Course Description

The course description provides much useful information about courses offered by the college.  The curricula of the college are generally set forth through the course descriptions and the curriculum plans that link them together into a coherent sequence of study.  The various components that make up a course description are shown in the figure and described below.


Course Description Example


Course Number and Title

The course description begins with the course number.  First are four letters representing the subject area or discipline of the course.  For example ENGL means the course is in the English discipline.  All courses are numbered with four digits.  The first digit identifies the course level; those beginning with one are freshman courses, and those beginning with two are of sophomore rank.  The second digit indicates the credit value of the course.  The third and fourth digits establish the course sequence in which the course is generally taken, odd numbers being offered the first semester and even numbers the second semester.  Course numbers beginning with a “zero” designate either a developmental course or a course whose credit is not considered towards certificate or degree attainment.  Following the course number is the course title that succinctly describes the content of the course.  SWTJC adheres fully to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Common Course Numbering System.  This means that the course number, title, and basic description are contained in one of two common catalogs of courses, either the Academic Course Guide Manual or the Workforce Education Course Manual.  The only exception to this is a limited number of unique need courses approved by the THECB to address special curricular needs of the college.

Course Credit

The next component of the description gives the course credit to be received after successful completion of the course.  College credits are usually computed on the basis of the amount of time and study devoted to complete them.  A course meeting 48 lecture hours (e.g. three lecture hours per week in a semester of 16 weeks) is given three semester credit hours (SCH).  Credit hours for laboratory work and external experience are evaluated by separate scales, which are developed by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

Course Time Commitment

Following the course number in a course description is a series of three numeric digits in parentheses that inform the student of the time commitment required by the course.  The first digit in parenthesis to the right of the course credit indicates the number of clock hours of lecture per week.  The second digit in the parenthesis indicates the number of clock hours of laboratory per week.  The third digit indicates the number of external experience hours (co-op, practicum, clinical, etc. per week).

Course Approval Number

All SWTJC courses are approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and assigned a unique number.

Course Description

Next follows the actual description of the course.  It provides in a concise way the overall goals, content, and major topics to be covered.  By reading the description, students can determine the subject matter of the course.

A student not meeting one or more TSI Requirement may be blocked from enrolling in a course.

Course Prerequisites, Co-requisites, and Fees

 A prerequisite is a course that a student must successfully complete before enrollment in a subsequent course.  A co-requisite is a course that a student must enroll for while taking another course, or have completed before taking the subsequent course.  If a student is currently enrolled in a pre/co-requisite college level class that is blocking registration in another college level class, the advisor/counselor may check the mid-term grade and, provided it is a “C” or better, complete and sign an over-ride form

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