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    Northwest Vista College
  Jul 13, 2024
Northwest Vista College Schedule/Catalog 2010-2011 
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Northwest Vista College Schedule/Catalog 2010-2011 [Archived Catalog]



Student Identification


Personal Identification Number (PIN)

Personal identification numbers (PIN) provide security access to the online Banner registration system. Default PIN numbers are assigned according to the first two letters of a student’s last name (in upper case) followed by the month, date and year of birth (XXmmddyy). Students will then be able to assign themselves a unique PIN.

Identification Card (Photo ID)

All credit students are required to present a Student Identification Card for access to such services and activities as library usage, physical education facilities, special events, academic advisement, transcript requests, etc. Students seeking a student photo ID must be registered with tuition paid, be enrolled in an installment plan, or have no tuition balance. Students must provide a valid photo ID to receive a college student photo ID.

Name Changes

Students may change their legal name on their permanent academic record by presenting appropriate documentation to the Enrollment Services/Admissions and Records Office. Correcting spelling or the proper sequence of the legal name requires an official birth certificate. To request a name change, submit a completed form and the signed court order, marriage license, or divorce decree showing the new legal name. To assume a spouse’s name following marriage, complete a request and provide the marriage certificate. To discontinue use of a married name and resume use of the original family name or another name, present a divorce decree or a signed court order showing restoration of the original or other name.

Web Registration


Students who have completed all admission requirements will register for classes in Banner at Details for the various registration periods are published in the Schedule of Classes, which is available on the individual Alamo Colleges’ websites. Students should follow the instructions for registration provided in the Schedule. For additional assistance, contact appropriate counseling/advising services.

Student Development Course (SDEV)


The Alamo Colleges require all students to complete a student development course designed to help them successfully transition to college and better understand the Alamo Colleges’ expectations. Student Development (SDEV) courses offer techniques in life-long learning, creative and critical thinking, time management, test and note taking, studying, career planning, and building lasting relationships. Students who complete SDEV courses have a proven record of higher retention and persistence in college. A variety of SDEV courses are offered to fit specific student needs.

Entering students with fewer than fifteen (15) college semester credit hours are required to successfully complete a Student Development course during the first (1) semester of enrollment. Dual Credit hours are not counted as college credit hours for this purpose. Exceptions or waivers require approval.

Students who do not successfully complete the Student Development course during the first (1) semester will be required to complete the course the following semester. Three-peat tuition will apply on a third (3) enrollment.

Course Numbering System


Courses in this catalog are identified by subject prefixes and numbers that have been assigned in accordance with the Texas Common Course Numbering System (TCCNS) as  listed in the Lower-Division Academic Course Guide Manual (ACGM) and the Workforce Education Course Manual (WECM) for Technical and Continuing Education courses.

Public colleges and universities in Texas use either the TCCNS or crosswalk courses to the TCCNS. Additionally, all Texas public institutions of higher education that offer Workforce Education programs or Continuing Education courses utilize WECM course numbers. These common course numbering systems allow students to compare courses between colleges and provide them with greater ease of course credit transfer. Each course number contains four (4) digits.

For example, ENGL 1301 is:

1 – Level (Freshman in this case)

  • 0 – Developmental
  • 1 – Freshman
  • 2 – Sophomore

3 – Semester credit hours (three in this case)

01 – Sequence Number (Part One in this case)

It is important for students who plan to transfer to another college or university to ensure that courses taken at the Alamo Colleges are transferable and apply to their degree program at the transfer institution.

Though developmental-level (“0”) courses may be required prior to taking college-level courses, they do not fulfill requirements for any degrees and may not be transferable to a senior university.

A small number of academic courses contain a “7” in the third digit of the course number indicating that they do not comply with the TCCNS and may not be transferable to another college or university. Students should consult with the receiving institution to ensure transferability prior to enrolling.

In general, Arts and Sciences courses with a first number of one (1) or two (2) are accredited by senior institutions as fully transferable. Courses beginning with a zero (0) (e.g. English 0301) generally are not accepted for transfer by four-year colleges or universities. For the Alamo Colleges, these freely transferable courses are identified in the THECB publication Lower Division Academic Course Guide Manual. Specifically excluded are courses designated as vocational/technical, ESL/ESOL/ESLA, developmental or remedial, and courses listed as Basic Skills (occupational and technical courses.)

Senior institutions usually will accept a maximum of sixty (60) to sixty-six (66) lower-division general education and specific subject matter courses. However, what will be accepted and how it will transfer is determined by the senior college or university.

For comprehensive information on curriculum guidelines see the Texas Association of Community Colleges (TACC).

Prerequisite and Co-Requisite Courses


A number of courses have prerequisites. The prerequisite may be a score on a placement test or successful completion of a lower-level course. Before registering for courses with prerequisites, students must show proof that they have fulfilled the requirement or are in the process of fulfilling the requirement. Questions regarding prerequisites should be directed to the appropriate academic department chair.

