Texas Register Preamble

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (Coordinating Board) adopts amendments to, Title 19, Part 1, Chapter 4, Subchapter C, §4.54, TSI Exemptions, Exceptions, and Waivers, without changes to the proposed text as published in the February 12, 2021, issue of the Texas Register (46 TexReg 1014) and will not be republished.

Specifically, the adopted amendments enable students who have met the standards on the state-approved high school equivalency tests to be exempt from the Texas Success Initiative and have immediate access to college-level courses without additional demonstration of college readiness.

House Bill (HB) 1891 (86R) amended Section 51.338, Education Code by adding new subsection (h) to allow a student who has achieved a score set by the board on a high school equivalency examination administered under Texas Education Code §7.111 to be exempt from the requirements of the Texas Success Initiative (TEC, Chapter 51, Subchapter F-1). Education Code Section 51.338(h) directs the commissioner of higher education by rule to establish the period for which an exemption under this subsection is valid. The adopted amendments to rule §4.54 sets the scores required by Education Code Section 51.338(h) and aligns the exemption's period of validity with other assessments used for this purpose, including the SAT and ACT, which is five (5) years from date of testing.

The adopted rule includes the college readiness scores for both the GED and HiSET, the two assessment instruments approved by the State Board of Education to be used under Education Code Section 7.111. Researchers from GED and HiSET established the scores through college readiness standard setting processes using psychometric and other industry-based protocols, as described in their respective technical manuals:

GED: https://ged.com/wp-content/uploads/GED_Technical_Manual.pdf

HiSET: https://hiset.ets.org/s/pdf/hiset_technical_manual.pdf

THECB staff reviewed these processes and determined they align sufficiently with readiness expectations for meeting the purpose of a TSI exemption. THECB will conduct a follow-up study to review the scores once a large enough sample size is established but no later than summer 2022. Revisions, if any, to these standards will be proposed upon completion of the study and based on its findings.

No comments were received regarding the adoption of the amendments.

The amendment is adopted under Texas Education Code, §51.344, which provides the Coordinating Board with the authority to adopt rules to implement subchapter F.-1: Texas Success Initiative.

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