Emails (excerpted), Dominic Chavez, senior director, External Relations, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, May 17, 2013

11:56 am

Subchapter U of the Texas Education Code establishes the Uniform Admissions Policy for our public universities.  Sec 51.803 in this subchapter (the section related to Top 10% policy) states the following:

 

Sec. 51.803.  AUTOMATIC ADMISSION:  ALL INSTITUTIONS.  (a)  Subject to Subsection (a-1), each general academic teaching institution shall admit an applicant for admission to the institution as an undergraduate student if the applicant graduated with a grade point average in the top 10 percent of the student's high school graduating class in one of the two school years preceding the academic year for which the applicant is applying for admission and:

(1)  the applicant graduated from a public or private high school in this state accredited by a generally recognized accrediting organization or from a high school operated by the United States Department of Defense;

(2)  the applicant:

(A)  successfully completed:

(i)  at a public high school, the curriculum requirements established under Section 28.025 for the recommended or advanced high school program; or

(ii)  at a high school to which Section 28.025 does not apply, a curriculum that is equivalent in content and rigor to the recommended or advanced high school program; or

 

The recommended high school program is laid out in TEA rule as follows:

§74.73. Recommended High School Program.

(a) Credits. A student must earn at least 26 credits to complete the Recommended High School Program.

(b) Core courses. A student must demonstrate proficiency in the following:

(1) English language arts--four credits. The credits must consist of English I, II, III, and IV. (Students with limited English proficiency who are at the beginning or intermediate level of English language proficiency, as defined by §74.4(d) of this title (relating to English Language Proficiency Standards), may satisfy the English I and English II graduation requirements by successfully completing English I for Speakers of Other Languages and English II for Speakers of Other Languages.)

(2) Mathematics--four credits. Three of the credits must consist of Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry.

(A) The additional credit may be Mathematical Models with Applications and must be successfully completed prior to Algebra II.

(B) The fourth credit may be selected from the following courses:

(i) Precalculus;

(ii) Independent Study in Mathematics;

(iii) Advanced Quantitative Reasoning;

(iv) Advanced Placement (AP) Statistics;

(v) AP Calculus AB;

(vi) AP Calculus BC;

(vii) AP Computer Science;

(viii) International Baccalaureate (IB) Mathematical Studies Standard Level;

(ix) IB Mathematics Standard Level;

(x) IB Mathematics Higher Level;

(xi) IB Further Mathematics Standard Level; and

(xii) pursuant to the Texas Education Code (TEC), §28.025(b-5), a mathematics course endorsed by an institution of higher education as a course for which the institution would award course credit or as a prerequisite for a course for which the institution would award course credit. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) shall maintain a current list of courses approved under this clause.

...

 

Dom

 

 

 

Dominic M. Chavez

Senior Director

Office of External Relations

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

12:27 pm

So the options for qualifying under top 10 (or now Top 8 for UT) are

 

(2)  the applicant:

(A)  successfully completed:

(i)  at a public high school, the curriculum requirements established under Section 28.025 for the recommended or advanced high school program; or

(ii)  at a high school to which Section 28.025 does not apply, a curriculum that is equivalent in content and rigor to the recommended or advanced high school program; or

(B)  satisfied ACT's College Readiness Benchmarks on the ACT assessment applicable to the applicant or earned on the SAT assessment a score of at least 1,500 out of 2,400 or the equivalent;

 

 

So yes, a student could technically be in the minimum HS program (which does not require Algebra II) but meet the ACT college readiness benchmarks OR score as indicated on SAT.  But this is probably a microscopic population since overall only 24% of all Texas students meet the ACT college readiness benchmarks.  Would be very difficult to meet the math benchmarks WITHOUT taking Algebra II.  Not impossible, but not very likely.

 

Let me check with our data people on your other question.  We collect the data on top 10% students, but not sure it is reported to us HOW they qualified (e.g. by curriculum or the college readiness exception)

 

Dom

3:54 pm

...we don't have the data broken-down by who qualified via which pathway.

Dominic M. Chavez

Senior Director, External Relations

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board