The Texas Success Initiative and Developmental Education

Developmental Education and the Texas Success Initiative (TSI)


As of fall 2003, in order to enroll in Texas public institutions of higher education, students must be in compliance with the Texas Success Initiative (TSI). The law requires all entering college students to be assessed for college readiness in reading, mathematics and writing unless the student qualifies for an exemption. Each student who fails to meet the minimum passing standard of the exam offered by the institution must be placed in a developmental education program designed to help the student achieve college readiness.

The Texas Success Initiative Assessment (TSIA) is the state-approved placement assessment as of August 27, 2013. The TSIA is designed to determine if a student is ready for college-level course work in the areas of reading, writing, and mathematics or if the student needs developmental education courses.

The Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) offers the following developmental education courses:

  • ED 0300 Reading Skills
  • ENG 0300 Writing Skills
  • ENG 0310 Integrated Reading and Writing
  • MATH 0300 Introductory Algebra
  • MATH 0301 Intermediate Algebra


TSI Exemptions:

ACT-Composite score of 23 or higher with at least a 19 on the English test and/or math sections.

SAT-Combined verbal and math score of 1070 with a minimum of 500 on the verbal test and/or math test.

TAKS-Minimum score of 2200 on both the English and/or math sections with at least a 3 on the writing component of the 11th grade TAKS (for a period of 3 years from the test date).

Military-Veterans and active duty personnel serving for at least 3 years preceding enrollment.

Transfer-Transfer from a private or independent institution or an accredited out-of-state institution and has satisfactorily completed college-level coursework as determined by the receiving institution.

Certificate-Enroll in a certificate program of one year or less (Level-One certificates, 42 or fewer semester credit hours or the equivalent) at a public community college, a public technical institute, or a public state college.


Developmental Education course descriptions and common course syllabi

Developmental Education course syllabi (pdfs)

Developmental Education FAQs​