Admission to Semester Credit Hour Programs
The Howard County Junior College District maintains an “open door” policy that admits applicants who have earned a high school diploma or general education development (GED) certificate and others under certain conditions. College entrance tests and high school rank are not criteria for acceptance. Falsification of admission records will result in permanent suspension from the college.
Who is Eligible for Admission?
At Howard College/SWCD, admission is open to anyone who meets the following requirements:
- Has earned a high school diploma or HSE/ GED certificate.
- Is 18 years of age or older without a high school diploma or HSE/GED certificate and can prove the ability to successfully complete college courses. A completed individual approval form must be submitted to the admissions office. Designated campus officials will review requests and make recommendation to the lead official on each campus for final approval. Students admitted on individual approval without a GED or high school diploma are not eligible to receive Title IV federal financial assistance.
- Is a high school student participating in a dual credit or early admission program.
- Based on state law, unimpaired hearing students cannot enroll in SWCD unless it is educationally appropriate or in such special programs needed to train hearing and hearing-impaired persons to become professional service providers for the deaf.
Prospective students who do not meet any of the categories above should contact the Admissions Office to discuss criteria for exceptional admissions standards that may be applicable.
Applicants must complete the following steps to begin taking credit classes at Howard College/SWCD. The process varies for dual credit, early admission, and international students.
- Complete a Howard College/SWCD application, including residency information, and submit high school transcript; GED certificate, if applicable; and all college transcripts.
- Determine your TSI (Texas Success Initiative) status and schedule an assessment if required. All Howard College/SWCD students, unless exempt or TSI waived, must take the state approved test for TSI before enrolling at Howard College/SWCD. Results of this test will not be a condition of admission, but will be used for placement purposes. See the Success Initiative section of the catalog for additional information.
- Additional information needed for SWCD students (deaf and hard of hearing students only)
- A current audiogram
- ACT/SAT/TSIA Scores for advising and placement purposes
- Name, address, phone number, fax number and email of VR counselor (if available)
- Certification of Deafness for Tuition Waiver (Texas residents)
- Meet with an advisor to select classes. (SWCD students meet with an advisor to discuss degree plan and select classes during New Student Orientation (NSO))
- Attend New Student Orientation (NSO)
- Register when eligible and pay by the deadline listed in the current course schedule
- Submit accommodations request if needed for disabilities. (SWCD students - If you expect to request ADA accommodations for disability (or disabilities) other than deafness, please be prepared to provide official documentation during NSO or SWCD on-site registration.)
NOTE: Admission to Howard College/SWCD does not guarantee enrollment into career technical programs that maintain additional entrance requirements.
- Unofficial transcripts may be used for advising and registration purposes.
- Transfer students are required to provide official transcripts from every college or university previously attended. NOTE: For students applying for financial aid, a degree audit with all transfer hours will need to be submitted to the Financial Aid Office before financial aid eligibility can be determined.
- All official transcripts must be on file within 30 days after classes begin for a regular semester (within 7 days after the start of a mini, summer, and/or flex term).
- Students may be dropped from courses and will not be allowed to enroll in further courses if all official transcripts are not received.
- An official “hold” will be placed on a student’s file until all official transcripts are received.
- Official high school transcripts must show proof of graduation, including date.
- A Howard College/SWCD official transcript will not be released if a student’s file has a “hold” placed on their record.
The Admissions Office on each campus can assist students in obtaining transcripts from other institutions. These requests, including the official name of the institution(s), should be made in writing (email, fax, land mail, etc.). The Admissions Office will send the request directly to the institution(s) as requested.
Requests for HC/SWCD transcripts should be submitted in writing (email, fax, land mail, etc.) to the Admissions Office. Most institutions have the capability of receiving electronic transcripts. This is the fastest and most effective method for sending HC/SWCD transcripts to other institutions. If an institution does not have the capability of receiving electronic transcripts, the transcript will be mailed. It is not the policy of Howard College to fax transcripts. However, in certain situations and when the college is not in a registration period, the college will fax a transcript to another college or university with a written request. Transcript request forms can be found on the HC/SWCD website.
