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PROGRAMS FOR ACADEMIC SUPPORT AND ENRICHMENT

Ms. Conchita Hickey, Executive Director
Programs for Academic Support and Enrichment

Ms. Ana I. Saenz, Director, Center for Advancement
of Scholastic Achievement

Mr. Randy Koch, Director, University Writing Center

Mr. Alejandro A. Martinez, Jr., Director, Testing and Computer Services

Ms. Leticia Valle, Director, Student Support Services (TRIO) Program

PROGRAMS FOR ACADEMIC SUPPORT AND ENRICHMENT (PASE)

The Programs for Academic Support and Enrichment (PASE) Office oversees six units whose mission is to provide learning assistance to all students. These are the following: 1) General University, 2) The Testing Center and PASE Computer Lab, 3) The Language Proficiency Program, 4 )The Writing Center, 5) The Center for Advancement of Scholastic Achievement (CASA), and 6) TRIO Student Support Services.

GENERAL UNIVERSITY

General University’s mission is to prepare students for the challenges of academic life through courses that teach 1) learning and critical thinking skills necessary for a successful college experience and 2) academic skills in mathematics, writing and college reading for the under-prepared student. For a listing of these courses, please see General University Course descriptions.

First Year Experience

First time freshmen have the opportunity to take GENU 1300, Theories and Applications of Learning, a course designed to help students attain the learning and thinking skills necessary for a successful college experience and to help students adjust to the rigors and challenges of university study. The course introduces students to preferred learning styles, course management, time management, peer advising, university services , and career and academic counseling. Students with scores lower than 860 on the SAT or 18 on the ACT are required to enroll in this class during the first semester of enrollment, but all freshmen are strongly recommended to take the class. GENU 1350, Critical Thinking, is recommended for all students who want to strengthen higher order thinking skills.

Developmental Studies

The goals of this department are to 1) comply with the Texas Success Initiative through an effective developmental education plan for each student, 2) prepare them for the rigor of college core curriculum, 3) raise the retention rates of under-prepared students, 4) teach successful learning and study strategies, and 5) provide learning assistance through the promotion of CASA and the Writing Center.

Grading Policy

The Department of Developmental Studies has adopted the following grading scale. All developmental courses must be passed with a grade of “C” or higher to meet the course pre-requisite for entry into college-level classes.

A
93-100
B
84-92
C
75-83
D
70-74
F
69 and below

Attendance Policy

Students who have three or more un-excused absences will receive an “F” in the course. If the student is more than ten minutes late for a class, the student will be marked tardy. Two tardies are equivalent to one un-excused absence.

Texas Success Initiative (TSI)

The Texas Success Initiative (TSI) was adopted by the legislature in Summer 2003 (Texas Education Code, Section 51.307) and became effective September 1, 2003. TSI replaced the Texas Academic Skills Program (TASP). Every Texas public institution of higher education must meet the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) mandates which require them to provide individualized programs to ensure the success of students in higher education. Texas A&M International’s Developmental Education Plan is available on the web under the PASE department’s link.

In addition, each entering undergraduate student must take one of the following tests prior to enrollment, all of which are approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board:
ASSET and COMPASS offered by ACT;
ACCUPLACER offered by the College Board;
Texas Higher Education Assessment (THEA) offered by National Evaluation Systems, Inc.

These tests measure skills in reading, mathematics, and writing. None of these tests can be used as a criterion for admission.

While each institution may require a higher standard for entry into college level classes, the State requires the following minimum passing standards:

TESTS READING MATH WRITING*
THEA 230 230 220
COMPASS 81 39 59
ASSET 41 38 40
ACCUPLACER 78 63 80

* passing score on essay portion of all tests is 6 or above; if student passes the writing multiple choice section, a score of 5 is passing as well.

In order to take MATH 1314, College Algebra, students at Texas A&M International must have met the minimum TSI requirement for math and score a THEA Math 250, SAT Math 450, ACT Math 19, or COMPASS Algebra 45. Students scoring below these scores must take the developmental course sequence as determined by their placement score.

Students who do not pass or take all sections of one of these tests are required to take developmental education courses in at least one of these areas to enroll at Texas A&M International

Students may not enroll in college level courses related to their TSI deficiencies. SAT, ACT scores must not be used for placement unless the TSI requirements have been met. Consequently the following courses may not be taken if the corresponding test section has not been passed.

