Dual Credit Legislative Updates

Date:  December 12, 2019
Subject: Dual Credit Legislative Updates
Category: Funding and Advising Implications
Next Steps:  Share with appropriate staff


Statewide Dual Credit Goals: HB 1638
All dual credit programs are required to establish a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the institution of higher education (IHE) and the public school district (ISD) that details the terms of the partnership. HB 1638, passed by the 85th Texas Legislature and signed by Governor Abbott on May 23, 2017, requires that on or after September 1, 2018, any new, revised, or renewed dual credit MOU or articulation agreement must include the following:

  • a description of how the goals of the dual credit program align with the statewide goals;
  • a course equivalency crosswalk or other method of equating high school courses with college courses that identifies the number of credits that may be earned for each course completed through the dual credit program;
  • a description of the academic supports and guidance that will be provided to students participating in the dual credit program; 
  • a description of the ISD’s and IHE’s respective roles and responsibilities in providing for and ensuring the quality and instructional rigor of the dual credit program; and
  • a description of the sources of funding for dual credit courses offered under the program, including, at a minimum, the sources of funding for tuition, transportation, and any required fees or textbooks for students participating in the dual credit program.

All dual credit MOUs, regardless if new, revised, or renewed, must be posted to the ISD’s and IHE’s respective websites.

Open Education Resources (OER) in Dual Credit Programs: HB 3650 
HB 3650, passed by the 86th Texas Legislature and signed by Governor Abbott on June 10, 2019, adds a requirement that dual credit agreements between ISDs and IHEs should consider using open education resources in each course offered.  This requirement was passed to reduce the costs to students enrolled in dual credit courses. Currently, an IHE can impose a cost to a school district for instructional materials; however, many colleges already use OER in dual credit courses. Please consider the use of free or low-cost instructional materials in any upcoming articulation agreement. 

Filing Student Degree Plan: Senate Bill 25
Senate Bill 25, passed by the 86th Texas Legislature and signed by Governor Abbott on June 14, 2019, requires that a student enrolled in a course for joint high school and junior college credit under Texas Education Code, Section 130.008, at a public junior college file a degree plan with the college not later than:

  • the end of the second regular semester or term immediately following the semester or term in which the student earned a cumulative total of 15 or more; or
  • if the student begins the student's first semester or term at the college with 15 or more semester credit hours of course credit for dual credit courses. 
  • An IHE shall provide students with information regarding the degree plan filing requirement and options for consulting with an academic advisor. 
  • At each registration for a semester or term, a student who is required to have filed a degree plan under this section before that semester or term shall verify to the institution that:
    • the student has filed a degree plan with the institution; and
    • the courses for which the student is registering are consistent with that degree plan.
  • If a student does not timely file a degree plan, the IHE shall notify the student the degree plan is required by law and require the student to consult with an academic advisor for that purpose during the semester or term in which the student receives the notice.  
  • The student may not obtain an official transcript from the institution until the student has filed a degree plan with the institution.

TSIA 2.0
TEA and THECB are collaborating in the revision and launch of the Texas Success Initiative Assessment 2.0 (TSIA2). The release date for the new exams is August 31, 2020.  The TSIA2 will include an integrated reading and writing section. Students will have access to a free online score report with TSIA recommended test preparation support. Watch the K-12 webinar presented on October 28 to learn more (linked below).

Professional development sessions with schedules for release are being developed with both online and face-to-face delivery. Continue to watch TEA communications via newsletters, websites, and TAA Communications for spring updates.

Webinar: Texas Success Initiative Assessment 2.0 (TSIA2) Information and Implementation Plan Overview (Video).  Webinar presenters are THECB’s Dr. Suzanne Morales-Vale, Director of Developmental and Adult Education, and Mr. Keylan Morgan, Program Specialist, Developmental Education.

As of 2019, nearly two-thirds of Texas school districts are TSIA Institutions providing timely assessments for their students with diagnostic data to provide targeted tutorials for students and inform curriculum decisions. As published, when the TSIA was first initiated, scores indicating benchmarks have been met can be used for five years.  Scores earned by students through the month of August 2020 may be used for enrollment in dual credit and college credit courses for a period of five years, through Summer 2025.  Students who have not reached the college ready score for enrollment prior to August 31, 2020 must take the new TSIA2.

For questions, please visit the Advanced Academics website or send an email to advancedacademics@tea.texas.gov.