Returning Howard College/SWCD Students
Howard College/SWCD does not require current and former students to reapply for admission. However, students must clear any holds placed on their records before re-enrolling. Former students returning after two semesters are required to:
- Complete a new residency information form,
- Update address and major when applicable; and
- Submit official transcripts from all colleges attended since last enrollment at Howard College/SWCD
Academic Fresh Start
Texas residents may seek admission to any Texas public post-secondary institution based on the academic fresh start statute, Texas Education Code 51.931. Based on the statute, Howard College/SWCD applicants may request the college to disregard academic course credits or grades earned 10 or more years before the start of the semester for which they are seeking to enroll. Applicants must inform the Admissions Office in writing if they wish to elect the academic fresh start option. Academic fresh start applicants may not receive any semester credit hours for courses taken 10 or more years before enrollment.
Dual credit is a program that allows high school students to enroll in college courses while still attending high school. Courses are taken in place of the normal course load at high school. High school as well as college credit will be earned upon successful completion of the course. Students must have permission in writing from their high school principal or counselor, permission of the student’s parent/guardian, and must present an official high school transcript. Students must satisfy Texas Success Initiative (TSI) requirements prior to enrolling in college-level course work. See the college Admission Office or high school counseling office for dual credit applications and forms.
The Early Admission Program at Howard College/SWCD offers an opportunity for high school juniors and seniors to progress and earn college credits toward the associate or bachelor’s degree while completing requirements for high school graduation. The program is not in competition with, or in lieu of, high school required or elective credits, but is designed to permit selected students to make more constructive use of their time where, due to class scheduling or high learning capacities, seniors may have free time to enroll in college courses. Students do not receive high school credit for courses taken as Early Admission. The student should contact a high school counselor or the Howard College Admissions Office for an application to the Early Admission Program. The application must be signed by the student, the high school principal or counselor, and the student’s parent/guardian. This form should then be forwarded or brought to the admissions office of Howard College/SWCD.
Reporting Changes in Name, Address, or Social Security Number
Students must provide their current home address to the Admissions Office. Students who change their name, home address, or Social Security number must submit a change form immediately to the Admissions Office. Items sent to the address on file are considered properly delivered by Howard College/SWCD. The college may require official proof of residency. Students are issued an official Howard College email address that will be used for official correspondence between Howard College and the student. Students may submit an additional email address which can be added or updated as needed through the Admissions Office.
The Texas Department of Health urges immunization for bacterial meningitis, diphtheria, rubeola, rubella, mumps, tetanus, and poliomyelites before being admitted to school (see additional information below regarding the bacterial meningitis vaccination requirement). The Student Services Office has information on local immunization providers. Health Professions students may have additional immunization requirements. Immunizations are required of students living in residence halls.
Bacterial Meningitis Vaccination Requirement
Senate Bill 1107 requires all students entering a public, private, or independent institution of higher education in Texas as of January 2012 and thereafter to provide documentation that they have had a meningococcal (bacterial meningitis) vaccine or ‘booster’ dose within the last five years and at least 10 days prior to the first day of class.
Students who fail to submit required meningitis vaccination documents will be restricted from registering for classes.
The meningitis vaccination requirement applies to:
- All first time students at Howard College/SWCD.
- All students who are transferring from any institution of higher education to Howard College/SWCD.
- All students who previously attended Howard College/SWCD, and who are enrolling following a break of enrollment of at least one fall or spring semester. (Students who complete a spring semester at HC/SWCD, are not enrolled for the summer at HC/SWCD, and who return in the fall are considered ‘continuing students’ and are not included in this requirement.)
Students EXEMPT from this requirement:
- Students who will be age 22 or older on the first day of classes of the semester in which you are enrolling at HC/SWCD.
- Currently enrolled HC/SWCD students.
- Students who will be enrolled only in online or distance education courses. (A completed, signed and dated copy of HC/SWCD’s Bacterial Meningitis Exemption Form is required to request this exemption.) Howard College/SWCD students who wish to reside in the residence halls must receive the bacterial meningitis vaccination even if they are enrolled in only online courses.
