ECC(LEGAL) - INSTRUCTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS: COURSE LOAD AND SCHEDULES
Limit on Enrollment
To ensure the quality of student learning, institutions, including college districts, should not allow students to carry more courses in any term (that is, regular or shortened semester), that would allow them to earn more than one semester credit hour per week over the course of the term. Institutions should have a formal written policy for addressing any exceptions to this paragraph. 19 TAC 4.6 (b)–(c)
Adding / Dropping Courses
Courses at public community colleges may be added by students up to and including the official census date. A student may not enroll in a course after that date.
Courses at public community colleges may be dropped and a student entitled to a refund of tuition and fees as outlined under 19 Administrative Code 21.5 [see FD].
Education Code 130.009; 19 TAC 9.31
Limitation on the Number of Dropped Courses
This section applies only to an undergraduate student who drops a course at an institution of higher education, including a college district, and only if:
- The student was able to drop the course 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; and
- The student is not dropping the course in order to withdraw from the institution.
An institution of higher education may not permit a student to drop more than six courses, including any course a transfer student has dropped at another institution of higher education, under the circumstances described above.
The governing board of an institution of higher education may adopt a policy under which the maximum number of courses a student is permitted to drop under circumstances described above is less than six courses.
Education Code 51.907(b)–(d), 19 TAC 4.3(11), .10(a)
An institution of higher education shall permit an undergraduate student to drop more courses than the six courses permitted to be dropped under Education Code 51.907(c) or the courses permitted to be dropped under a board policy adopted under Section 51.907(d) if good cause exists for dropping more than that number, including but not limited to:
- The student's showing of:
- A severe illness or other debilitating condition that affects the student's ability to satisfactorily complete a course;
- The student's responsibility for the care of a sick, injured, or needy person if the provision of care affects the student's ability to satisfactorily complete a course;
- The death of a person who is either considered to be a member of the student's family or is otherwise considered to have a sufficiently close relationship to the student, as defined below, that the person's death is considered to be a showing of good cause;
- The active duty service as a member of the Texas National Guard or the Armed Forces of the United States of either the student or a person who is considered to be a member of the student's family or a person who is otherwise considered to have a sufficiently close relationship to the student, as described below;
- The change of the student's work schedule that is beyond the control of the student, and that affects the student's ability to satisfactorily complete the course; or
- Other good cause as determined by the institution of higher education; or
- A disaster declared by the governor under Government Code 418.014 resulting in a bar or limit on in-person course attendance at the institution of a duration that significantly affects the student's ability to participate in coursework, as determined in accordance with a rule adopted under Education Code 51.907(e).
Notwithstanding any other provision in Section 51.907, an institution of higher education may not count toward the number of courses permitted to be dropped under Section 51.907(c) or a policy adopted under Section 51.907(d) a course dropped by a student during the 2020 spring semester or summer term or the 2020–2021 academic year because of a bar or limit on in-person course attendance at the institution during the applicable semester or term due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Education Code 51.907(e), (e-2); 19 TAC 4.9(a)
For purposes of this exception, a "member of the student's family" is defined to be the student's spouse, child, grandchild, father, mother, brother, sister, grandmother, grandfather, aunt, uncle, nephew, niece, first cousin, stepparent, stepchild, or stepsibling.
A "person who is otherwise considered to have a sufficiently close relationship to the student" is defined to include any other relative within the third degree of consanguinity, plus close friends, including but not limited to roommates, housemates, classmates, or other persons identified by the student for approval by the institution, on a case-by-case basis.
19 TAC 4.9(b)
Policy for Determining Good Cause Required
Each institution of higher education shall adopt a policy and procedure for determining a showing of good cause as described above and shall provide a copy of the policy to the Coordinating Board.
Each institution of higher education shall publish the policy adopted in its catalogue and other print and internet-based publications as appropriate for timely notification of students.
19 TAC 4.9(d)–(e)
An institution of higher education shall permit an undergraduate student a total of more than six dropped courses if the enrollment is for a student who qualifies for a seventh course enrollment, who:
- Has reenrolled at the institution following a break in enrollment from the institution or another institution of higher education covering at least the 24-month period preceding the first class day of the initial semester or other academic term of the student's reenrollment; and
- Successfully completed at least 50 semester credit hours of coursework at an institution of higher education that are not exempt from the limitation on formula funding set out in 19 Administrative Code 13.104(1)–(6) before that break in enrollment.
Education Code 51.907(e-1); 19 TAC 4.9(a)
Determining Number of Courses Dropped
In determining the number of courses dropped by a student for purposes of this section, a course, such as a laboratory or discussion course, in which a student is enrolled concurrently with a lecture course is not considered to be a course separate from the lecture course if:
- Concurrent enrollment in both courses is required; and
- In dropping the lecture course, the student would be required to drop the laboratory, discussion, or other course in which the student is concurrently enrolled.
Education Code 51.907(f)