Students must be classified as juniors or seniors, meet their high school requirements for taking Dual Credit classes, and meet both the State of Texas Success Initiative (TSI) testing and placement requirements and HCC’s testing and course placement requirements.

    Houston Community College Northwest & Westside High School Dual Credit Program
    Directions for Meeting the State of Texas--Texas Success Initiative (TSI)

    Students may meet the State TSI testing requirement through either A or B:

    A.  Qualifying through an exemption from State testing requirements by meeting or exceeding specified scores on the following tests:

    • ACT (19 verbal, 19 math, composite 23)
    • SAT (500 math, 500 verbal, composite score 1070)
      • The SAT now has a writing component. Unless the Texas State Legislature initiates other action, the writing score will not be used this year. For the 2007-2008 academic year, only the math, verbal & their composite scores will be counted.
    • TAKS
      • Students may be exempted based upon 11th grade TAKS scores. If a student plans to take a reading/writing–based class, a student must score a minimum of 2200 on English/ Language Arts section of the test and have an essay score of 3. To meet the state TSI waiver requirement for math, a student is required to have a score of 2200 for Mathematics. (Additional placement testing may be required for most math classes).
        • Students who are juniors may use 10th grade TAKS scores to have requirements waived and to qualify to take Dual Credit classes, but 10th grade TAKS scores will not permanently exempt a student from State testing requirements. The TSI requirements will eventually have to be met for an exemption as opposed to a waiver. Since the State did not provide TAKS 10th grade scores on labels for the high schools, the student’s 10th grade TAKS Score, rather than the student’s official transcript, is required for documentation.

        B.  Qualifying through a state approved test such as THEA or COMPASS:

    • Achieving specified scores on the State THEA Test, or achieving specified scores on a State-approved alternative test such as the COMPASS Test.
    • HCC-Northwest administers the COMPASS Test at both the Town and Country and Westgate Center Testing Centers. Students, who wish to take the COMPASS Test to qualify for a Dual Credit class, should go to an HCC counselor who will provide them with a document to take to the Testing Center. The cost for the COMPASS Test is $25. The test, which is computer-based, may take 3-4 hours to complete. If taking one or two section, it will take less time. Take the test as soon as possible. After completing the COMPASS Test, return to the HCC counselor to have COMPASS Test scores assessed. If a student qualifies for a Dual Credit class, the counselor will record that in the HCC database and the student will be able to enroll in college-level classes. After enrolling in class, go to the cashier office and apply for the full waiver if you are an In-District (HISD) resident or pay the out-of-district fee if you are an out-of-district resident. If you do not apply for the full waiver or pay the out-of-f district fee, you will be dropped from the class.
    • The COMPASS Test cannot be retaken for 30 days. The counselors are available on a walk-in basis. No appointment is necessary. The Testing Center is open Monday through Thursday until 8:00 p.m. Students need to be there by 5:00 in order to have adequate time to complete the test.

    Students must document compliance with the State TSI requirements--A student must bring an official copy of his or her high school transcript to an HCC counselor at the Town and Country Campus or the Westgate Campus. An Eleventh grade student, using 10th TAKS scores, should bring an official copy of his or her TAKS scores to an HCC counselor. Counselors will assess test scores and enter eligibility for college-level classes into the HCC database or send the student to take the COMPASS Test to establish eligibility. CHECK WITH YOUR HIGH SCHOOL DEAN TO SEE IF OTHER ARRANGEMENTS ARE BEING MADE TO GET YOUR OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT OR TAKS SCORES TO HCC.

    Transferability of Credit Hours—Public colleges and universities within the State of Texas are required, by state law to accept most college-level courses in transfer from another State public institution as core, course of study or elective credit. Most Dual Credit students are taking core courses required of all majors. Students may verify the transferability of credit by asking the college or university if it accepts HCC college-level credit in transfer. Do not ask if they take High School Dual Credit classes in transfer. While many private and out-of-state institutions accept HCC college-level courses in transfer, students are advised to confirm that with the private or out-of-state institutions.