College Prep FAQs

Are you wondering what College Preparatory is all about? Click on the FAQ's below to find out more!

Have a question that is not addressed below?  Send us your question via email to

Our College Preparatory department focuses on three things: College Prep Programs, Student Success & Retention.

Per NOSS:  “College Prep programs and services commonly address academic preparedness, diagnostic assessment and placement, development of general and discipline-specific learning strategies, and affective barriers to learning. Developmental education includes, but is not limited to:

  • All forms of learning assistance, such as tutoring, mentoring, and supplemental instruction,
  • Personal, academic, and career counseling,
  • Academic advisement, and coursework.”

San Jacinto College uses the TSIA exam to determine your college readiness levels in math, reading and writing.  Before you meet with an advisor and attend new student orientation, it’s important that you take this exam. Your test scores will determine if you are ready for college level courses, or need a bit more practice with college preparatory courses. Testing takes place at your campus of choice, and can usually be completed in three to four hours. Please visit our Pre-Assessment Activity page to read our Preparation Guide!

San Jacinto College has developed placement guidelines and placement scores to assist students in selecting the proper pathways to reach their academic goals successfully.

The college preparatory program provides multiple paths for students who are not college-ready. This is based on a TSI assessment to reach college readiness. It is the College’s policy that students who are not college-ready in one or more areas begin college preparatory courses at their first enrollment and must continue enrolling in at least one college preparatory class each semester until they are college-ready in all areas.

Students who do not test at the college-ready level in reading, writing, or mathematics have several learning options in the college preparatory program. These options include but are not limited to:

  • Co-Requisite courses
  • Non-course-based options (NCBO's) to address areas of needed work as diagnosed from the assessment
  • Programs that pair college preparatory courses with college-level courses

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s Education Statue (applying to all public institutions of higher education in Texas) indicates that each college will have a differentiated placement system that allows advising and placement of students based on individual strengths and needs. Further the statue indicates that differentiated placement and instruction are required components of the developmental education program.

San Jacinto has in place Differentiated Placement Guidelines to provide a consistent placement of students and also to facilitate advising questions for faculty, educational planners and enrollment staff to determine the optimum placement of each individual student. Guidelines include reviewing things like your TSIA test score, transcripts and background question information obtained from application or Pre-Assessment Activity. We also take into account your life situation such as high school GPA, degrees or certificates earned, years of previous college. We also look at your life skills such as how many hours you work each week, your family support, and if you are supporting children. Each of these things are taken into account when determining your differentiated placement.