What it Means to be College Ready

In the fall of 2003, the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) went into effect.  This state mandate requires that Texas public institutions of higher education “assess the academic skills of each entering undergraduate student to determine the student’s readiness to enroll in freshman-level academics.”  Students must meet college readiness standards in reading, writing, and math. Students who are not deemed college ready are required to take developmental courses.

Our College Readiness program aims to increase the number of students in AISD who graduate college ready as defined by the TSI. A student can be classified as college ready utilizing scores from exit-level TAKS, ACT, SAT, and previously through end-of-course exams that are no longer required because of the passage of House Bill 5. Additionally, all Texas public institutions of higher education utilize a new test called the TSI Assessment to determine college readiness.

We target students who are eligible to graduate but not yet considered college ready. Because they are considered ready to graduate, these students do not generally receive intervention from their high schools, whose energy is focused on ensuring all students are ready to graduate.

Without APIE’s intervention, these students would be placed into developmental courses upon entering college. While these cost the same as any other college class, these classes are non-credit bearing. Developmental courses are time consuming, expensive, and a leading reason that students – particularly those who are economically disadvantaged – decide not to enroll in college or withdraw without receiving a degree.

To help students achieve college readiness and remove this barrier, APIE provides targeted academic support on a Case Management basis to these Tier 2 students. College Readiness Advocates meet for 30-60 minutes each week one-on-one with each student to advise, tutor, and encourage them.

College Readiness

College Readiness students with their EZCORP scholarship certificates

Since APIE introduced its Case Management model, student success rates have grown exponentially. In the first year, 14.4% of the students enrolled in APIE’s College Readiness program passed the state-mandated standards for college readiness; this past year, 47% of the 413 students fully closed their achievement gaps and an additional 13% reduced their need for developmental coursework in college.

During the 2013-14 school year, APIE is implementing its College Readiness program at 10 of AISD’s 12 high schools and has set a goal of case managing about 400 students and getting 300 fully college ready.

The program is underway, and we’re looking forward to a challenging, successful year!

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About Austin Partners in Education

Austin Partners in Education is a non-profit organization that provides innovative programs to improve student academic performance.

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