Students who have not passed: Reading Math Writing
       
may not enroll in: HIST 1301 MATH 1314 ENGL 1301
  HIST 1302 MATH 1316 ENGL 1302
  PSCI 2305    
  PSCI 2306    
  PSYC 2301    
  All Sophomore English Literature    

These courses may only be taken if the developmental sequence has been completed, required testing has been completed, or if the passing TSI score for the corresponding section has been achieved. For further information, contact PASE.

Texas Success Initiative Exemptions: Students who have scored at or above the test scores listed below are exempt. Students can claim partial exemption if composite score is met. For further information, contact PASE.

TEST ENGLISH MATH COMPOSITE
SAT (valid for 5 yrs.) 500 500 1070
ACT (valid for 5 yrs.) 19 19 23
TAAS (valid for 3 yrs.) 89 reading 86 Texas Learning Index
  1170 writing    
TAKS 2200 2200  
  writing sub score -3  

Other Exemptions:

  1. a student who has graduated with an associate or baccalaureate degree from an institution of higher education.
  2. a student who transfers to an institution from a private or independent institution of higher education or an accredited out-of-state institution of higher education and who has satisfactorily completed college-level course work as determined by the receiving institution.
  3. a student who has previously attended any institution and has met the readiness standard of that institution.
  4. a student who is serving on active duty as a member of the armed forces of the United States, the Texas National Guard, or as a member of a reserve component of the armed forces of the United States and has been serving for at least three years preceding enrollment.
  5. a student who on or after August 1, 1990, was honorably discharged, retired, or released from active duty as a member of the armed forces of the United States or the Texas National Guard or from service as a member of a reserve component of the armed forces of the United States.

For more information or for TSI academic advising, students may contact the following offices located on the second and third floors of Killam Library East: KL 318, 203, 205, or 218.

TESTING CENTER AND PASE COMPUTER LAB

The Testing Center coordinates university testing which includes credit by examination, placement testing (THEA and COMPASS), the University Writing Assessment (UWA) and other assessment programs.

The PASE Computer Lab, located on the second floor of Killam Library East in KL 203, supports students’ need for computer access and instruction. PLATO software used for individualized instruction and other software programs are available for students on a drop-in basis.

CREDIT BY EXAMINATION The University allows students to receive a maximum of thirty-three (33) semester hours of credit by examination for specified freshman and sophomore level courses. The University awards credit for scores on certain tests listed in the Catalog. Texas A&M International University also offers eligible students opportunities to earn credits by taking departmental examinations listed in the Catalog as authorized by the appropriate faculty. Regulations concerning credit by examination include:

  1. Students may not receive credit by examination for courses that are prerequisites to courses for which they already have credit except with the approval of the department authorizing the examination and the Dean of the student’s College.
  2. Students may not receive credit by examination for courses in which they have been enrolled through the last day to drop courses without record.
  3. Students will not be eligible for exam credit in a course if they have already taken a more advanced course in that area unless otherwise designated by the Chair of the department in which the subject is offered.
  4. Students who are not successful on an examination may not retake it and must enroll in the course to receive credit.
  5. Students must be officially enrolled at Texas A&M International University to receive official credit with a grade of “CR” or a letter grade. This grade option will be available only in certain disciplines until such time as all credit by examination grade equivalencies are determined by the respective Colleges.

    Students must contact the Testing Center at PASE, located in Killam Library, Room 203 and complete a Petition to Record Credit by Examination form.. The Testing Center will report this information to the Office of the University Registrar for posting on the student transcript. A fee for placing these credits on the transcript may be charged.

ADVANCED PLACEMENT PROGRAM (AP) Examinations offered by the College Board Advanced Placement Program are administered during late spring by high schools. Students usually take the examinations after completing Advanced Placement courses although experience in an AP course is not required. Interested students should contact their high school counselors for information concerning registration and test sites. High school students and currently enrolled students should have the College Board forward their scores to the Office of the University Registrar. Advanced Placement scores of entering freshmen are generally received in late July. Students can receive grade credit or credit only by Advanced Placement (AP) for the following courses:

ARTS 1301 FREN 1312 PHYS 2125
BIOL 1406 HIST 1301 PHYS 2126
CHEM 1411 HIST 1302 PHYS 2301
CHEM 1412 MATH 2413 PSYC 2301
MIS 1305 MATH 2414 SPAN 1311*
ECO 2301 PHYS 1101 SPAN 1312*
ECO 2302 PHYS 1102 SPAN 2311*
ENGL 1301* PHYS 1312 SPAN 2312*
ENGL 1302* PHYS 1375 SPAN 2320*
FREN 1311 PHYS 1376 SPAN 2321*

* Letter grades awarded for these subjects. See Testing Center's "Credit by Examination" brochure available at the Testing Center, KL 203.