- Students who present an affidavit signed by a licensed physician stating the vaccination would be injurious to the health or well-being of the student.
- Students who decline the vaccine due to reasons of conscience, including a religious belief. The official Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) form must be used. This form is available at https://corequestjc.dshs.texas.gov/. Fill out the requested information online and print the form. This form must be submitted to the Admissions Office for processing.
- Students enrolled in a dual credit course which is taught at a public or private K-12 facility not located on a higher education institution campus.
- Continuing Education and Adult Education & Literacy (AEL) students attending courses or programs that are less than 360 contact hours.
- Students incarcerated in a Texas prison.
Acceptable documentation to prove that you have met the meningococcal vaccine requirement:
- The signature or stamp of a physician or his/her designee or public health personnel on a form that shows the month, day and year of your most recent meningococcal vaccination or booster dose;
- An official immunization record generated from a state or local health authority that includes the same information as above; or
- An official record received from school officials, including a record from another state, that includes the same information as above.
Contact the Admissions Office for more information or go to www.CollegeVaccineRequirements.com.
To be considered a Texas resident, students must legally reside in Texas at least 12 months before enrollment into Howard College/SWCD and must be either U.S. Citizens or have permanent resident status. Howard College/SWCD recognizes the following classifications when setting tuition rates:
- In-district students - Texas residents (resided in Texas for 12 consecutive months) are considered in-district if they have resided in Howard County taxing district for 6 consecutive months.
- Out-of-district students - Texas residents who reside outside of the Howard County taxing district.
- Out-of-state students - Individuals who have not resided in Texas for the last 12 months or whose permanent resident card is less than 12 months old.
- International students - see the International Student Advisor for information on residency requirements.
- Students are responsible for registering under the proper residency classification. Any question concerning this classification should be clarified with the Admissions Office before enrollment. Rules and regulations for determining residence status are defined under Title 3 of the Texas Education Code. To determine the appropriate residency classification, Howard College/SWCD is required to review enrollment documents for errors, inconsistencies or misclassifications of residency. The college will take the necessary steps to see that appropriate adjustments are made if a misclassification occurs. Additional documentation of Texas residency may be required if the college determines that the information given on the enrollment documents is not adequate to prove residency.
- Students who wish to change their residence status must complete a Petition for Reclassification prior to the census date of the course for the term. For more information about residence status, please contact the Admissions Office.
Transferring Credit to Howard College/SWCD
A student transferring from another accredited college or university is ordinarily eligible for admission if he or she is eligible for readmission to the institution that he or she previously attended. The following conditions apply:
- A student on academic or disciplinary suspension from the last school attended will be considered for admission to Howard College on an individual basis only.
- Students with a grade point average below a 2.0 from the last college attended will be placed on academic probation and will be subject to the conditions outlined in the Scholastic Progress Standards section of the Catalog and Student Handbook.
- See Core Curriculum for specific transfer information on core curriculum courses.
- General elective credits for courses in which a passing grade (“D” or better) has been earned may be transferred from any college accredited through one of the regional accrediting associations, such as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Credits may not be transferred from any U.S. institution not so accredited.
- Developmental, remedial or any other non-degree credit course cannot be used for transfer or in determining the 2.0 (“C”) transfer average.
- Course work completed at colleges outside the United States will be considered for transfer on an individual basis. See the International Student Policy .
- Howard College/SWCD awards transfer credit for “credit by examination” if it is included on an official transcript from an accredited college or university, if it is within the established 18-hour limit, and if it is appropriately related to the student’s educational program (see Credit by Examination in this catalog).
- Transfer policies and requirements may vary for career technical programs. Students should contact specific program offices for information on transferring credit to HC/SWCD.
Transferring Credit from Howard College/SWCD
Most of the courses taught by Howard College/SWCD are transferable. Courses with numbers following the course description are academic courses approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. These courses are transferable to public colleges in Texas; remedial, developmental, or preparatory courses are exceptions. However, courses that will transfer may not be required for all majors.
Courses that do not have numbers following the course description are approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board as technical courses. Although some of these courses will transfer to various colleges, they are designed for two-year technical programs and frequently will not transfer.
