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New Proposed THECB TSI (TX Success Initiative) Changes affect all Community Colleges and 4-Year Universities Negatively – Michael Coulehan, EPCC

Michael Coulehan

I recently attended a Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board meeting at El Paso Community College where the new TSI assessment was explained. It will be finalized in April. We were informed that because so few developmental students complete degrees, many of them would no longer qualify for Pell grants. These particular students scored at Adult Basic Education levels on the new TSI placement test. If the student scored at ABE level in 1 of the three areas: Reading, Dev. Writing, Dev. Math, the student was unable to be placed in developmental education and not allowed to register for classes. This has had a major negative effect at EPCC. Compared to spring, 2013, we lost over 1000 students in our Dev. Ed. classes in spring, 2014. How will this affect other colleges and universities? These same students matriculate upward to credit classes. If Dev. Ed. loses 25%-30% of students, this will negatively impact those programs where these students would go. In addition, these same students will not transfer to 4-year colleges. EPCC is an open door institution where students can be remediated to prepare them for a better future. The THECB apparently feels the money spent is not worth it, slamming the open door shut to students’ future dreams and aspirations.

Where are these students supposed to go for remediation? Adult Basic Education classes which, as of now, are unfunded and don’t yet exist. The City off Chicago, Illinois spends more an ABE than the whole state of Texas. But if you have funding ideas please forward them to THECB, we were breathlessly informed with a smile. In the meantime, those same students will be condemned to a lifetime of low-wage jobs in the Wal-Mart’s and McDonalds of Texas.

Here is a link to the proposed changes. Remember all students who score at an ABE level will be sent to an unfunded program, which translates as no program at all.


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