ACC General Catalog 1999-2000

Academic Programs

Austin Community College offers the following degrees and certificates:

1. The Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree is awarded to students who complete at least 60 semester credit hours, which include:

a) 6 hours of English
b) 6 hours of American Government
c) 6 hours of United States History
d) 8 hours of Foreign Language*
e) The prescribed courses listed in one of the areas of concentration.
*These hours should be in the same language.

2. The Associate of Science (A.S.) degree is awarded to students who complete at least 60 semester credit hours, which include:

a) 6 hours of English
b) 6 hours of American Government
c) 6 hours of United States History
d) 6-8 hours of Science*
e) The prescribed courses listed in one of the areas of concentration.
* Students intending to transfer to a four-year institution should check to insure transferability to the transfer institution. Currently all degree plans except Computer Science (CSC) and Business Administration (BUA) require 8 hours of Science.

3. The Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree is awarded to students who successfully complete the prescribed courses in any of the occupational-technical programs.
4. A Certificate is awarded to students who complete one of the approved certificate programs

Graduate Guarantee Policy

When certain conditions are met, Austin Community College guarantees to its Associate of Arts and Associate of Science graduates that course credits will transfer to other public-supported Texas colleges and universities. When certain conditions are met, the Associate of Applied Science and Certificate program graduates are guaranteed to be competent in technical job skills directly identified in course content for their specific programs.

For further information, see Austin Community College Policy V-4, GRADUATE GUARANTEE, published in full in the Austin Community College Student Handbook.

Course Sequencing

The College recommends that students take courses in the sequence listed. The sequence is shown for full-time students; part-time students will obviously take longer to complete the degree plan, but they should do so in the sequence listed. When this is not possible, students should consult with a counselor or adviser before registering for courses.

Common Course Numbers

To assist students transferring from or to another college, many institutions of higher education in Texas have adopted the Texas Common Course Numbering System (TCCNS), which provides a shared, uniform set of course designations for students and their advisers to use in determing both course equivalency and degree applicability of transfer credit on a statewide basis. Beginning in Fall 1999, the Common Course Number will be the official course number for ACC courses and will be displayed as a 4-letter prefix and an 4-digit number at the end of the course description. For example, English Composition I will appear as (ENGL 1301). For additional information on how to read course numbers, refer to the section in this catalog on Course Descriptions. Courses contained in the TCCN are general academic courses. Remedial courses are not included.

Core Curriculum

Core curriculum is required for the Associate in Arts, the Associate in Science, and the Associate in General Studies Degrees.

Core curriculum is defined in House Bill 2183 of the Texas Legislature as "the curriculum in the liberal arts, humanities, sciences, and political, social, and cultural history that all undergraduates of a particular institution of higher education are required to complete before receiving an associate or baccalaureate degree." HB 2183 also gave The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board the responsibility for ensuring that each state-supported college and university have a core curriculum. In compliance with state recommendations and in the spirit of improving its educational service to students, Austin Community College will require that all students seeking an Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, or an Associate in General Studies Degree complete the core curriculum. The purpose of the core curriculum is to provide the skills, knowledge, and perspectives that help define the educated person. The courses that are included in the core curriculum will contribute to the acquisition of these skills, perspectives, and to a basic core of knowledge. Educational outcomes have been written so that the College can assess the effectiveness of this program.

Defining Characteristics of Basic Intellectual Competencies in The Core Curriculum

The core curriculum is predicated on a series of basic intellectual competencies-reading, writing, speaking, listening, critical thinking, and computer literacy-that are essential to the learning process in any discipline. Although students can be expected to come to college with some experience in exercising these competencies, they often need further instruction and practice to meet college standards and, later, to succeed in both their major field of academic study and their chosen career or profession.

READING: Reading at the college level means the ability to analyze and interpret a variety of printed materials-books, articles, and documents. A core curriculum should offer students the opportunity to master both general methods of analyzing printed materials and specific methods for analyzing the subject matter of individual disciplines.

WRITING: Competency in writing is the ability to produce clear, correct, and coherent prose adapted to purpose, occasion, and audience. Although correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation are essential in any composition, they do not automatically ensure that the composition itself makes sense or that the writer has much of anything to say. Students need to be familiar with the writing process including how to discover a topic and how to develop and organize it, how to phrase it effectively for their audience. These abilities can be acquired only through practice and reflection.

SPEAKING: Competence in speaking is the ability to communicate orally in clear, coherent, and persuasive language appropriate to purpose, occasion, and audience. Developing this competency includes acquiring poise and developing control of the language through experience in making presentations to small groups, to large groups, and through the media.

LISTENING: Listening at the college level means the ability to analyze and interpret various forms of spoken communication.

CRITICAL THINKING: Critical thinking embraces methods for applying both qualitative and quantitative skills analytically and creatively to subject matter in order to evaluate arguments and to construct alternative strategies. Problem solving is one of the applications of critical thinking, used to address an identified task.

COMPUTER LITERACY: Computer literacy at the college level means the ability to use computer-based technology in communicating, solving problems, and acquiring information. Core-education students should have an understanding of the limits, problems, and possibilities associated with the use of technology, and should have the tools necessary to evaluate and learn new technologies as they become available.