Students planning to transfer Howard College/SWCD credits to another college are advised to contact the receiving institutions to determine their transfer policies. Howard College/SWCD counselors will assist students with information on transferability of courses, but the decision to accept courses in transfer and/or to apply those courses to individual degree plans is made by the receiving institution.
Senior colleges generally will not accept more than 66 semester credit hours in transfer from a junior college. Most colleges will accept a grade of “D” if the student has an overall “C” average. If the “D” is in one’s major field of study, the course may have to be repeated. Students who have not graduated from Howard College/SWCD may transfer hours back from the university to Howard College/SWCD to earn an associate degree. At least 25% of the hours toward the degree must have been earned at Howard College/SWCD.
If course credit earned by a student at another institution of higher education in Texas is not accepted by Howard College/SWCD or if course credit earned by a student at Howard College/SWCD is not accepted by another institution of higher education in Texas, the student and the transferring institution will receive written notice that the transfer of the course is denied.
Both Howard College/SWCD and the other institution along with the student shall attempt to resolve the transfer of the course credit in accordance with Board rules. If the transfer dispute is not resolved to the satisfaction of the student or the institution at which the credit was earned within 45 days after the date the student received written notice of the denial, the institution denying transfer will notify the Commissioner of Higher Education of its denial and the reasons for denial.
The Commissioner of Higher Education or the commissioner’s designee will make the final determination about a dispute concerning the transfer of course credit and give written notice of the determination to the involved student and institutions.
Mission and Goals
The mission of the Developmental Education Program is to assist students in achieving behaviors, skills, and academic goals leading to success in college and beyond. The Developmental Education Program goals are as follows:
Students participating in the Developmental Education Program will
- Develop skills and learn necessary academic information that will transfer to college-level course work
- Develop critical thinking and sound reasoning skills
- Develop a high level of independence in learning and seek assistance and guidance when needed
- Develop abilities to engage in the active process of thinking, learning, and participating with course content
- Develop and strengthen abilities to work collaboratively
- Develop skills in technology for use in subsequent courses and careers
Howard College established this plan in accordance with the Texas Education Code, Section 51.306 and 51.403, to assess and correctly place undergraduate students entering our institution. Students who do not have college-level skills in reading, writing, or math, as determined by initial testing, will be placed in a Developmental Education program to improve any skill areas that are found deficient.
Minimum Passing Standards:
Math - 350
Reading - 351
Writing - Essay Score of 5; Essay score of 4 and Multiple Choice of 340
Howard College/SWCD students are required to see an advisor or counselor prior to registration. At this time students determine their intentions: non-degree seeking, core curriculum completer, field of study completer, Certificate Level I, Certificate Level II, and/or associate degree, and will be advised according to their goals by an advisor specializing in their interest area. Students will be advised as to applicable procedures for taking the TSI Assessment as well as required pre-assessment activities. Faculty and staff who advise students will be given necessary training to pass along updates or changing information needed to properly advise students.
Each undergraduate student entering Howard College/SWCD, unless exempt or under exceptional circumstances, will be required to test for reading, writing, and math skills before enrolling in college-level courses. Students will take the state approved assessment, the Texas Success Initiative Assessment (TSIA), which will identify areas of deficiency.
