiative (TSI) is a state-legislated program that requires students to demonstrate college readiness in math and integrated reading and writing skills before enrolling in college. The TSI Assessment results are not a condition of admission, but a condition of registration to the institution. Without a TSI exemption or waiver, a student will be required to take the TSI Assessment 2.0 (TSIA2) prior to registration. The TSIA2 measures a student's proficiency in the English and math, and allows for them to be advised for course placement based on the results of the assessment (See TSI Rules).

Students are required to enroll in college readiness courses if they have not reached the benchmarks on the TSI Assessment. Students are granted unlimited opportunities to take the TSI Assessment before being required to enroll in college readiness courses.

Note: TAMU-CC requires students to enroll in college readiness courses within their first 24 attempted TAMU-CC credit hours and be TSI complete by their 45 attempted credit hours.

Students required to take the TSIA2 are subject to the following standards to be considered college-ready:

  • English Language Arts Reading - 945 and an Essay score of 5; or less than 945 with a Diagnostic Level of 5 and an Essay score of 5.
  • Math – 950; Less than 950 with a diagnostic score of 6.

Students that require the TSIA2 should visit with the Office of Academic Testing or visit their site for more information on how to take the assessment at https://www.tamucc.edu/academics/testing/tsi-assessment/. Additional information on TSI Assessment 2.0 can be found here.

Exemptions and Waivers

Students can satisfy college readiness standards through approved exemptions or waivers. Students can qualify for an exemption by subject area in several ways, including:

A student is exempt from the TSI if any of the following applies:

  • The student has an associate or baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university.
  • The student, on a single SAT administration on or after March 2016, has a score of 480 on the Evidenced-Based Reading and Writing (EBRW) test and a score of 530 on the mathematics test.  (There is no combined score.)*
  • The student, on a single ACT administration on or after February 15, 2023, has a combined score of at least 40 on the English and Reading (E+R) tests and a score of 22 or higher on the mathematics test. (There is no composite score.)*
  • The student has a minimum score of 4000 (Level 2) on the STAAR English III EOC for reading or writing and a minimum score of 4000 (Level 2) on the STAAR Algebra II EOC.*
  • The student was honorably discharged, retired, or released from active duty as a member of the Armed Forces of the U. S. or the Texas National Guard, or served as a member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces on or after August 1, 1990.
  • The student has met the readiness standard at another Texas public higher education institution.
  • The student transferred from an accredited Texas private institution of higher education or an accredited out-of-state institution with acceptable college-level course work determined by the TAMU-CC. Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi has elected to use the following course work with the grade of A, B, C, or Pass/Credit to meet the following standards:
    1. Math readiness standard – Statistics, Quantitative Reasoning, or College Algebra or Higher (e.g., pre-calc, trigonometry, etc.)
    2. Integrated Reading and Writing readiness standard - Composition I [ENGL 1301 Writing and Rhetoric I (3 sch)] or Composition II [ENGL 1302 Writing and Rhetoric II (3 sch)] or a three-credit hour course in economics, history, literature, political science/government, philosophy, psychology, or sociology.

SAT, ACT, and STAAR EOC scores are valid five years from the date of testing to the first day of enrollment in an accredited Texas public institution of higher education. After April 1, 2004, students holding the composite score on the SAT/ACT may be exempt from a portion of the TSI approved examination in the individual area in which they met the required score. Partial exemptions also exist for STAAR EOC scores. Mixing or combining scores from the SAT administered prior to March 2016 and the SAT administered on or after March 2016 is not allowable. 

A student qualifies for a waiver from the TSI if one of the following applies:

  • The student is serving on active duty in the Armed Forces of the U. S., Texas National Guard, or Reserve Component of Armed Forces and has been serving for at least three years preceding enrollment.
  • The student is enrolling as a non-degree seeking students. (The student must complete a TSI waiver contract.) At the point a student becomes degree-seeking, TSI standards must be met by the student.
  • The student has successfully completed a college preparatory course under Texas Education Code §28.014 with one of our partnering school districts or institutions of higher education1

For students that took an approved college preparatory course, the waiver is good for a period of two years from the date of high school graduation with respect to the content area of the course. Once enrolled, the student has one year to complete a college course in the respective content area. For additional information, contact the Academic Testing Center at (361) 825-2334.

College Readiness Course Requirements

Undergraduate students who do not qualify for an exemption or waiver from the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) requirements must complete the TSIA2 prior to enrolling at TAMU-CC. Students who are required to take the TSI Assessment (TSIA) and do not meet the benchmark standards must register for the appropriate college readiness course for that content area. TAMU-CC requires students to initially enroll in college readiness courses within their first 24 attempted credits at TAMU-CC and complete all requirements within 45 attempted credits. Students who do not satisfy their requirements will be limited to enrolling in no more than 11 credits the subsequent term.

Texas Success Initiative – Transfer

Students transferring to TAMU-CC from private or out-of-state institutions must have TSIA test scores or be exempt prior to being allowed to enroll in any college-level course. The TSI requirement can be met with approved transfer work. All equivalent developmental education courses transferred from another institution must be a "C," or better, or the student will need to retake the appropriate section of the TSI Assessment or enroll in the appropriate college readiness course. Students transferring from other Texas public institutions of higher education must be TSI-exempt or comply with the TAMU-CC policy for college readiness.

Transfer students entering TAMU-CC are permitted to enroll in upper division (3000 and 4000 level) courses for which they have completed the prerequisites. Students must complete their TSI within 30 attempted credit hours at TAMU-CC. Students who do not complete their requirements will be limited to enrolling in no more than 11 credits the subsequent term.

College Readiness Course Repeat Guidelines

The college readiness course repeat guidelines apply to all college readiness math and English courses. Students will be restricted from registering for courses after a third attempt for the same course. Before a student is permitted to register for a course for a fourth attempt, the student must have the permission of the Associate Vice President for Student Success. Students will then be limited to enrolling in no more than 11 credits the subsequent term.