ESC 20, AVATAR, and San Antonio Pathways Partner for House Bill 5 College-Prep Course Development

June 2014 | Houston, Texas
BY: Amy Williams

Education Service Center Region 20 continues to facilitate the development of the Math and English/Language arts (ELAR) college preparatory courses per House Bill 5. Their alignment partnerships include local independent school districts, Alamo Colleges and UTSA. Beginning in August, this course will be offered to high school seniors who have demonstrated that they are not college and career ready.

Since efforts began in October 2013, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) college and career readiness (CCR) partners AVATAR and San Antonio Pathways have joined the college-prep course committees for Math and ELAR. Over the last seven months, focused efforts on how to identify secondary and post-secondary learning gaps have resulted in the ELAR committee now being able to draft course syllabi, course content, and grading rubrics that will be used in the college prep course.

“To determine the learning outcomes for each course, the two content committees [ELA and Mathematics] reviewed TEKS, college and career readiness standards, and learning outcomes of Institutions of Higher Education courses,” explained Ravae Shaeffer, Coordinator of College and Career Readiness at ESC 20. “The College and Career Readiness standards were a huge part of the conversation, as all stakeholders believe that habits of the mind and college readiness are essential bridges for this gap between 12th grade and College Algebra/Composition in Institutions of Higher Education.”

Conversations regarding what materials will be used for course instruction have also begun. Many of the committee members have suggested using THECB-funded CCR materials, such as aligned lesson plans created by CRAFT, San-Antonio Pathways, and AVATAR.  The decision will be made in future meetings.

As course development and finalization continues, other areas such as teacher preparation and selection will also begin to be discussed.

“Teams have now been joined together to complete the task of developing the professional development to train teachers who will be teaching the course,” said Tripp Presley, San Antonio Pathways Coordinator and Director of P-16 Initiatives at Alamo Colleges. “Each team member accepted responsibility for developing a part of that training before the next meeting.”

The Math and ELAR group’s progress is now available to the public and includes the partnership MOU, final syllabus, sample parent letters and professional development opportunities.  All materials can be found at

Stay tuned for consistent updates on the progress of HB5’s college prep course development occurring around Texas and feel free to contact us with your region’s stories.