Exempt from requirements:
- For a period of five (5) years from the date of testing, a student who is tested and performs at or above the following standards shall be exempt:
- ACT: composite score of 23 with a minimum of 19 on the English test shall be exempt for both the reading and writing sections of the TSI Assessment, and/or 19 on the mathematics test shall be exempt for the mathematics section of the TSI Assessment;
- SAT administered on after March 15, 2016: minimum score of 480 on the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing(EBRW) test shall be exempt for both reading and writing sections of the TSI Assessment; a minimum score of 530 score on the mathematics test shall be exempt for the math section of the TSI Assessment. Students may not mix or combine scores from the SAT administered prior to March 5, 2016 and the SAT administered on or after March 5, 2016;
- SAT administered prior to March 15, 2016: a combined critical reading and mathematics score of 1070 with a minimum of 500 on the critical reading test shall be exempt for both reading and writing sections of the TSI Assessment; a combined critical reading and mathematics score of 1070 with a minimum of 500 on the mathematics test shall be exempt for the mathematics section of the TSI Assessment. Students may not mix or combine scores from the SAT administered prior to March 5, 2016 and the SAT administered on or after March 5, 2016;
- Eleventh grade exit-level Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS): a minimum scale score of 2200 on the math section and/or a minimum scale score of 2200 on the English Language Arts section with a writing subsection score of at least 3, shall be exempt from the TSI Assessment; or
- STAAR end-of-course (EOC) with a minimum Level 2 score of 4000 on the English III shall be exempt from the TSI Assessment for both reading and writing, and a minimum Level 2 score of 4000 on the Algebra II EOC shall be exempt from the TSI Assessment for the mathematic section.
A student who has graduated with an associate or baccalaureate degree from an institution of higher education.
A student who transfers from a public, private, or independent institution of higher education or an accredited out-of-state institution of higher education and who has satisfactorily completed college-level coursework with a C or better as determined by the receiving institution.
A student who has previously attended any other institution and has been determined to have met readiness standards by that institution. For students meeting non-Algebra intensive readiness standards in mathematics as defined by TAC Rule §4.59(d)(1)(B), institutions may choose to require additional developmental coursework/interventions for Algebra intensive courses, including MATH 1314/1324/1414.
A student who is enrolled in a Certificate Level One program.
A student who is serving on active duty as a member of the United States armed forces, the Texas National Guard, or as a member of a reserve component of the armed forces of the United States, and has been serving for at least the three-year period preceding enrollment.
A student who on or after August 1, 1990, was honorably discharged, retired or released from active duty as a member of the armed forces of the United States or the Texas National Guard or service as a member of a reserve component of the armed forces of the United States.
A student who successfully completes a college preparatory course under Texas Education Code §28.014 is exempt for a period of twenty-four (24) months from the date of high school graduation with respect to the content area of the course. The student must enroll in the student’s first college-level course in the exempted content area in the student’s first year of enrollment in an institution of higher education. This exemption applies only at the institution of higher education that partners with the school district in which the student is enrolled to provide the course.
ESOL Waiver–An institution may grant a temporary waiver from the assessment required for students with demonstrated limited English proficiency in order to provide appropriate ESOL/ESL coursework and interventions. The waiver must be removed after the student attempts 15 credit hours of developmental ESOL coursework or prior to enrolling in entry-level freshman coursework, whichever comes first, at which time the student would be administered the TSI Assessment.
Casual student: A student who enrolls in a course for personal enrichment with no plans of completing a level two certificate or degree may take six (6) hours or less of non-restricted classes in a semester. A maximum of 12 hours can be taken under the “Casual Student” status.
Students will be required to follow the Success Initiative policy if they do not meet the above exemptions and exceptions. The following categories require compliance:
- Associate Degree
- Level Two Certificate
Students enrolled in programs leading to a level two certificate or associate degree are liable under the Success Initiative and must meet the criteria for their plan. The Dual Credit and Early Admissions program allows high school students to enroll in college courses while still attending high school. Courses are taken in place of or in addition to the normal course load at high school. Students must have permission in writing from their high school principals or counselors and a high school transcript. These students must satisfy all assessment requirements specific to college courses prior to enrolling in college-level course work.
Enrollment and Participation
After initial testing, full-time students attending classes for the first long semester are encouraged to enroll in each area of reading, writing, and math developmental coursework in which they are not TSI Complete. Full-time and part-time students (students enrolled in less than 12 hours) must enroll in at least one developmental education course or intervention in an appropriate area each long semester until college readiness has been met. It is recommended that students take their developmental education courses consecutively. Whenever possible students are advised against delaying a semester of developmental education courses in the sequence. Course availability, sequencing, and placement may vary at each site. Students must follow the developmental education plan and sequence as advised by DE faculty at each site.
All first time in college students that take one or more developmental education courses, will be required to take Learning Framework the first long semester they are enrolled.