Perspectives in the Core Curriculum

Another imperative of a core curriculum is that it contain courses that help students attain the following:

1. Establish broad and multiple perspectives on the individual in relationship to the larger society and world in which he or she lives, and to understand the responsibility of living in a culturally and ethnically diversified world;
2. Stimulate a capacity to discuss and reflect upon individual, political, economic, and social aspects of life in order to understand ways in which to be a responsible member of society;
3. Recognize the importance of maintaining health and wellness;
4. Develop a capacity to use knowledge of how technology and science affect their lives;
5. Develop personal values for ethical behavior;
6. Develop the ability to make aesthetic judgments;
7. Use logical reasoning in problem solving; and
8. Integrate knowledge and understand the interrelationship of the scholarly disciplines.

Core Components and Related Exemplary Educational Objectives

The following exemplary educational objectives should be used as basic guidelines for selected component areas.

I. COMMUNICATION (composition and speech)

The objective of a communication component of a core curriculum is to enable the student to communicate effectively in clear and correct prose in a style appropriate to the subject, occasion, and audience.

Exemplary Educational Objectives

1. To understand and demonstrate writing and speaking processes through invention, organization, drafting, revision, editing, and presentation.
2. To understand the importance of specifying audience and purpose and to select appropriate communication choices.
3. To understand and appropriately apply modes of expression, i.e., descriptive, expositive, narrative, scientific, and self-expressive, in written, visual, and oral communication.
4. To participate effectively in groups with emphasis on listening, critical and reflective thinking, and responding.
5. To understand and apply basic principles of critical thinking, problem solving, and technical proficiency in the development of exposition and argument.
6. To develop the ability to research and write a documented paper and/or to give an oral presentation.


The objective of the mathematics component of the core curriculum is to develop a quantitatively literate college graduate. Every college graduate should be able to apply basic mathematical tools in the solution of real-world problems.

Exemplary Educational Objectives

1. To apply arithmetic, algebraic, geometric, higher-order thinking, and statistical methods to modeling and solving real-world situations.
2. To represent and evaluate basic mathematical information verbally, numerically, graphically, and symbolically.
3. To expand mathematical reasoning skills and formal logic to develop convincing mathematical arguments.
4. To use appropriate technology to enhance mathematical thinking and understanding and to solve mathematical problems and judge the reasonableness of the results.
5. To interpret mathematical models such as formulas, graphs, tables and schematics, and draw inferences from them.
7. To develop the view that mathematics is an evolving discipline, interrelated with human culture, and understand its connections to other disciplines.


The objective of the study of a natural sciences component of a core curriculum is to enable the student to understand, construct, and evaluate relationships in the natural sciences, and to enable the student to understand the basis for building and testing theories.

Exemplary Educational Objectives

1. To understand and apply method and appropriate technology to the study of natural sciences.
2. To recognize scientific and quantitative methods and the differences between these approaches and other methods of inquiry and to communicate findings, analyses, and interpretation both orally and in writing.
3. To identify and recognize the differences among competing scientific theories.
4. To demonstrate knowledge of the major issues and problems facing modern science, including issues that touch upon ethics, values, and public policies.
5. To demonstrate knowledge of the interdependence of science and technology and their influence on, and contribution to , modern culture.


The objective of the humanities and visual and performing arts in a core curriculum is to expand students' knowledge of the human condition and human cultures, especially in relation to behaviors, ideas, and values expressed in words of human imagination and thought. Through study in disciplines such as literature, philosophy, and the visual and develop an appreciation of the arts and humanities as fundamental to the health and survival of any society. Students should have experiences in both the arts and humanities.

Exemplary Educational Objectives

1. To demonstrate awareness of the scope and variety of words in the arts and humanities.
2. To understand those works as expressions of individual and human values within an historical and social context.
3. To respond critically to works in the arts and humanities.
4. To engage in the creative process or interpretive performance and comprehend the physical and intellectual demands required of the author or visual or performing artist.
5. To articulate an informed personal reaction to words in the arts and humanities.
6. To develop an appreciation for the influence of the aesthetic principles that guide or govern the humanities and arts.
7. To demonstrate knowledge of the influence of literature, philosophy, and/or the arts on intercultural experiences.


The objective of a social and behavioral science component of a core curriculum is to increase students' knowledge of how social and behavioral scientists discover, describe, and explain the behaviors and interactions among individuals, groups, institutions, events, and ideas. Such knowledge will better equip students to understand themselves and the roles they play in addressing the issues facing humanity.

Exemplary Educational Objectives

1. To employ the appropriate methods, technologies, and data that social and behavioral scientists use to investigate the human condition.
2. To examine social institutions and processes across a range of historical periods, social structures, and cultures.
3. To use and critique alternative explanatory systems or theories.
4. To use and critique alternative explanatory systems or theories.
5. To develop and communicate alternative explanations or solutions for contemporary social issues.
6. To comprehend the origins and evolutions of U.S. and Texas political systems, with a focus on the growth of political institutions, the constitutions of the U.S. and Texas, federalism, civil liberties, and civil and human rights.
7. To understand the evolution and current role of the U.S. in the world.
8. To differentiate and analyze the historical evidence (documentary and statistical) and differing points of view.
9. To recognize and apply reasonable criteria for the acceptability of historical evidence and social research.
10. To analyze, critically assess, and develop creative solutions to public policy problems.
11. To recognize and assume one's responsibility as a citizen in a democratic society by learning to think for oneself, by engaging in public discourse, and by obtaining information through the news media and other appropriate information sources about politics and public policy.
12. To identify and understand differences and commonalties within diverse cultures.