College-level EXAMINATION PROGRAM (CLEP) Students can receive a grade or credit by College-level Examination Program (CLEP) for the following courses:

BIOL 1406 ENGL 2328 MATH 2413
BIOL 1407 FREN 1311* PSCI 2305
CHEM 1411 FREN 1312* PSYC 2301
CHEM 1412 FREN 2311 PSYC 2312
ENGL 1301 FREN 2312 SOCI 1301
ENGL 1302 HIST 1301 SPAN 1311
ENGL 2322 HIST 1302 SPAN 1312
ENGL 2323 MATH 1314 SPAN 2311
ENGL 2327 MATH 1316 SPAN 2312

*Letter grades awarded for these subjects. See Testing Center's "Credit by Examination" brochure available at the Testing Center, KL 203.

UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN COLLEGE-LEVEL SPANISH TEST

Students can receive a letter grade or credit taking the University of Wisconsin College-level Spanish Test and placing out of the following courses:

SPAN 1311 SPAN 2311
SPAN 1312 SPAN 2312

DEPARTMENTAL EXAMS
Students can receive credit by Departmental Exams for the following courses: ECO 2301, 2320/EDEC 1304, 1308 Complete information which includes name of test, score needed for exemption, hours earned, course replaced, and course title can be found in Texas A&M International University’s Credit by Exam brochure which can be obtained at the PASE, KL 204 or the Office of the University Registrar, KL 168.

LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY PROGRAM / University Writing Assessment
The Language Proficiency Program (LPP) is coordinated by PASE which: (1) provides ENGL 3301 academic advising, (2) administers the University Writing Assessment, and (3) offers tutoring for university students through The Writing Center. All students will take the University Writing Assessment after completion of ENGL 1301 and 1302. This exam consists of writing an argumentative essay.

Students who do not pass the University Writing Assessment on their first attempt may retest after taking the required course identified in their course sequence as determined by their academic history. Students may also retest after they have passed a sophomore literature class as stipulated in their degree plan. Students who have not passed after two attempts and have not taken ENGL 2309, Advanced Composition, must do so. Student who have not passed after following this sequence must take ENGL 3301, Writing for the Professions.

Students required to take ENGL 3301 must pass the University Writing Assessment in order to pass the course. These students must also satisfactorily complete all other requirements of the course to pass. Students who are not making a serious effort to fulfill these requirements will not be permitted to take the University Writing Assessment. Anyone enrolled in ENGL 3301 who fails the course will receive a grade of “NC” and will be required to repeat the course.

Students should consult the academic calendar listed in the catalog for test dates or contact the Department of Language and Literature or PASE for further information.

Students who have not passed the University Writing Assessment may not enroll in further course work toward graduation beyond 99 SCH applicable to the degree. Transfer students with 99 or more SCH applicable to the degree on their transcripts must meet the University Writing Assessment requirements within the first two semesters (or a long semester and preceding or succeeding summer) enrollment at the university.

Students who have already earned a Bachelor’s degree (or higher) from an accredited institution before entering Texas A&M International University may petition the Chair of the Department of Language and Literature for exemption.

THE WRITING CENTER

The Writing Center offers tutoring for writing in all subject areas; instructional material for students preparing for the writing portion of the THEA (formerly the TASP) and the University Writing Assessment (formerly the Rising Junior Exam); writing workshops; and support for other writing-oriented activities, such as the Reflections literary magazine and the Voices in the Monte Writers Series. The Writing Center is located on the second floor of Killam Library East, KL 218, 326-2883.

CENTER FOR ADVANCEMENT OF SCHOLASTIC ACHIEVEMENT (CASA)

CASA provides content tutoring for currently-enrolled TAMIU students in a variety of university courses and in oral skills. CASA also offers workshops for test preparation in mathematics and reading. CASA is located on the second floor of Killam Library- east 205, 326-2723.

TRIO - STUDENT SUPPORT SERVICES

The TRIO program gives qualifying students an opportunity to receive academic, personal and career counseling and to attend special interest workshops, film and theater presentations, and university and community activities. Students must be first generation students and economically disadvantaged or disabled to participate. Location is Killam Library East 315, 326-2718.

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