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New Graduation Requirements Q&A
Graduation Courses & Plans


Q: When will the final list of approved high school courses be available?

A:
The State Board of Education (SBOE) meets on November 19 - 22. During that meeting, the board will vote on and release for public comment its curriculum decisions, including approved courses for graduation under the foundation program. The SBOE meets again on January 29 – 31 and is expected to release the final decisions after that meeting. 


Q: What is the new graduation plan called?

A:
The new graduation plan is the Foundation Graduation Plan and students meeting requirements may graduate with a Foundation Diploma, a Foundation Diploma with an endorsement in one of the five prescribed areas, or a Foundation Diploma with an endorsement and a Distinguished designation.


Q: Will all students in high school graduate under the foundation plan beginning with the 2014-15 school year?

A:
All entering freshman in 2014-15 will fall under the foundation graduation program. Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors in 2014-15 will have the option of remaining under the Minimum, Recommended, or Advanced program they are currently working in or moving to the new Foundation Plan.
Dual Credit Courses

Q: What information should the MOU between the ISD and the community college contain?
A:
A Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) or other written agreement must be in place that covers all aspects of DC program.
  • Eligible Courses
  • Student Eligibility
  • Location of Class
  • Student Composition of Class
  • Faculty Selection, Supervision, and Evaluation
  • Course Curriculum, Instruction, and Grading
  • Academic Policies and Student Support Services
  • Transcription of Credit
  • Funding (taken from THECB presentation 10/30/2013 Texas Success Initiative and Dual credit courses)


Q: What are the eligibility requirements for students to enroll in dual credit courses?


A:

A: A high school student is eligible to enroll in dual credit courses if:
  • The student is an eleventh grade student who achieves a score of 2200 on mathematics and/or a score of 2200 on English/Language Arts with a writing subsection score of at least 3 on the tenth grade TAKS relevant to the courses to be attempted, or
  • The student achieves a combined score of 107 on the PSAT/NMSQT with a minimum of 50 on the critical reading and/or mathematics test relevant to the courses to be attempted, or
  • The student achieves a composite score of 23 on the PLAN with a 19 or higher in mathematics and English. An eligible high school student who has enrolled in dual credit under this provision must demonstrate eligibility to enroll in dual credit courses in twelfth grade, and (From THECB’s website)



Q: What are the state requirements about offering dual credit?


A: Texas Education Code (TEC) 28.009:

 

  • Requires that each school district implement a program under which students may earn at least 12 semester credit hours of college credit in high school.
  • HB 842 (83rd Legislative Session) added language requiring school districts to implement a program under which students are provided an opportunity to earn credit toward a industry recognized credential, certificate, or associate degree concurrently with the high school graduation plan. Texas Administrative Code TAC Ch. 4, Sub. D
  • Sections 4.81 through 4.85 (taken from THECB presentation 10/30/2013 Texas Success Initiative and Dual credit courses)



Q: Can ISD’s have students take dual credit courses from colleges outside of their service area?


A:
Chapter 4 Subchapter D (Rule changes due to HB 5) 4.85(c)
 
(1) A student may not enroll in more than three courses per academic year at a community college if the community college does not have a service area that includes the student’s high school, except to the extent approved by the Commissioner of Texas Education Agency.

(2) This provision does not apply to students enrolled in approved early college high school programs. (taken from THECB presentation 10/30/2013 Texas Success Initiative and Dual credit courses)



Q: What are some of the Dual Credit rule changes concerning student eligibility for academic dual credit courses?

A: Chapter 4, Subchapter D 4.85 (b) Student Eligibility.

(2) An eleventh grade high school student is also eligible to enroll in dual credit courses under the following conditions; 

(A) a student achieves a minimum designated Level 2 final phase-in score on the Algebra II end-of-course assessment and/or the English II reading or [and] English II writing end-of-course assessments, [a score of 2200 on Mathematics and/or a score of 2200 on English Language Arts with a writing subsection score of at least 3 on the tenth grade TAKS] relevant to the courses to be attempted. An eligible high school student who has enrolled in dual credit courses in the eleventh grade under this provision shall not be required to demonstrate further evidence of eligibility to enroll in dual credit courses in the twelfth grade; (taken from THECB presentation 10/30/2013 Texas Success Initiative and Dual credit courses)



Q: What are the new student eligibility requirements for students wanting to enroll in work force dual credit courses?