Students may be restricted from enrolling in certain courses until college readiness has been determined. Some courses may have prerequisite and/or co-requisite requirements depending on a student’s level of academic achievement. Science, History, Government, Economics, Psychology, Sociology, Humanities and Education 1301 / 2301 will be considered reading restricted. English 1301 and English 2311 will be considered a reading and writing restricted course. All college-level mathematics courses will be considered restricted courses. Students should consult the developmental education department and/or the guidance and counseling office for specific site and course restrictions.
Required Attendance and Participation
Students enrolled in developmental education coursework due to the Success Initiative policy are required to regularly attend and participate in class activities. Students who miss six (6) hours or more of class may be penalized and may fail the class due to lack of attendance. If a student earns a failing grade (“FX”) due to lack of attendance (as outlined in the attendance requirements on the course syllabus), the instructor may post the grade to a student’s transcript at the time the student earns the failing grade. If an instructor chooses to post the failing grade prior to the conclusion of the semester, the student will not be allowed to withdraw from the courses. The instructor will state his or her attendance policy in the course syllabus. Students are responsible for keeping track of their attendance and, if needed, checking with their instructors to see if absences threaten the successful completion of a course.
Developmental Education Courses and Interventions
Students will be placed in a developmental education course or intervention based on their initial test score and other holistic advising measures. Students will then proceed through the sequence in each subject area to complete their developmental education, or the student may retest at any time to place out of the developmental education program. Students will be required to complete each course with a grade of C or better in order to progress to the next level or before moving to college-level work. Students should consult their site advisor for proper course placement.
Non-Course Competency-Based Options (NCBO)
Students with placement scores that indicate they are in need of specific remediation may qualify for non-course competency-based options. Students will be advised of non-course based options available at their site. One type of NCBO offered is the co-requisite course. A co-requisite course is a developmental class or intervention that must be taken concurrently with the corresponding college-level course.
*Some courses may not be offered at each site. Students need to check class schedules each semester for course offerings.
Withdrawal from Developmental Education Courses
Students who are enrolled in developmental education coursework are discouraged from dropping any developmental classes and should be enrolled in at least one developmental education course or intervention each long semester until TSI completion has been met. The student who is enrolled in a co-requisite developmental intervention along with the corresponding college-level course may be required to withdraw from both courses if they decide to drop one of these courses. Each student wishing to drop one of these courses must speak with an academic advisor and a developmental education faculty member for appropriate recommendations and approvals based on the student’s current progress and instructor recommendations.
Students who withdraw from developmental education courses due to passing an approved assessment exam may be subject to the published refund schedule as stated in the Howard College Catalog.
Evaluation of Program
The purpose of the Developmental Education Program at Howard College/SWCD is to prepare students for college-level work who are found deficient via the state approved test. Students may also be measured by the completion of their course sequence. These measures will be documented each semester and the program will be evaluated by all developmental education personnel on a yearly basis. Mid-course changes in developmental course sequencing will be made on an informal basis when needed.
A survey instrument, such as the Best Practices Survey developed by Hunter Boylan, will be used to address the program’s overall strengths and weaknesses, and also to address specific site issues. The information will be used to address any problem areas within the program and instructors will meet to develop strategies for correction.
Student tracking will be conducted to determine student success in passing the prescribed assessment and passing each level of developmental education classes. This information will be evaluated and goals will be established based on this information.
Howard College/SWCD administers the TSI Assessment, a state-approved exam, for meeting the Howard College/SWCD Success Initiative. The TSI Assessment is computerized. Students should contact the testing center at each site to schedule an appointment. Walk-ins are accommodated if space is available. The cost of the test is listed in the Cost section of the Catalog. Additional diagnostic testing may be required to place students in the appropriate developmental education course sequence.
SWCD ESOL Program
The English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Program at SWCD is designed to provide language instruction and support to students whose first language is not English so that they can succeed in accomplishing their educational goals at SWCD. New students will receive an ESOL Waiver (TAC 19, Part 1, Ch. 4C(c)). This waiver is effective for the student’s first long semester (up to 15 semester hours) at SWCD. New students will be administered the TABE (Test of Adult Basic Education) test for appropriate placement. A sequence of courses has been designed to support student learning in reading, English grammar, writing, and American Sign Language (ASL). Students completing the ESOL Program are then placed in developmental course work or credit-bearing course work.
