Section 3: Programs
The institution has a defined and published policy for evaluating, awarding, and accepting credit for transfer, experiential learning, advanced placement, and professional certificates that is consistent with its mission and ensures that course work and learning outcomes are at the collegiate level and comparable to the institutionís own degree programs. The institution assumes responsibility for the academic quality of any course work or credit recorded on the institutionís transcript.
Western Texas College publishes policies for the evaluation and acceptance of academic credit. Policies governing transfer of courses are in keeping with standards established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) in the Lower Level Academic Course Guide Manual (ACGM) (LINK to pp.197-205) THECB Rule 4.24 (c), “Transfer of Credit,” which states “Institutional policies regarding acceptance of credit for correspondence courses, credit-by-examination, and other credit-earning instruments must be consistent with Southern Association of Colleges and Schools guidelines and must treat transfer students and native students in the same manner.” In accordance with §61.830 of the Texas Education Code, WTC publishes transfer policies in the college catalog (LINK to pp. 24-27) and on the college web site (LINK)
To ensure that transfer course work is of the same standard as required by WTC, the College only accepts courses based on the semester or quarter hour systems from regionally accredited colleges. The evaluation of courses completed at Texas colleges is facilitated by the use of the Texas Common Course Numbering System (TCCNS), the Lower Level Academic Course Guide Manual (ACGM) http://www.thecb.state.tx.us/AAR/UndergraduateEd/WorkforceEd/acgm.htm and The Workforce Education Course Manual (WECM) (LINK) http://www.thecb.state.tx.us/AAR/UndergraduateEd/WorkforceEd/wecm/ . The TCCNS is a common set of numbers and courses that are used statewide to enhance transferability of university-transfer courses. The ACGM describes academic courses that may be taught at community colleges in the state of Texas, and each course description includes the Texas Common Course Number (if applicable). WECM is a web-based manual that lists vocational courses that may be taught at the community college level and includes a statewide listing of numbers for ease of transferability of workforce education courses between institutions. The ACGM and WECM are produced by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, which governs coursework offered at community colleges in Texas. Other courses from colleges that do not participate in TCCNS, including out-of-state institutions, are evaluated through a transcript evaluation process. In this process, course descriptions from the originating institution are compared for content with WTC course descriptions. Evaluations are verified by WTC instructors in the appropriate content area.
Beyond the above-described process, the justification and rationale for program equivalency are included in the WTC Catalog (LINK to p.32 ) and on the college web site. http://wtc.edu/admissions/transfer.htm In addition, §61.821-830 of the Texas Education Code provides guidance regarding the transfer and acceptance of academic credit.
Up to 42 semester credit hours are awarded for associate degree level work for military training based on the American Council on Education's Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services (LINK http://militaryguides.acenet.edu) and The National Guide to Educational Credit for Training Programs (LINK https://www.acenet.edu/nationalguide)(publications are also on file in the registrar's office). Qualified faculty, the Dean of Instruction, and the Registrar evaluate and approve the credit awarded for course equivalency. Credit earned through the course equivalency process is recorded on the student's transcript after the completion of one semester on campus at WTC. Approximately 3-4 of these are awarded each year.
Three semester hours of credit for CDEC 1301 (Introduction to Early Childhood Education) are awarded to Early Childhood Education students who possess a Child Development Associate certification. In addition, nine semester credit hours may be awarded to students who have completed a law enforcement training program after 1983 that was approved by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education (http://www.tcleose.state.tx.us/ ) and demonstrate that they have passed the Texas Basic Peace Officer Licensing Examination (overview link). Also, six semester credit hours may be awarded to students who have completed correctional officer training and who have been certified as Texas Correctional Officers. These policies are published in the college catalog. (LINK to p. 99) Qualified faculty, the dean of workforce education, the dean of instruction, and the registrar determine the course equivalency credit awarded through this process. WTC processes 3 or 4 such requests per year. The complete files are available in the registrar's office.
Credit may be awarded to students entering certain health occupations programs for prior completion of Emergency Medical Technology as outlined in the WTC Catalog. (LINK to p. 33) Credit awards are determined by qualified faculty, the Associate Dean of Workforce Education, the Dean of Instruction, and the Registrar. WTC processes 1 or 2 such requests per year. The complete files are available in the registrar's office.
Policies on course equivalency related to credit awarded through ACT, DANTES, and/or Advanced Placement Program (APP) tests are provided in the college catalog. (LINK to pp. 53-56) CLEP credit is awarded based upon cutoff scores that are determined by evaluating the tests against course learning outcomes. A list of WTC-approved CLEP tests, course equivalencies, and cutoff scores is provided in the college catalog. (LINK to pp. 55-56) Information regarding cutoff scores for DANTES, ACT, and APP tests is available to students through the Counseling Center. Decisions on the appropriateness of a given test and the cutoff score established for that test are determined by qualified faculty and the Dean of Instruction. Students requesting credit through advanced placement must complete admissions requirements for WTC and pass all sections of the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) http://www.thecb.state.tx.us/OS/SuccessInitiatives/DevEd/faq.cfm#Q6 test that relate to the course for which credit is requested. Credit is awarded only after the student successfully completes one semester on campus. The practices for awarding credit using this method are consistent with common practices at other colleges, as well as with recommendations from the respective testing companies. WTC processes 10 to15 of these requests per semester. The complete files are available in the registrar's office.
WTC participates in the Advanced Technical Credit (ATC) program, http://www.atctexas.org/ as a member of the West Central Texas Tech Prep Consortium. ATC is a statewide articulation program that uses established common standards and guidelines for awarding college credit for select high school courses. Agreements between secondary schools and WTC specify a six-year Tech Prep educational pathway that is approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Students who successfully complete approved secondary courses and meet the requirements outlined in the Standard Articulation Agreement http://www.atctexas.org/articulation/college_guide/section_2B.pdf are eligible to receive articulated credit for corresponding college courses offered by WTC. Credit is given for non-transferable workforce education courses. Instructors in the ATC program must have a baccalaureate degree or higher in the teaching discipline or an associate degree and three years of work experience related to the teaching discipline (ATC Faculty Guidelines). http://www.atctexas.org/articulation/college_guide/section_1.pdf Instructors must also be certified to teach in Texas public schools by the State Board for Educator Certification. The Dean of Workforce Education, Dean of Instruction, and the Registrar determine the student's eligibility to receive credit through the ATC process (ATC Course Equivalency Form), http://www.atctexas.org/articulation/studentform.PDF. WTC processes between 20 and 25 of these requests per year. The complete files are available in the registrar's office.
WTC awards course-specific college credit in subject-appropriate areas for students who score with at least four on related International Baccalaureate Diploma exams. This is as a result of a Senate Bill 111, (link) “International Baccalaureate Diploma,” passed by the Texas State Legislature. To date, no student has been awarded credit using this method.
Based upon the policies and procedures in place for evaluating, awarding, and accepting credit, WTC assumes responsibility for the academic quality of any coursework or credit displayed on a WTC transcript. WTC guarantees transferability of courses that are listed in the Lower Level Academic Course Manual and identified by the Texas Common Course Numbering System.
Evidence of Support:
Additional, per EB:
WTC College Catalog
Links to ACE manuals?
Advanced Technical Credit (ATC) program
Advanced Technical Credit (ATC); College Participating
WTC Student “Request for Credit” Form
Senate Bill 111; International Baccalaureate Diploma