South Plains College is committed to quality academic standards and to providing each student with an opportunity to master required skills and competencies. The requirements for degrees and certificates granted by South Plains College are based on guidelines established by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Associate degree programs contain a basic core of at least 15 semester hours of general education courses, including at least one course from each of the following areas: humanities/fine arts, social/behavioral science, and natural sciences/mathematics. Graduates also must be competent in reading, writing, oral communication, fundamental mathematical skills, and the basic use of computers.
General Education Core
The general education core represents areas of knowledge and performance that reflect not only courses taken and the degrees earned but also learning as a lifetime endeavor. The curriculum at South Plains College is designed to help students learn how to discover, appreciate and competently use, with increasing independence, knowledge and skills related to the following areas: human behavior and achievement; the natural world, including logical thought as exemplified by mathematics; written/oral communication and critical reflection; and the application of technology to personal endeavors. General education courses are broad and general, addressing the essence of the disciplines in each area. The South Plains College transfer core curriculum incorporates all the course requirements of the general education core.
General Education Core Course Options
The following courses have been identified as fulfilling the minimum requirements of the general education core. Specific degree plans detailed in this catalog will recommend course work in addition to the options that follow. Students should consult the recommended degree plans for their particular major.
Humanities and Fine Arts:
Understanding of the heritage and destiny of humanity as revealed through history, ideas, literature, language, and visual and performing aethetics. The options include:
ARTS 1301 , ARTS 1303 , ARTS 1304 , ARTS 1311 , ARTS 1316 , ARTS 2356
BIB 131 , BIB 132
COMM 1316 , COMM 1317
DRAM 1351 , DRAM 1310 , DRAM 2331 , DRAM 2351
ENGL 2322 , ENGL 2326 , ENGL 2332 , ENGL 2333
FREN 1411, 1412, FREN 2312 , FREN 2311
HIST 1302 , HIST 2301
LATI 1411, 1412, 2411, 2412
MUSI 1306 , MUSI 1301 , MUSI 1308 , MUSI 1309
SPAN 1300 , SPAN 1301 , SPAN 1511 , SPAN 1512 , SPAN 2311 , SPAN 2312
Social and Behavioral Sciences:
Understanding of human behavior, culture and social institutions, and institutional change. The options include:
ECON 1303 , ECON 2301 , ECON 2302
GOVT 2302 , GOVT 2301
HIST 2301 , HIST 1302 , HIST 1301
PSYC 2306 , PSYC 2301 , PSYC 2314 , PSYC 2319
SOCI 1301 , SOCI 2306 , SOCI 1306 , SOCI 2301 , SOCI 2336 , SOCI 2320
Mathematics and Natural Sciences:
Understanding of the structure and functioning of the natural world and its mathematical expression. The options include:
AGRI 1307 , AGRI 1312 , AGRI 1415 , AGRI 1419
BIOL 1308 , BIOL 1324 , BIOL 1411 , BIOL 1406 , BIOL 1407 , BIOL 1413 , BIOL 2306 ,
BIOL 2401 , BIOL 2402 , BIOL 2420 , BIOL 2428
CHEM 1406 , CHEM 1408, CHEM 1411 , CHEM 1412 , CHEM 2523 , CHEM 2525
GEOL 1404 , GEOL 1403
MATH 1348 , MATH 1324 , MATH 1332 , MATH 1342 , MATH 1325 , MATH 1314 , MATH 1316 ,
MATH 1442 , MATH 2320 , MATH 2315 , MATH 2318 , MATH 2414 , MATH 2412 , MATH 2413
PHYS 1315 , PHYS 1411 , PHYS 1401 , PHYS 1405 , PHYS 1402 , PHYS 1412 , PHYS 2425 , PHYS 2426
General Education Competencies
In addition to the general education courses, South Plains College assures that all graduates are competent in reading, writing, fundamental mathematical skills, oral communication and the basic use of computers. This is accomplished through several methods including participation in the Texas Success Initiative Program (TSI), approved courses within the program or departmental curricula, testing, incorporation of competency-based objectives across departmental or program curricula, and evaluation of high school or college transfer course work.