Program Duration: Students are placed into the appropriate course within the sequence through placement testing. Each course is one full semester in length. Students requiring support in all courses within each sequence would be in the program for four (4) semesters.
SWCD ESOL Program Course Sequence: ESOL 0308 - Reading Beginner , ESOL 0309 - Reading Intermediate , ESOL 0310 - Reading Advanced I , ESOL 0311 - Reading Advanced II , ESOL 0316 - Writing / Grammar Beginner , ESOL 0317 - Writing / Grammar Intermediate , ESOL 0318 - Writing / Grammar Advanced I , ESOL 0319 - Writing / Grammar Beginner , SLNG 1304 - American Sign Language (ASL) I , SLNG 1305 - American Sign Language (ASL) II .
International Student Admissions
Howard College/SWCD is authorized under Federal law to enroll international students. This policy is subject to change based on changes in federal regulations and guidelines governing international students. Failure to maintain any of the requirements listed below can result in the student being sent back to the home country.
Students should follow the admission procedures detailed in the International Student Admissions Packet which can be found on the Howard College/SWCD web site: www.howardcollege.edu – look for the section “Come to HC – How to Apply” to find the link for international students. Contact the Admissions Office at each campus for more information.
A student from a foreign country will be eligible for admission to Howard College/SWCD, and a SEVIS record I-20 form, will be issued when all admission requirements have been met and the following items are on file in the Office of the Registrar:
- Application for Admission, including all supporting documentation
- A non-refundable $50 application fee, in U.S. dollars only. Major credit cards are accepted.
- Official copies of high school and college transcripts translated in English and evaluated by approved agency.
- Proof of English Proficiency - All international students are required to show English proficiency in order to study at Howard College/SWCD.
Howard College students may accomplish this by: 1) taking the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with minimum passing scores listed below; 2) submit a composite score of 17 or higher on the American College Test (ACT); 3) submit a combined score of 1230 on the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT); 4) show certificate of completion from an English as a Second Language (ESL) program; 5) show citizenship from a home country where English is the native language.
Deaf and hard of hearing students attending SWCD may accomplish this by doing one of the following: 1) taking the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with minimum passing scores listed below; 2) submit a composite score of 11 or higher on the American College Test (ACT) (A composite score of 10 will be considered on a case by case basis); 3) submit a combined score of 560 on the new Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) (A combined score of 530-550 will be considered on a case by case basis); 4) show certificate of completion from an English as a Second Language (ESL) program; 5) show citizenship from a home country where English is the native language.
An official copy of scores on the TOEFL must be received directly from the Educational Testing Service (ETS). No score below 500 (paper based version), 173 (computer based version) or 61 (internet based version) on the TOEFL will be accepted as a minimum passing score. Information about the TOEFL exam may be obtained from the Educational Testing Service, Box 899, Princeton, NJ 08540, U.S.A. The website address is www.toefl.com Howard College/SWCD will pay for the TOEFL exam for those students receiving a scholarship from Howard College that have a signed Letter of Intent and/or a signed Howard College/SWCD scholarship on file with the Howard College International Student Coordinator. The Howard College/SWCD scholarship must be an award of $500 or more a semester/$1000 for the academic term. All other scholarships limits apply.
- Financial information: The prospective international student must show proof of financial support, by submitting the financial agreement, financial statement, and the financial status form with a recent certified bank statement, which are included in the packet. Other forms, such as “Conditions of Acceptance Agreement”, and any other blank forms included in admissions packet are also required.
- International students will be required to maintain sufficient funds in their student account before an I-20 will be issued. Students will not be allowed to register for courses each semester/term until the amounts listed below have been paid. The dollar amount is based on the following conditions:
1. SWCD International students must have $10,000 (due to state-mandated non-resident tuition) paid in full before the beginning of each semester they plan to attend.