A:
Chapter 4, Subchapter D 4.85 (b) Student Eligibility.

(3) A high school student is eligible to enroll in workforce education dual credit courses in the eleventh and/or twelfth grade if the student demonstrates that he or she has achieved the designated minimum final phase- in score on the Algebra I end-of-course assessment and/or the English II reading or [and] English II writing end-of-course assessments relevant to the courses to be attempted [the minimum high school passing standard on the Mathematics section and/or the English/Language Arts section on the tenth or eleventh grade TAKS]. (taken from THECB presentation 10/30/2013 Texas Success Initiative and Dual credit courses)



Q: Can a student enroll in dual credit courses before their junior year in high school?

A:
Chapter 4, Subchapter D 4.85 (b) Student Eligibility.

(6) To be eligible for enrollment in a dual credit course offered by a public college, students must have at least junior year high school standing. Exceptions to this requirement for students with demonstrated outstanding academic performance and capability (as evidenced by achieving or exceeding the minimum TSI college readiness standards on [grade-point average,] PSAT/NMSQT [scores], PLAN, SAT, ACT, or TSI Assessment [or other assessment indicators]) may be approved by the principal of the high school and the chief academic officer of the college. Students with less than junior year high school standing must demonstrate eligibility as outlined under subsection (b)(1) of this section. (taken from THECB presentation 10/30/2013 Texas Success Initiative and Dual credit courses)
Texas Success Initiative (TSI)

Q: What is the Texas Success Initiative (TSI)?

A:
The TSI Assessment is an exam designed to determine if a student is ready for college-level course work in the areas of reading, writing and mathematics. If needed, it provides information on the type of intervention needed to meet the better prepare the student for college course work.


Q: How does the TSI work?

A:
The TSI is a computer adaptive exam which means that questions increase or decrease in difficulty level depending on how a student responds. The assessment includes multiple choice items that are aligned to the Texas College and Career Readiness Standards. On the writing portion of the exam, it is possible students will be asked to write an essay.


Q: What is the TSI Pre-Assessment, and do all students have to participate in it?

A: There is a TSI Pre-Assessment Activity that students are required to participate in before taking the TSI. The Pre-Assessment provides information on the importance of the TSI, practice questions and feedback, an explanation of developmental education options for students not meeting the minimum passing standard, and information on campus and community resources to help students succeed in college.
CTE Courses

Q: Do teachers still have to be highly qualified to teach CTE courses now that Texas received a waiver from the federal government for NCLB?

A:
Section 1119 of NCLB requires that all teachers of core subject academic areas meet the specific competency and educational requirements defined for "highly qualified" (HQ) teachers. The NCLB waiver does not remove that requirement. LEAs must continue to ensure that applicable teachers meet the HQ definition and Title I paraprofessionals meet the Title I paraprofessional requirements. In addition, LEAs are still required to take the appropriate actions when they do not. Campuses will continue reporting HQ status through eGrants by the deadlines posted on the Highly Qualified Teachers page of the TEA website.


Q: How do content certified teachers become certified to teach CTE courses?

A:
TEA has created specific courses for this purpose. All teachers, not CTE certified, assigned to teach content CTE courses must participate in a Texas Education Agency (TEA) approved training prior to teaching the course effective with the 2012-2013 school year. For teachers who have not previously taught this course, once a district has confirmed that a teacher is enrolled in and making progress toward the completion of the online PD course, the district may assign the teacher to teach the high school course.


Q: How do teachers access these trainings?

A: Each content CTE course has a corresponding TEA training. These courses are online and housed in Project Share. For a Region 7 educator, our web site contains a listing for each of the courses, the link to the course and the access code. From the Region 7 home page, go to Workshops, View workshops, and click “Online Courses in Project Share”. Click the CTE course link and this list appears.

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