When a student registers for a course indicating a co-requisite course is required, all courses listed must be attempted simultaneously.

Course Load


Students may not enroll in more than the maximum semester credit hours allowed by the Alamo Colleges for any given semester. According to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), students generally should not be allowed to enroll for more semester credit hours than the number of weeks in a semester/session. Students simultaneously enrolled in terms of different lengths may enroll in a maximum number of semester credit hours equal to the number of weeks in the longest term.

Session Enrollments

Fall/Spring 16-Week Semesters

Full-Time Student – Twelve (12) or more semester credit hours
Half-Time Student – Six to eleven (6-11) semester credit hours
Maximum Hours Allowed: Eighteen (18) semester credit hours

Fall/Spring Start Two 14-Week Semesters

Full-Time Student – Twelve (12) or more semester credit hours
Half-Time Student – Six to eleven (6-11) semester credit hours

Summer Session

Full-Time Student – Six (6) or more semester credit hours
Half-Time Student – Three to five (3-5) semester credit hours
Maximum Hours Allowed: Eight (8) semester credit hours for the traditional Summer I session and six (6) semester credit hours for the traditional Summer II session, not to exceed a total of fourteen (14) semester credit hours for the entire Summer.

Flex Six-Week Session

Full-Time Student – Six (6) semester credit hours

Flex Eight-Week Session

Full-Time Student – Eight (8) semester credit hours


Full-Time Student – Three (3) semester credit hours

Petition for Overload

Students enrolled in special block programs (e.g., English as a Second Language, Fire Academy, etc.) that require enrollment in semester credit hours beyond the maximum normally allowed, may be exempt from these limitations.  Students may petition the appropriate dean or designee for additional hours.

Concurrent Enrollment at the Alamo Colleges

  • Students enrolling concurrently at more than one of the Alamo Colleges will be assessed tuition for all courses combined across the Alamo Colleges. (See Tuition.)
  • A student’s combined enrollment at all institutions, during any semester, may not exceed the maximum hours allowed by the Alamo Colleges for any given semester, i.e., eighteen (18) maximum hours for Fall or Spring and fourteen (14) hours maximum for Summer.

Alternative Learning Options / Distance Education


The Alamo Colleges are committed to providing students an easy access, flexible, and continuous registration/enrollment process. Alternative learning options meet the needs of students whose busy lives make scheduling college courses difficult. The various course delivery methods may be more appropriate for various learning styles. Students are encouraged to explore the requirements for each option to determine which offers the better opportunity for success. Students may be required to attend an on-site orientation, watch televised broadcasts or DVDs, attend on-campus review sessions, and take exams on-campus. Additional information may be requested from counseling/advising services.

Open-Entry/Open-Exit (OE/OE) Learning Centers provide computer workstations in an unstructured classroom setting. (See Class Schedules for semester offerings and orientation schedules.)

Online Internet Courses allow students to learn any time, anywhere through electronic communications tools such as email, chat rooms, and bulletin boards.

Video Courses are broadcast on specified channels and allow students to independently complete all or most coursework off-campus. If broadcast times are not convenient, students may record lessons and view them at their convenience. Video Course lessons are also available on DVD in the Alamo Colleges’ libraries for check-out and for purchase in campus bookstores.

Interactive Video Conferencing Courses utilize real time audio and video between instructor and student and are broadcast on television or are available on DVD. Students complete most course assignments independently.

Blended/Hybrid Courses combine traditional classroom coursework such as lectures, class discussions, group work, and on-campus activities with online coursework. Blended Courses are recommended for students with flexible schedules.

Math Requirement


Upon completion of twelve (12) college-level semester credit hours with a 2.0 GPA, students are encouraged to begin the Developmental Math sequence. Students testing into Developmental Math are encouraged to start the math sequence as soon as possible and to continue the course sequence each semester without interruption.

Census Date


The Official Census Date of each semester or session established by the THECB is the Alamo Colleges’ official certified enrollment date. No grade is recorded or maintained for courses dropped prior to the Official Census Date. For a complete list of Census Dates see the THECB’s Glossary of Terms online.

Classification of Students


Freshman: Must have completed less than thirty (30) semester credit hours in college-level courses at the Alamo Colleges or other regionally accredited college(s).

Sophomore: Must have completed not less than thirty (30) and not more than seventy-two (72) semester credit hours in college-level subjects at the Alamo Colleges or other regionally accredited college(s).

Unclassified: Must have completed more than seventy-two (72) semester credit hours with no associate or baccalaureate degree earned.

Undergraduate: Less than a baccalaureate.

Adds, Drops, and Withdrawals


Students should carefully consider all options before changing their schedules. An add/drop schedule change period is provided each semester following the close of registration. From the beginning of classes through the Census Date, changes made in courses will be recorded/posted as “Dropped before Census” and will not appear on the official transcript. Students withdrawing after the Census Date will receive a grade of “W” during the withdrawal period. Official “W” recording dates are listed in the Academic Calendar.