2. Howard College international students must have $5,000 paid in full before the beginning of each semester they plan to attend
3. International students that will be receiving a scholarship covering 100% of the cost of attendance (tuition, fees, room, board, and books) are not required to submit a deposit. If a student forfeits his/her scholarship, they will be required to follow the basic international student guidelines listed above.
4. International students who do not re-enroll for the subsequent semester, and have a credit balance, will receive their balance in conjunction with the current remaining aid procedures.
An international applicant must send all of the above documents to the International Student Advisor. A checklist of items needed is provided for assistance in making sure the admissions packet is complete before submitting to Howard College/SWCD. Deadlines to apply are no later than May 15 for the fall semester (beginning in August), October 15 for the spring semester (beginning in January), and March 15 for the summer sessions (beginning in June)
International Transfer Students (Students Currently Enrolled in Educational Institutions in the U.S.): Immigration and Naturalization Service regulations require confirmation that students in the U.S. on an F-1 (student) visa must have established transfer eligibility before the new institution initiates the transfer. Transfer students are subject to the same admission requirements as outlined above.
Veterans Education Training
Howard College/SWCD is fully approved for Veterans Education Training by the Texas Workforce Commission. Veteran Students should contact the VA Education Benefits Coordinator in the Advising/Career Center at Howard College to make application for benefits as soon as possible in order that payment of subsistence may be expedited.
It is necessary that all admission requirements be met before certification of enrollment to the Veterans Administration will be submitted. Previous education and training records are evaluated. Students are notified as to what credit will be permitted for this training to be used on their educational objective. Students are required to complete only the remaining required courses in the program to fulfill their objectives. Students will not be certified to the Veterans Administration for any non-required course on their objectives.
It is necessary that veterans present a Certificate of Eligibility and Entitlement and a completed veterans application packet to the Advising/Career Center if they expect to draw subsistence pay from the Veterans Administration. The application packet is comprised of the following documents: (1) Application or VA Form 22-1990; (2) Separation papers or DD214.
War Orphans desiring to draw benefits from VA, under provisions of P.L. 634, should present a certificate of eligibility prior to enrollment and attendance in class. The Certificate of Eligibility must be on file before certifying the student’s enrollment to the Veterans Administration for educational benefit payments.
Veterans who are no longer entitled to educational benefits under the Veterans Administration and who were residents of the State of Texas at the time they entered active military service may be eligible for benefits under the Hazlewood Act. Those who think that they may qualify for this benefit should present a copy of their separation document (showing place of entry into active military service) and evidence proving that their VA educational benefits are exhausted to the VA Education Benefits Coordinator for interpretation.
Appealing Admission Requirements and Decisions
Students wishing to appeal admission requirements and/or decisions made impacting admission status should direct questions to the Admission and Standards Committee. The District Dean of Student Affairs serves as Chair of the committee.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) Title II prohibits the discrimination on the basis of disability in state or federally funded post-secondary settings. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 also prohibits the discrimination on the basis of disability in state or federally funded post-secondary settings. Howard College/SWCD, pursuant to section 504 and ADA, will make every effort to provide “reasonable accommodations” to qualified individuals with disabilities, as long as doing so does not impose an undue financial or administrative burden (or if the accommodation fundamentally does not change the academic program). Accommodations allow individuals with disabilities to participate and compete on an equal basis with non-disabled colleagues, students or other beneficiaries of programs. Contact the campus ADA officer for more information.
Notification of Privacy Rights to Students
As established in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), Section 438, commonly known as “The Buckley Amendment,” Howard College provides students with access to their official educational records and provides an opportunity for a hearing to challenge such records on the grounds that they are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise inappropriate. The college will obtain written consent, via the Student Records Release Request Form, from the student before releasing personally identifiable data from these records except for items classified as directory information. However, the college is allowed to contact the student’s parents and/or legal guardians when the student is found to be in violation of Code of Student Conduct for alcohol and/or drugs. Students may request that all or part of their directory information be withheld from the public by filing a Directory Information Restriction Request Form with the Admissions and Registrar’s Office. More detailed policy information on student records can be found in the Student Handbook.