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    Northwest Vista College
  Jun 24, 2024
Northwest Vista College Schedule/Catalog 2012-2013 
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Northwest Vista College Schedule/Catalog 2012-2013 [Archived Catalog]

Degree Information

 The Alamo Colleges confer Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, Associate of Arts in Teaching, and Associate of Applied Science degrees. Several levels of certificates are also available. For any degree or certificate awarded, a student must earn at least 25% of the college-level credit hours required for graduation through instruction by the college of the Alamo Colleges granting the award. The degree must be awarded by the college that offers the program.


Transfer Programs - Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, Associate of Arts in Teaching Degrees

The Associate of Arts (AA), Associate of Science (AS), and Associate of Arts in Teaching (AAT) degrees are specifically designed for transfer as the equivalent of the first half of the Baccalaureate Degree requirements of most public colleges and universities. The Alamo Colleges offer a broad range of educational opportunities for the student whose goal is to transfer to a four-year institution. Although each four-year school is different, students ensure the transferability of their courses by being active and responsible in the advisement process. By consulting the four-year institution regularly and taking advantage of the resources available at the Alamo Colleges, students will be reassured that the transfer process is a positive experience.

The Liberal Arts AA and General Studies AS degrees are designed for students who choose to select the 18-hours above the core curriculum based on requirements at a specific 4-year institution or specific areas of interest. The Alamo Colleges AA, AS, and AAT degrees with suggested concentrations may lead to specific major areas of study at receiving institutions, and some articulation agreements for specific programs of study are in place at the colleges. Students may also choose to work with advisors to earn 60-hours required at a selected institution toward a specific degree and earn an AA or AS transfer degree.

The Associate of Arts in Teaching (AAT) is for individuals who have a desire to enter the field of education as a teacher, school administrator, counselor, or other professional in education. Students are advised to continue toward their Baccalaureate of Arts Degree in Education at a four-year degree granting institution. The AAT degree is THECB-approved and is fully transferrable to all Texas public universities that offer applicable Baccalaureate Degrees leading to initial Texas teacher certification. Students should consult with an advisor and with the university to which they plan to transfer for additional information regarding specific content area concentrations.

Texas law authorizes the curricula in Field of Study areas that will transfer and count toward specific majors at all Texas public institutions when requirements are successfully completed. In all cases, to ensure ease of transfer, students are strongly encouraged to check with the university they plan to attend.

Core Curriculum for AA/AS/AAT Degrees

The core curriculum required for the transfer degrees represents a common experience in academic foundations and provides a basis for transferability within the Alamo Colleges and among regionally accredited public Texas colleges/universities. Texas law mandates that the completed core at one institution will transfer and take the place of the core at the receiving institution. Therefore, it is a definite advantage for a student to complete the core at the Alamo Colleges since the core should transfer as a block of credit. A student may not be required to take additional core curriculum courses unless the THECB has approved a larger core for the receiving institution. In addition, the core is a substantial portion of the requirements for an associate degree and with only a few additional courses, the student will have completed an associate degree.

Students who transfer from the Alamo Colleges to another college or university without completing the Alamo Colleges core curriculum receive academic credit for the receiving institution’s core curriculum for each of the courses they have successfully completed in the Alamo Colleges core curriculum component areas. Once they have received credit for these courses, students may be required to satisfy the remaining core curriculum course requirements of the receiving institution.

The core courses reflect the four core component areas required by the THECB: communication, mathematics/natural sciences, humanities/literature/visual-performing arts, and social/behavioral sciences. Core curriculum courses are divided into academic specialties. Each course is assigned a core curriculum component number that is used by all Texas public institutions of higher education to assist in determining that the core has been met.

The Alamo Colleges include in the core curriculum courses the basic intellectual competencies as outlined by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Listening
  • Critical Thinking
  • Computer Literacy

The core curriculum specifics are provided in the catalog for the student’s use in selecting the courses that align with any receiving institution’s requirements. Students should note the transfer university’s core curriculum courses required in specific majors to satisfy both core curriculum and major requirements.

AA and AS Transfer Degrees

Articulation Agreements, Transfer Agreements, and 2+2 Agreements guarantee that students can transfer their first two years of college work at the Alamo Colleges to specific regionally accredited Texas colleges/universities. If a student follows the curriculum identified in an agreement, there will be no loss of credit in transferring coursework from the Alamo Colleges to a senior institution. If students complete the entire first two (2) years of any such program with a minimum of 60 applicable degree hours, they will have satisfied the requirements for an associate degree. These hours of credit must include fifteen (15) hours in core curriculum areas as required by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), which  must include at least one (1) course each in the following areas: humanities/fine arts; social/behavioral sciences; and natural science/mathematics. The hours must also include the courses required by the Texas Higher Education Act as set forth in Subchapter F, section 51.301 and 51.302 (six [6] semester hours in U.S./Texas government and six [6] semester hours in U.S./Texas history). Students should work closely with an advisor to obtain information about existing agreements and specific transfer plan information.

Associate of Applied Science Degree

The Associate of Applied Science (AAS) Degrees and Certificates are for the purposes of job or career entry, career development and change, industry/business start-up development, and technical services to industry. The AAS degree is designed for learning specific professional/technical skills. Through a sequential delivery of program courses, students develop necessary technical and workplace skills in preparation for entry-level positions. Each program and the type of degree or certificate awarded, however, is dependent upon the extent of required skills for a specific career. For certain programs, the Alamo Colleges may have established articulation and transfer agreements with specific universities. Contact an advisor for specific transfer information. Some courses identified in each program may be offered for continuing education units.

Courses taken ten (10) or more years prior to a student’s last enrollment at the Alamo Colleges will not count as semester credit hours toward the award of the degree or certificate in the Applied Science area of major concentration. These courses will only be transferred or credited as elective credits towards the fulfillment of degree/certificate requirements. However, a student may petition for an exception, which will be evaluated and awarded as determined by the program lead with approval by the VPAA.

Core Curriculum for AAS Degrees

At least 15 core curriculum credit hours are required for each AAS degree. These hours of credit must include at least one course in each of the following areas: mathematics, natural sciences, humanities/literature/visual-performing arts, and social/behavioral sciences. The degree requirements may specify the courses required or the student may have the choice of any course listed in the core curriculum section of the catalog.


Certificates are part of the career and technical offerings. The certificate programs require fewer semester hours and most can be applied toward an AAS degree. Some certificate programs do not require the student to meet Texas Success Initiative (TSI) requirements. When the students seeks a TSI waiver based upon participation in one of these certificate programs, the student may not enroll in any courses other than those required for completing the certificate program requirements. Attempting any additional coursework will require the student to meet TSI testing and/or remediation requirements that apply to students not enrolled in a TSI-waived certificate program. Students are encouraged to check with respective departments regarding the TSI requirements of each certificate prior to enrolling. 

The types of certificates available are:

  • Local Certificate 6 to 14 semester hours. Course sequence that represents achievement of identifiable skill proficiency
  • Marketable Skills Certificate 9 to 14 semester hours. Courses that may lead to immediate employment or add to the student’s marketability
  • Level I Certificate 15 to 42 semester hours
  • Level II Certificate 43 to 59 semester hours

All certificates require students to:

  • Complete the required number of hours of prescribed course work
  • Complete a capstone course within the prescribed course work
  • Complete at least 25% of the required semester hours at the college awarding the Level I/II Certificate or 50% of the required semester hours at the college awarding the Marketable Skills or Local Certificate

For information on the capstone course, contact the respective chairperson or program coordinator.