The release of the Texas Success Initiative Assessment 2.0 will change college readiness benchmarks across the state. In our October 2020 webinar, we provided updates on the TSIA2 from experts at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
During this webinar, we were joined by Keylan Morgan, college readiness and success specialist at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. We also moderated a lively question and answer session with our guest speakers and heard best practices from Texas OnCourse educators. Below, we summarize key highlights from the webinar.
A quick disclaimer from the Coordinating Board: test development is in its final stage. While major changes are not anticipated, details may differ slightly from those presented here. In particular, college readiness benchmarks are subject to board approval later in the month and have not been finalized.
Though we ran out of time during the webinar for Q&A, we documented your all of your questions. Keylan and the THECB graciously provided responses to those questions. Download the full Q&A here.
Resources for the TSIA and TSIA2
If you’re looking for additional resources on the TSIA, be sure to not miss our TSIA module in the Texas OnCourse Academy. This module is found under Postsecondary Pathways > Entrance and Placement Exams. In the module, you can refresh yourself on:
- Which students need to take the TSIA
- What subject areas are included in the assessment
- How to assist your students and families with the TSIA registration process
- How to identify TSIA dual credit requirements
- What information should be shared with students and families about the TSIA completion process
Coming soon, we are releasing a new module on college readiness in partnership with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. The module, going live later this fall, will be titled “Advising All Students to be College Ready.” After completing this module, K–12 educators will be able to:
- Explain the Texas Success Initiative and the TSIA2
- Summarize what it means to demonstrate college readiness in K–12 and postsecondary education
- Describe the impact of meeting and not meeting college readiness
Please sign up for our email list to be notified when this module is live!
TSIA testing options during COVID
Due to the disruption in business operations, the following options are available for TSIA testing:
- Examity (virtual remote proctoring service): Live version with a human monitor is the only approved service
- Video chat web services (like WebEx, GoToMeeting, Zoom, etc.)
Test administrators using remote proctoring via VCWS (like Zoom) must ensure compliance with:
- Only TSIA-certified test proctors
- Maximum of five administrations at one time per proctor
- Strict adherence to all ACTA test administrator requirements
- Adherence to security and other practices as outlined in the TSIA/ACCUPLACER test platform under the Resources tab
The new launch date for the TSIA2 is January 11, 2021. Educators who have a significant issue with this date can email Keylan Morgan for support and guidance with the transition.
The TSIA2 has been enhanced in the following ways:
- Alignment with revised standards. TxCCR, revised TEKS, AEL 2.0 standards, NRS EFLDs.
- Integration of Reading and Writing. New English Language Arts and Reading (ELAR) section.
- A reduction of diagnostics to one test. All students requiring a diagnostic receive a diagnostic score from 1–6.
- A second-chance college readiness opportunity for math. Students can be classified as college ready based on math diagnostic test performance.
- Transportability of test results for students: Scores can be sent directly to an institution at time of testing.
- A student portal. Access to tutorials with calculator and highlighter features, as well as ability to send Individual Score Reports (ISRs).
- Improved data matching. Addition of supplemental ID field to platform. THECB is working on the use of ID fields to improve statewide data matching for TEA accountability.
- Access to TSIA2 learning resources. A free, online library of instructional and practice materials directly related to the TSIA2 content areas, which is available to students prior to testing. Custom materials are available with the Learning Locator Code.
- Individual Learning Locator Codes. An individual link provided on the score report after completion of the diagnostic test, which provides students with a custom set of practice and instructional material in the TSIA2 Learning Resources library based on diagnostic test performance.
The following accommodations are automatically provided for the TSIA2:
- The exam is untimed
- There is a “save and continue later” feature (not for the essay)
- There are pop-up, on-screen calculators available for math tests as applicable (physical calculators are not allowed)
Note: K–12 TSIA/TSIA2 test administrators must work with a partnering institution of higher education to determine accommodations. For independent TSIA2 administration by K–12 schools, THECB is working with the College Board to establish protocols and guidelines.
Required training for the TSIA2
Institutional administrators will need to participate in four required trainings for the TSIA2. These trainings are now virtual. If this is you, you need to complete all four to receive certification, and you’ll need to recertify each year. This is required for compliance if you’re an institutional administrator!
TSIA2 test experience overview
Scores from BOTH the TSIA and TSIA2 are valid for five years from testing. The testing experience will closely mirror the TSIA for your students.
Just like the TSIA, each subject area of the TSIA2 will include a college readiness classification test, or CRC. If your student does not demonstrate college readiness via the CRC, they will proceed to a diagnostic test.
Scores will operate a lot like the current assessment, though the CRC scores will likely start with a 9 rather than a 3 to prevent confusion regarding which version of the test your student took. The diagnostic test range will remain 1 through 6, and the essay will still be graded 1 through 8.
Here are a few changes to expect with the TSIA2 testing experience, scoring, and cost. Again, these changes are not finalized and may be adjusted:
- The number of subject areas has reduced from 3 to 2. The TSIA includes the subject areas of math, reading, and writing. The TSIA2 will include math and one section encompassing English, Language Arts, and Reading, which we’ll call ELAR.
- The math content area will have a more balanced focus on a variety of math reasoning skills with less heavy reliance on algebra. The CRC and diagnostic portions of the math content area are also more in alignment, sharing an item pool. This means that you’ll be far less likely to have students scoring poorly on the CRC but highly on the diagnostic.
- As noted above, students will have a second chance to demonstrate college readiness in math. If they are directed to the diagnostic, they can demonstrate readiness by scoring a 6.
- For the ELAR section, students will need to achieve a 5 on the essay to demonstrate readiness. On the TSIA, this benchmark is a 4. Students will have a second chance to demonstrate college readiness in ELAR if they score a 5 on the diagnostic and score at least a 5 on the essay.
- Finally, the unit cost of the test has also decreased from $14 for the full TSIA to $11.48 for the full TSIA2.
The Coordinating Board is planning to provide additional documentation to the field soon. In November, you can expect test specifications. A student brochure, score interpretation document, and technical manual will be available in January 2021. The Coordinating Board is hoping to get that documentation out prior to the release of the assessment.
Please note: there has been an update to the information provided during the webinar. The blueprint will not be available until April 2021.
As always, we will keep you informed as these documents come out. Be sure you’re subscribed to both Texas OnCourse emails and THECB emails for updates.
District implementation spotlight
Allison Jasso, coordinator of guidance and counseling at Brazosport ISD, joined us during the webinar to go over TSIA testing practices that have worked well in her district. These practices include:
- Each high school campus is a registered TSIA test site
- One week per month is reserved for TSIA testing
- After talking the TSIA over with their counselor, students sign up via a Google form
- Test administrators follow up with students two weeks prior to testing, to ensure that they’ve taken a preassessment and are registered for the correct sections
- Testing takes place during the school day and is paid for by the district
Read our related blog for more details on admissions tests and entrance exams of all kinds.