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 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 Education Code 51.907(d) if the student shows good cause for dropping more than that number, including but not limited to a 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.
Education Code 51.907(e); 19 TAC 4.10(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, step-parent, or step-sibling.
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 4.10(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 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 4.10(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 4.10(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)
"Block Scheduled Program"
"Block scheduled program" is a Coordinating Board-approved associate of applied science degree or credit-bearing certificate program in the fields of allied health, nursing, or career education and technology utilizing block scheduling. 19 TAC 9.662(4)
"Block scheduling" is co-registration in a group of courses equal to a full-time load related to a specific program of study or major to facilitate schedule predictability from semester to semester and encourage timely degree completion. 19 TAC 9.662(1)
"Full-time load" is the number of semester credit hours a student is required to complete per semester to complete the program in the amount of time the degree or certificate represents. As examples, a Level I certificate should be completed in one year or less; a Level II certificate should be completed in less than two years; and an associate degree should be completed in two years. 19 TAC 9.662(3)
Required to Offer
To facilitate timely degree completion by students at public junior colleges, from among the allied health, nursing, and career and technology associate degree or certificate programs offered by a public junior college, the college shall establish, for at least five of those programs not previously offered as a block schedule curriculum, a block schedule curriculum under which:
- Courses required for a student's enrollment in the program as a full-time student are offered each semester in scheduled blocks, such as a morning, full-day, afternoon, evening, or weekend block schedule, designed to provide scheduling predictability from semester to semester to students enrolled in the program; and
- Students may enroll in an entire block schedule curriculum offered under the program in a semester, rather than enrolling in individual courses leading toward the degree or certificate.
Clinical, practicum, and other externships may deviate from the block schedule.
Each public junior college shall publish in advance of each semester the available block schedule curricula for each associate degree or certificate program described above offered by the college for that semester.
Education Code 130.0095; 19 TAC 9.663–.665
If a public junior college does not offer the minimum number of block scheduled programs as described by 19 Administrative Code Chapter 9, Subchapter M, the institution must provide detailed written documentation to the Coordinating Board describing the reason why offering the required number of programs creates a hardship for the institution and how students would be impacted by offering additional block scheduled programs. Factors creating an institutional hardship may include, but are not limited to, programmatic accreditation requirements; statutory requirements; number of students enrolled in the program; availability of faculty; or availability of classroom, laboratory, or other types of instructional/experiential spaces. The Coordinating Board will review the documentation provided and make a determination to approve or deny a request to not offer the minimum number of block scheduled programs as defined by Subchapter M. 19 TAC 9.666