Adult Basic Education

Workforce Literacy and Adult Education

Admission to Adult Education Programs

Admission to Adult Education Programs is open to adult learners 17 and over wishing to improve their basic skills, learn English as a second language, prepare for the GED, improve their job readiness skills, or develop skills to continue their education at Austin Community College.

Austin Community College serves as the primary sponsor for the Adult Education Program of the Travis County Consortium. This consortium, comprised of participating independent school districts and other service providers, develops programs responsive to community needs as well as state and federal guidelines. A major focus of Adult Education is to prepare individuals for success in the workplace.

Adult Education offers year-round programs open to all eligible persons who are at least 17 years old and not in public school. Students who are only 17 must show proof (transcript or official letter of withdrawal) that they are no longer attending public school. Most classes are offered free of charge throughout the Capital Area. For information on orientation and registration for classes, call the Adult Education office at 512/223-5123 or 512/223-7528.

The Adult Educational Program includes the following components:

1. Adult Basic Education (ABE) assists individuals who need to improve their basic reading, writing, and math skills for personal improvement, for employment purposes, or to prepare for the next level of education. These classes, which consist of both self-paced and group instruction, are also part of the entry component for adult secondary or GED preparation.
2. Adult Secondary Education (ASE) classes are designed to help students prepare for the GED test. These classes, which also help students develop life and job-readiness skills, can provide a successful transition into the world of work or into other educational and job training programs.

General Educational Development (GED) is a national examination developed by the GED Testing Service of the American Council of Education. The GED test consists of five examinations: Literature and Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and Writing Skills. There is a fee to take the test. (See next page.) Upon successful completion of all five tests, students receive a credential that is widely recognized by colleges, training schools, and employers as equivalent to a high school diploma.
3. English as a Second Language (ESL) classes are for adults who want to read, speak and write practical, everyday English. (Students who are not U.S. citizens must be permanent, registered legal aliens.)
4. Programs for special populations. Classes in Correctional Institutions: Adult Basic Education, English as a Second Language, and GED preparation classes are offered to the incarcerated through special project funding from the Texas Education Agency at the Del Valle/Travis County Correctional Center, and the Travis County Community Justice Center.
Family Literacy: ACC's Adult Education Program in partnership with local school districts and Communities in Schools - Central Texas, Inc. provides instruction in basic skills, ESL, and GED preparation within an environment that promotes and nurtures parenting and child development issues. ACC's Adult Education Program continues to provide instructional support and training, as well as specific curriculum for these projects.

GED Testing

The Austin Community College GED Testing Center is currently located on the Eastridge Campus, Room 214, 4100 Ed Bluestein Blvd. In January 1999, it will move to the Eastview Campus. For other sites and information call 512-223-5126 or fax 512 223-5128. Tests are given Monday through Thursday at 12:15 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., and Saturday at 8:00 a.m. Examinees do not need an appointment to test. One or two tests may be taken at one session. Examinees will be admitted at test times only.
GED Exams Test Length  
Writing Skills 2 hours  
  Part I (multiple choice) 1 hour 15 minutes
  Part II (200 word essay)   45 minutes
Social Studies 1 hour 25 minutes
Science 1 hour 35 minutes
Interpreting Literature and the Arts    
  (Reading) 1 hour 5 minutes
Mathematics 1 hour 30 minutes

Testing Requirements

Identification: A photo identification (such as a Texas driver's license, Texas Department of Public Safety ID, Military ID or a notarized statement bearing the examinees name, date of birth, recent photograph and signature) and a social security card or proof of number. (i.e. pay stub). If you do not understand the above ID requirements call the GED Testing Center for information at 512-223-5126.

Fees: $55 (or proper billing papers from sponsoring agency) for the following services: $10 TEA processing fee, $6 GEDTS processing fee, $39 test fee. Fees are good for one year from the date paid. After that year, the fee is $8 per exam. Retest fees are $10 for Writing Skills and $8 for all other GED retests. Fees are subject to change by the ACC Board of Trustees at any time without notice.

Age: Persons 18 years of age or older and not enrolled in school are fully eligible for GED exams. Persons 17 years of age who bring a permission letter from their parent or legal guardian may take the GED tests. Persons 16 years of age who are recommended in writing by a public agency which has custody of that person under a court order may take the GED tests.

Residency: Examinee must be a Texas resident, residing in Texas, or a member of the military stationed in Texas.

Other GED Testing Center

GED tests are also offered through The University of Texas at Austin Testing Center located at Lake Austin Center, 3001 Lake Austin Blvd., Room 1.202, 512-471-2911.

Copyright © 1999, Austin Community College