New Student Assessment Requirements Begin August 26

Note: The Assessment Center is closed Aug. 26-27. It reopens Wednesday, Aug. 28, with the new test.

Beginning August 26, ACC students will face a new statewide college readiness test that will replace all other assessment tests and align with Texas Success Initiative (TSI) college and career readiness standards.

The new test will include a diagnostic component that will help ACC place students who are not college ready in the developmental courses best suited to their academic strengths and weaknesses. All incoming students who are not exempt from assessment testing and current students who want to test out of developmental courses will take the new test.

What is changing:

  • ACC will no longer offer the COMPASS test; students will take the new TSI state test.
  • The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) has set the minimum score (cut score) required for credit classes. All Texas public colleges and universities will use the same cut score.
  • Students must complete an online preparation module before taking the test. Similar to ACC 101, the module will explain the assessment process and include sample questions. Students will present a printout showing they completed the module when they take their test.
  • Students scoring below the cut score will take an additional diagnostic exam. ACC will use the assessment and diagnostic test results to recommend the appropriate course sequence for the student.

The new test aligns with State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR) end of course assessments in English III and Algebra II, Texas College and Career Readiness Standards, and the National Reporting System Educational Functioning Level Descriptors (EFLD) Adult Basic Education standards. ACC will offer preparation materials tailored to the test beginning this fall.

Once the new test and accompanying diagnostic exam are released this summer, a committee comprising Developmental Education and department representatives will further define the scores required for specific developmental courses. When placing students, the THECB expects institutions also to consider such factors as high school grade point average and previous academic work, along with family/life issues (transportation, childcare, finances) or potential barriers to persistence.

Yolanda Chapa, dean of student services at the South Austin Campus, said that ACC’s advising manual will be updated in the coming months. Faculty and staff also can view a series of webcasts about the new test. See a schedule of upcoming webcasts.

For more information, contact Chapa at [email protected], or (512) 223.9154.

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