Reading, Writing and Fundamental Mathematical Skills are addressed through the college’s participation in the Texas Success Initiative which ensures that students possess the necessary academic skills to perform effectively in college. TSI is a program of testing and, if needed, remediation (view here ). Students who need additional work to meet the demands of college-level course work will be required to participate in developmental study. Students should allow more than two years (four semesters) for completing the requirements for an associate degree or certificate if they are required to enroll in developmental studies. In those cases where students are exempt from TSI requirements, student competencies are addressed and documented on approved degree plans.
Oral Communication is addressed through courses approved by the South Plains College Academic Council, satisfactory completion of an oral communications competency test or inclusion of competency-based objectives across departmental or program curricula. Specific courses identified as meeting this competency requirement include: HITT 1253 , HITT 1301 , HITT 1305 , RNSG 1513 , RNSG 2307 , SPCH 1311 , SPCH 1315 , SPCH 1321 .
Basic Use of Computers is defined at South Plains College as the ability to demonstrate proficiency in identifying and using hardware components, performing basic file management, and manipulating data using contemporary application software on a microcomputer. This competency may be met through testing, designated courses on the program and divisional levels, or evaluation of high school course work. Methods other than completion of approved courses are documented on individual degree plans. Courses meeting this requirement include: ABDR 2355, AGRI 1309 , ARTC 1313 , ARTC 1302 , AUMT 1407 , COSC 1309 , COSC 1401 , DEMR 2348 , DFTG 1309 , HART 1407 , INMT 1311 , ITSC 1401 , MUSC 1330 , MUSC 1427 , RNSG 1513 , RNSG 2307 , WLDG 1457 .
As required by the State of Texas, students who elect to complete the requirements for the Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, Associate of Applied Arts and Associate of Applied Science degrees must take an approved placement test and master all three sections of the test covering reading, writing and mathematics. This standard also applies to students who elect to complete the requirements for the Certificate of Proficiency in programs which comprise 42 semester credit hours or more of study. Students who score below minimum passing standards on any of the three portions of the placement test will be required to continuously enroll in developmental study until the appropriate portion of the assessment has been mastered. Completion of developmental study courses do not apply toward graduation. A degree or certificate cannot be awarded unless all TSI requirements are completed and met.
General Graduation Requirements
Students entering South Plains College are encouraged to file a degree plan with a program advisor and complete the specified requirements for an associate degree or certificate. Students intending to transfer should consult the catalog of the transfer college or university and plan their prescribed elective courses to meet the special requirements in the curricula of these schools. Advisors and counselors are available to help the student plan a college course of study to meet specific degree requirements at the transfer university.
To be eligible for graduation, students must meet the following general requirements in addition to specific associate degree and certificate requirements listed in this section:
- Candidates for the associate degree must complete at least 15 semester hours of general education courses and meet competency levels in written communication, mathematics, oral communication, and computer skills.
- Candidates for graduation must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.00 (“C”) in course work completed at South Plains College. In order to be awarded a certificate you must complete all program course requirements and have a cumulative grade point average of 2.00 (“C”) or better. Grades in courses not applying to the certificate may be waived by petition if approved by the Program Advisor, Divisional Dean, and Vice President for Academic Affairs and submitted to the Dean of Admissions and Records. The waiver of grades as indicated above will not entitle a student to graduate with honors based on the certificate GPA.
- Candidates for graduation must pass all portions of the placement test, if required to master the test.
- Candidates for graduation must be in good financial standing with the college.
Specific Degree and Certificate Requirements
Associate of Arts, Associate of Science Degrees
In order to receive the Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree, a student must meet the following specific degree requirements:
- Complete one of the regular degree plans as listed in the catalog and approved by the appropriate Divisional Dean.
- Candidates for graduation must complete a minimum of 62 semester hours of college credit.