It is very important to consider that:

  • All class schedule adjustments must be recorded and officially processed by the Enrollment Services/Admissions and Records Office and may require approval from department chairs or designees.
  • Withdrawing from a class after the Census Date may affect a student’s ability to re-enroll in the course without an increase in the tuition charged for the course and/or may count toward the maximum drop/withdrawals allowed by a Texas ruling. (See Drops and Withdrawals below.)
  • Adding or dropping classes, or withdrawing from all classes, can impact financial aid eligibility. Students should review the financial aid policies on withdrawing from classes. Students who receive financial aid should understand that simply notifying Student Financial Services offices of enrollment changes is not official notification to the Alamo Colleges.
  • No drops or withdrawals will be accepted by phone or over the Internet.

Drop/Add Forms may be picked up in the Enrollment Services/Admissions and Records Office or the appropriate department.


Students may add courses online or on-campus during dates designated for schedule changes, which are identified in current Class Schedules. Once the semester/session begins, students may not add courses without departmental chair approval. Once the class has met, students may no longer be added to that course.

Drops and Withdrawals

Faculty Initiated Drops

Faculty may process drops for non-attendance when it results in a lack of progress. (See Attendance in the Academic Standards  section.) The course syllabus should include any established attendance policy and students should discuss absences or issues relating to attendance with each instructor.

Student Initiated Drops

Students may drop from a class only after meeting with a faculty member or other designee. A Notice of Change/Add/Drop Form must be submitted to the Enrollment Services/Admissions and Records Office for processing.  Students are responsible for following up and confirming that requests to withdraw from classes have been processed.

Three-Peat (Third-Attempt) Enrollment Ruling

Effective Fall Semester 2005, the Alamo Colleges will charge a higher tuition rate to students registering the third (3) or subsequent time for a course. The State will no longer subsidize a student’s enrollment for the third (3) or subsequent attempt. Students should meet with an advisor to determine if they are repeating a course for the third (3) time.

Students may be exempted from payments of higher tuition for any courses repeated in the final semester or term before graduation if the courses are taken for the purpose of receiving a grade that will satisfy a degree requirement.  This exemption applies for only one (1) semester. This exemption does not affect an institution’s ability to charge a higher tuition rate for courses that cannot be reported for funding for other reasons such as the excess credit hour limit, or an institution’s ability to waive higher tuition rates for economic hardship.

Six Course Drop Ruling

Students are limited to a total of six course drops during their undergraduate career, including a course(s) dropped at another institution as defined in Section 51.907 of the Texas Education Code, which limits the number of courses that may be dropped under certain circumstances. A dropped course is defined as a course in which an undergraduate student at an institution of higher education has enrolled for credit but did not complete under these conditions:

  • the student was able to drop without receiving a grade or incurring an academic penalty;
  • the student’s transcript indicates or will indicate that the student was enrolled in the course past the deadline to add and drop prior to the census date; and
  • the student is not dropping the course in order to withdraw from the institution.

Exceptions to the course drop limit include a total withdrawal from the institution and an approved waiver drop. Guidelines for requesting an exception may be located through the Alamo Colleges’ homepage online at

Official Withdrawals

A total withdrawal from the Alamo Colleges is not counted in the above statute. If a student drops one or more courses during the semester before withdrawing completely, the student’s individual drops will be counted in the complete withdrawal. Students may withdraw only after meeting with a faculty member or other designee.

To officially withdraw completely from the Alamo Colleges students must:

  • Go through Enrollment Services/Admissions and Records office.
  • Resolve all financial obligations to the Alamo Colleges including library clearance.

Withdrawal for Military Service

Military students may want their transcripts to reflect that they withdrew due to military reasons or may request that their transcripts show no indication that they were enrolled, and the course(s) will be permanently removed from their transcript. If a student withdraws as a result of being called to active military service, the Alamo Colleges, at the student’s option and with proper documentation, shall:

  • Grant a student who is eligible under the Alamo Colleges’ guidelines a grade in all courses by designating “Withdrawn-Military” (WM) on the transcript, OR
  • As determined by the instructor, assign an appropriate final grade or credit to a student who has satisfactorily completed a substantial amount of coursework and demonstrated sufficient mastery of the course material.

The Alamo Colleges shall provide a 100% refund with the presentation of military orders.

Recording Withdrawal Grades

Regular withdrawals will be recorded as a “W” (withdrawn). Waiver drops will be recorded as a “WX” (withdrawn with exception). Military Service withdrawals will be recorded as a “WM.” All “W” grades have no effect on the GPA. To simply stop attending a class may result in a grade of “F.”

Courses dropped do not become official until the drops have been processed.

Reinstatement to Class


A student dropped for excessive absences or lack of progress may be reinstated to class at the discretion of the instructor of record only if circumstances justify reinstatement. The appropriate reinstatement form must be signed by the faculty member and submitted to the Enrollment Services/Admissions and Records Office.