Academic Programs

Degrees and Certificates Awarded
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, 42 of which must be taken from the Core Curriculum. Fifteen hours of General Education courses are embedded in the Core Curriculum meaning that completion of the Core Curriculum also meets the SACS requirement for completion of the 15 hours of General Education courses. Requirements for receiving the A.A. degree include:

a) Completion of the 42-hour core curriculum.
b) See graduation requirements
c) *8 hours of Foreign Language
d) The prescribed courses listed in one of the areas of concentration.


* These hours should be in the same language and may be satisfied through completing the core curriculum. Students should follow the approved degree plan in this catalog for their major.

2. The Associate of Science (A.S.) degree is awarded to students who complete at least 60 semester credit hours, 42 of which must be taken from the Core Curriculum. Fifteen hours of General Education courses are embedded in the Core Curriculum meaning that completion of the Core Curriculum also meets the SACS requirement for completion of the 15 hours of General Education courses. Requirements for receiving the A.S. degree include:

a) Completion of the 42-hour core curriculum, including *6 – 8 hours of natural science.
b) See graduation requirements
c) The prescribed courses listed in one of the areas of concentration.

* Students intending to transfer to a four-year institution should check to ensure transferability to the transfer institution. Currently all A.S. 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, and the requisite 15 semester hours taken from the approved General Education Course List. Requirements for receiving the A.A.S. degree include:

a) Completion of 15-hours of General Education coursework
b) See graduation requirements
c) The prescribed courses in an area of concentration

4. A Certificate is awarded to students who complete one of the approved certificate programs.

General Education Requirements

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) requires colleges and universities to incorporate into each degree plan 15 hours in General Education courses. At ACC, these 15 hours of coursework consist of the following:

3 hrs. Written communication (English) from the approved list of general education courses.
3 hrs. Oral communication from the approved list of general courses OR pass an oral communication proficiency exam (this option IS NOT available if the degree plan specifies one of the approved oral communication courses.)
3 hrs. Computational skills (Math) from the approved list of general education courses
3 hrs. Social/Behavioral Science requirement
3 hrs. The remaining three hours may be satisfied with any additional courses from the approved list of general education courses. Individual departments will specify individual courses or a listing of courses from which the student may choose to meet the remaining requirements.

Following SACS guidelines, Austin Community College selected General Education courses to help associate degree students acquire the knowledge and skills to prepare for a career, further their educational study, and contribute to society. These courses help associate degree students to:

1. Possess sufficient literacy skills of writing, reading, speaking, and listening to communicate effectively above the 12th grade level.
2. Understand numerical data and their implications for daily living.
3. Possess consciousness of our society.
4. Think and analyze at a critical level.
5. Appreciate multi-cultural, multi-ethnic contributions to our country.
6. Understand our technological society.
7. Possess basic skills in the use of computers.

Core Curriculum
www2.austin.cc.tx.us/acadprog/core1.htm
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 has a core curriculum. In compliance with state recommendations and in the spirit of improving its educational service to students, Austin Community College requires 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.

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. These competencies are:

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, how to develop and organize it, and 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, expository, 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.

II. MATHEMATICS
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.

III. NATURAL SCIENCES
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 bases 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.

IV. HUMANITIES AND VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS
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 arts, 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.


V. SOCIAL AND BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES

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 develop and communicate alternative explanations or solutions for contemporary social issues.
5. 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.
6. To understand the evolution and current role of the U.S. in the world.
7. To differentiate and analyze the historical evidence (documentary and statistical) and differing points of view.
8. To recognize and apply reasonable criteria for the acceptability of historical evidence and social research.
9. To analyze, critically assess, and develop creative solutions to public policy problems.
10. 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.
11. To identify and understand differences and commonalties within diverse cultures.

Field of Study Curriculum
Field of Study curricula were mandated in Senate Bill 148 of the 75th Texas Legislature (1997) are intended to facilitate the free transferability of lower-division academic courses among Texas public colleges and universities. Field of study curricula is defined by SB 148 as “a set of courses that will satisfy the lower division requirements for a bachelor’s degree in a specific academic area at a general academic teaching institution”. As with the Core Curriculum, SB 148 gave the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board the responsibility of developing and approving academic courses that will fulfill the lower division requirements for majors that correspond to the field of study.
If a student successfully completes a field of study curriculum, that block of courses may be transferred to a general academic teaching institution and must be substituted for that institution’s lower division requirements of the degree program for the field of study into which the student transfers, and the student shall receive full academic credit toward the degree program of the block of courses transferred. A student who transfers from one institution of higher education to another without completing the field of study curriculum of the sending institution shall receive academic credit from the receiving institution of each of the courses that the student has successfully completed in the field of study curriculum of the sending institution. Following receipt of credit for these courses, the student may be required to satisfy further course requirements in the field of study curriculum of the receiving institution. There are currently four approved and adopted field of study curricula: business, music, child development/early childhood education and grade 4 – 8 teacher certification.

Business
The field of study curriculum for business is designed for students seeking the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree and would also apply to the Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS) degree with a major in business, including all business specializations. The curriculum consists of the following content areas: economics, mathematics, computer literacy, speech and accounting. The following courses comprise the field of study curriculum and are incorporated into the Associate of Science degree in Business Administration:

ECON 2301 Principles of Microeconomics
ECON 2302 Principles of Macroeconomics
MATH 1425 Business Calculus and Applications I
BCIS 1305 Business Computer Applications
SPCH 1321 Business and Professional Speaking
ACCT 2301 Principles of Financial Accounting
ACCT 2302 Principles of Managerial Accounting

Music
The field of study curriculum for music is designed to apply to the Bachelor of Music degree but may also be applied to the Bachelor of Arts or other baccalaureate-level music degrees as deemed appropriate by the institution awarding the baccalaureate-level degree. Content areas include ensemble, applied study, theory/aural skills and music literature. The following courses comprise the field of study curriculum and are incorporated into the Associate of Arts degree in Music:

MUEN Ensemble 4 semester credit hours
MUAP Applied Study 8 semester credit hours
MUSI Theory/Aural Skills 12–16 semester credit hours
MUSI 1308 Music Literature I

Child Development /Early Childhood Education
The field of study curriculum for child development/early childhood education is designed to apply to the Bachelor of Science in Human Services or Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Child and Family Studies/Child Development, including a proposed certification in Early Childhood Education for grades Kindergarten through 4th. The following courses comprise the field of study curriculum and are offered by ACC:

TECA 1303 Family and Community
TECA 1311 Introduction to Early Childhood Education
TECA 1318 Nutrition, Health and Safety
TECA 1354 Child Growth and Development

Grade 4–8 Teacher Certification
The field of study curriculum for grade 4–8 certification is designed to apply to the Bachelor of Science degree for the following majors for teacher certification: mathematics, science, mathematics/science composite, social sciences/language arts composite or interdisciplinary studies (generalist and bilingual generalist). The following courses comprise the field of study curriculum and are offered by ACC except where noted:
Schools and Society (The actual course and title are not yet determined.)

MATH 1350 Fundamentals of Math I
MATH 1351 Fundamentals of Math II
TECA 1354 Child Growth and Development

 

ACC Home Page Catalog Home Page