Mar 24, 2023  
2019-2020 Catalog 
2019-2020 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

General Requirements for Degrees and Certificates

Transfer Associate Degrees

Arts and Sciences offer programs for transfer to baccalaureate degree-granting institutions.  Students planning to transfer to a senior college or university should consult the catalog of that institution, a faculty advisor, the Registrar, or guidance office when planning their courses to meet specific degree requirements.

General degree requirements are outlined below.  Specific program majors can be found in the Associate Degree Transfer Programs  section of the catalog.

Associate of Arts

  • Core Curriculum  42 semester hours
  • Science Labs 2 semester hours 1
  • Learning Framework (EDUC/PSYC 1100) OR Physical Education Course 1 semester hour 2
  • Electives 15 semester hours 3

Associate of Science

  • Core Curriculum  42 semester hours
  • Science Labs 2 semester hours 1
  • Learning Framework (EDUC/PSYC 1100) OR Physical Education Course 1 semester hour 2
  • Electives 15 semester hours 3

1 All Life & Physical Science lecture courses have corresponding lab sections as co-requisite requirements.  Permission to waive the lab requirement may be granted by an advisor only if evidence is presented to demonstrate that the lab sections do not meet degree requirements at the college or university to which a student is transferring.  If the co-requisite lab requirement is waived, additional elective credit hours must be completed in order to meet the 60 SCH graduation requirement.

2 All students are encouraged to complete this course during the first semester of enrollment.  All first time in college students that take one or more college preparatory courses will be required to take Learning Framework the first long semester they are enrolled.  Transfer students with proven success in college-level course work who do not wish to take Learning Framework may enroll in a Physical Education course with approval from an advisor.  Students placed on Scholastic Probation will be required to enroll in Learning Framework the next semester of enrollment (if they have not already successfully completed the course).

3 Students should consult with an advisor for assistance in selecting electives that will apply toward a specific major at a four-year college or university. 

For the Associate of Arts degree, students are encouraged to select electives from their chosen area of study and/or from the following core curriculum areas:

  • Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Creative Arts
  • Language, Philosophy, and Culture

For the Associate of Science degree, students are encouraged to select electives from their chosen area of study and/or the following core curriculum areas:

  • Mathematics
  • Life and Physical Sciences
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences

Electives should be selected from academic transfer courses. Workforce education courses may be taken if approved by an advisor. Electives may include Physical Education courses as approved by an advisor.

Associate of Arts in Teaching

This degree is awarded upon the completion of a curriculum which has been designed based on the guidelines established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and parallels the first two years of a Texas four-year college or university program.  It is strongly advised that prospective teacher certification candidates consult an advisor with regard to courses required by a proposed transfer institution.

To complete the Associate of Arts in Teaching degree, a student must:

  1. Complete the Core Curriculum .
  2. Complete all courses in the degree program .

Associate of Applied Science Degree

The Associate of Applied Science Degree is designed for the student pursuing a two-year specialized collegiate level career technical education program of study that will prepare him or her for immediate employment in business or industry. Each Associate of Applied Science Degree contains a minimum of 15 semester credit hours of general education coursework, including a minimum of one course each in Humanities / Fine Arts, Social / Behavioral Science, and Natural Science / Mathematics.  The general educational requirements and the specified career technical education courses for the program in which the student is enrolled must be met in order to qualify for the degree. Advising should be sought as early as possible. Specific course requirements for individual programs can be found in the Career Technical Education and Health Professions section of this catalog.

Associate of Applied Science
Subject Credit Hours
 English 3
 Speech 3*
 Computer Science 3*
 Social/Behavioral Science 3
 Natural Science/Mathematics 3
 Humanities/Fine Arts 3
 Courses from area of specialization 42
TOTAL  60**

*Speech (oral communication) and computer skills are integrated in the program-specific courses found in the Dental Hygiene, Nursing, Radiologic Technology, and Respiratory Care programs.

**Dental Hygiene, Radiologic Technology, Respiratory Care, and Interpreter Training programs require additional semester credit hours as approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

Certificate of Completion

Certificates Level I and II will be conferred for those completing the designated courses and general requirements as outlined in the Career Technical Education and Health Professions section of the catalog.

Second Degree/Advanced Certificates

Students wishing to graduate from Howard College/SWCD may apply for only one degree and/or certificate during the same semester in which the student plans to meet graduation requirements for that particular degree and/or certificate. After receiving any degree from Howard College/SWCD, a student must complete a minimum of twelve additional semester hours at Howard College before earning a separate degree or advanced certificate in a different major course of study. More than 12 semester hours may be required to complete the second degree depending on the course requirements in the major course of study.

The additional hours required must be completed after the date on which the first degree/certificate was awarded. A student may earn only one AAS in each program area. Multiple Certificates may be earned in the same program area.

Core Curriculum Completion

To facilitate transferability of lower division courses, Texas law (Senate Bill 148) requires each institution of higher education to adopt a core curriculum of at least 42 semester credit hours. The core curriculum can be transferred in block to any state college to be substituted for the core of the receiving institution. Howard College/SWCD will designate core curriculum courses completed by a student on the official Howard College/SWCD transcript. If a student satisfies all component areas, the message “Core Curriculum Completed” will appear on the transcript.  A student who transfers without completing the core curriculum of Howard College/SWCD shall receive academic credit within the core curriculum of the receiving institution for each of the courses that the student has successfully completed in the core curriculum of the sending institution.  Course options within each foundational component area are listed in the Core Curriculum  section of the Catalog.

Field of Study Completion

A Field of Study Curriculum is a set of courses that will satisfy the lower-division requirements for a baccalaureate degree in a specific academic area at a general academic teaching institution. Field of study curriculum, mandated in Senate Bill 148 of the 75th Texas Legislature, facilitates free transferability of lower-division academic courses among Texas public colleges and universities. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board is responsible for developing and approving academic courses that fulfill the lower-division requirements for majors that correspond to the field of study. The Coordinating Board has approved fields of study for the following disciplines: business, communication, computer science, criminal justice, engineering, engineering technology, Mexican-American studies, music, and nursing. Howard College/SWCD does not necessarily offer all the courses in each of the fields of study listed by the Coordinating Board.