Frequently Asked Questions
What are the first steps in entering college?
Just as a student registered for different courses in high school when changing from one year to the next, in college, students must register for college by completing the following information:
- Admissions Packet - To give background information to the college
- Financial Aid Packet - If you need financial assistance
- Residence Halls - If the student wants to live on campus
The Academic Advising and Success Center staff assists in academic advisement by assisting enrolling students with:
- Degree Plans - Degree plans give students a guide for their college program - deciding on which courses to take, how many hours to take, and what field of study to choose
- Assessment and Interest Testing - Assessment testing gives students the best information on which courses to take, which job field they might choose to study, or a better understanding of how they learn.What if you're a high school student taking concurrent courses; do you still have to take the TSI Assessment?
- High School students taking concurrent courses must either be exempt by TAKS, SAT, or ACT (have high scores in all areas), or take the TSI Assessment or an alternative test. Alternative testing is available at the Testing Center at Cleburne or Hillsboro
What is a credit hour? How many should I take?
- In high school, students needed a specific number of credits to graduate - usually in the range of 20-25 credits. In college, students need more credits to graduate, but credits are slightly different. Three college hours or three credits means the class meets three hours a week. So if a student is taking three courses, its three hours times three courses or nine credit hours. Most students take at least twelve hours as a minimum and should take fifteen hours a semester as a regular load. If a student takes fifteen hours a semester and only attends college in the long semesters (fall and spring) that's fifteen hours times two which equals thirty hours a year. If it takes 62 hours to graduate with an associate's degree, a student could possibly finish within two years if he/she is taking the correct courses.
- 3 credit hours = class meets 3 hours a week
- 3 courses X 3 credit hours = 9 credit hours
- 12-15 credit hours a semester is normal load
- 15 credit hours a semester X 2 (fall semester and spring semester) = 30 hours a year
- 30 hours X 2 years = 60 hours
- Most associate degrees are 62 hours, so most people can graduate in two years with an associate's degree
What is a degree plan and when is it prepared?
- In high school, students are required to take four English/Language Arts classes, a specified number of math and science courses, electives, etc. In college, students are required to take certain courses dependent upon their choice of majors. A major is a field of study, such as if a person wants to teach, he/she would study education. If a student wants to study computers, he/she would study computer science.
- A degree plan is a plan of the courses a student will take in college.
- When entering college, students sit down with a counselor/advisor to discuss what field they're interested in. Many students don't know what they're interested in studying and that's alright. There are tests which can help students decide what to study or a student can take the core curriculum courses which are courses which transfer to all colleges. It's a basic set of English, Math, History, Science, and electives. It's a good choice.
- Degree plans are updated as students’ complete courses. It is vitally important that students check with their counselors and academic advisors before and during each semester to make sure the correct courses are being completed for graduation.
If I haven't ever been to college, what can I do to start, especially since I'm older than most college students?
- The normal college student today isn't the traditional student who leaves high school, goes to college, attends four years, graduates and gets a job. Today college students are all ages and more and more non-traditional students are entering college to get better jobs, to earn more money, or because it's a lifelong goal.
For more information, please contact any of the Academic Advising and Success Centers, at (254) 659-7650 (Hillsboro), (817) 760-5650 (Cleburne- Johnson County Campus), or (817) 295-7392 (Burleson).