Collaborating for college success: HCC and HISD team up to host TSI Boot Camp

By Donald Sparks, HCC Central Communications Director

May 9, 2024

HCC faculty members provided instruction for the TSI Bootcamp on April 27.

As Dr. Anthony Green energetically stepped into the classroom filled with HISD students ready to provide instruction on Sentence Revision, Editing and Completion, little did they know how they would be challenged to expand their understanding of language and learning.

A professor of Intensive English ESOL at Houston Community College Central, Green was one of 10 HCC faculty providing instruction for the TSI Bootcamp held April 27 at the South Early College High School.

The event was part of a partnership between HCC P-16 and College Readiness and Houston Independent School District (HISD) Post-Secondary Programming dedicated to preparing students for the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) exam subsections, necessary to demonstrate college-readiness in reading, writing and mathematics.

“This is a very strategic learning pathway between HCC and HISD,” Green said. “The collaboration and partnership have always been necessary. It's effective. It's efficient. It's creative. It's intense. Scientific research shows that when higher ed institutions collaborate with P-16, that the pathway to college is more likely and students are more likely to succeed.” 

Nearly 200 students from across HISD arrived for the bootcamp which included eight instructional sections, rotating through 50-minute classes based on the TSI exam subsections.

The bootcamp was offered to students from ninth to 12th grade, with the majority in their sophomore year and seeking to get an early jump on dual credit opportunities to obtain college credit, that can lead to the completion of a postsecondary degree or certificate.

Collaboration between HCC P-16 and College Readiness and HISD addressed duplicate efforts by both institutions and consolidated TSI preparation into one effort. According to Casey Chavez, dean, Dual Credit Partnerships & Initiatives, the TSI Bootcamps are designed to prepare students for the TSIA2 exam through rigorous and engaging in-person and platform-based instruction provided by HCC faculty.

“We [HCC and HISD] both collectively saw that there was a need in the community, and we wanted to expand an opportunity for students desiring to participate for dual credit,” Chavez said. “We created the bootcamp to provide TSI assistance.”

The HCC Dual Credit Program allows high school students to earn college credit and high school credit through dual enrollment with HCC while still in high school. The PIC (Dual Credit) Department worked with content experts in various departments to develop a curriculum that focuses on the eight TSIA areas of assessment.

“They may need more help in a particular subject, they're getting very focused, instruction on that subject,” Chavez said. “They're getting instruction specifically in the areas that they need the help.”

According to Michael Koch, HISD director of post-secondary programming, the bootcamp provided an invaluable day of TSI preparation, but also gave the students a first-hand look of what it’s like to learn in a college environment.

“The instructors are fantastic, and they really have embraced the fact that these are high school students, and that this is developmental content for the students from a collegiate perspective,” Koch said. “The level and quality of instruction, the alignment to what the students need for the TSI is so closely linked with the exam. They’re setting students up to be successful.”

Koch added, “the kids are excited about taking a class from a college professor, which is different than their norm of seeing their high school teachers.”

For high school students Sydnie Lockett and Alexander Hera, the TSI Bootcamp gave both something they said they needed – confidence in taking the TSI.

“I hoped to learn something new and have a new outlook on things especially when it comes to math because it's a harder subject for me,” Lockett said. “I really am thankful for the support and I feel more confident.”

Stating that he’s always been good at math, Hera appreciated and was excited for the opportunity to sit and learn in a classroom with a college professor as the instructor.

“It's really exciting because now I know what to expect when I go to college,” Hera said. “My outlook and confidence are definitely a lot better than they were before.”

Dr. Muddassir Siddiq, president, HCC Central College, praised the efforts of the HCC P-16 and College Readiness team for their efforts in making the boot camp a success.

“A very special thanks to Jodi Khan [college director, HCC P-16] for putting her efforts and focus on hosting such events in our service area,” Siddiqi said. “I believe it would help our students learn and practice TSI and prepare them for the next step in their educational journey.”

The TSI Bootcamp was part of a partnership between HCC P-16 and College Readiness and Houston Independent School District (HISD) Post-Secondary Programming. 

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