- Candidates for graduation must complete at least two semester hours of non-repeated physical education activity courses. Students completing 90% of their degree requirements at a South Plains College Extension Center or via internet instruction can substitute PHED 1304 fitness and wellness to fulfill the physical education core requirement. Veterans presenting their DDR 214 discharge will receive two semester credit hours toward the physical education core requirement.
- Candidates for graduation must complete at least 25 percent (minimum 16 semester hours) of work in residence at South Plains College.
- Any student who completes 42 semester hours of collegelevel credit, has at least 25 percent of degree requirements (minimum 16 semester hours) in residence at South Plains College, and lacks only 12 semester hours or less to meet the total semester hours required for graduation may accomplish the remaining semester hours in another accredited college. The student may then transfer those semester hours back to South Plains College for completion of graduation requirements. College-level credits from regionally accredited colleges and universities are accepted in transfer, but only those courses with a recorded passing grade are acceptable toward fulfillment of graduation requirements at South Plains College.
- A candidate for any degree must meet the requirements as set forth in the catalog for the year of first enrollment, as long as enrollment is continuous, unless he or she elects to graduate under the requirements of the current catalog. To qualify for a second degree, a student must complete an additional 16 semester credit hours for the second degree and apply for graduation.
Associate of Applied Arts and Associate of Applied Science Degrees
In order to receive the Associate of Applied Arts or Associate of Applied Science degree, technical students must meet the following specific degree requirements:
- Candidates for graduation must complete all prescribed entrance requirements for their major program of study.
- Candidates for graduation must satisfactorily complete the specified course of study for the declared major. Candidates for the Associate of Applied Arts and Associate of Applied Science degrees must complete a minimum of 60 semester hours or up to a maximum of 72 semester hours unless the maximum is exceeded as a result of particular program outcomes and/or specialized accreditation or licensure.
- Candidates for graduation must have completed at least 25 percent of required course work (minimum of 15-18 semester hours of college-level credit) at South Plains College.
- To qualify for a second degree, a student must fulfill the residence requirements (25 percent of the required course work, usually 16-18 semester hours of college-level credit) for the second degree and apply for graduation.
Certificate of Proficiency, Advanced Technical Certificate and Enhanced Skills Certificate
In order to be eligible for the Certificate of Proficiency, Advanced Technical Certificate or Tech Prep Enhanced Skills Certificate, technical students must meet the following specific certificate requirements:
- Candidates for graduation must complete all prescribed entrance requirements for their major program of study.
- Candidates for graduation must satisfactorily complete the course of study for the declared major in accordance with the following:
- Candidates for the Certificate of Proficiency must complete the prescribed number of semester hours up to a maximum of 59 semester hours.
- Candidates for the Advanced Technical Certificate must complete the prescribed number of hours in addition to completing all requirements for the Associate of Applied Science degree.
- Candidates for the Enhanced Skills Certificate must complete the prescribed number of hours up to a maximum of 12 semester hours in addition to completing all requirements for the Associate of Applied Science degree.
- Candidates for graduation must have completed at least 25 percent of required course work at South Plains College.
- To quality for a second certificate, a student must fulfill the residence requirements for the second certificate and apply for graduation.
Application for Graduation
Candidates for graduation should make application for graduation. Deadline for application is November 1 and March 1 of each year. Students may apply for graduation online through MySPC or by contacting the Admissions and Records Office for an application. There is no application fee. Students who wish to replace a diploma that has been awarded will be charged a fee of $25, and must complete the required form.
South Plains College holds commencement exercises once a year in May. Graduates are required to participate in commencement exercises unless they are given permission to graduate in absentia. Students who plan to complete the requirements for graduation during the summer should apply for graduation during the previous spring semester and may participate in the May commencement exercises.
In order to qualify for designation as an honor graduate, the student must meet the following criteria:
- Must have completed at least 45 college-level semester hour credits at South Plains College when an application for graduation is submitted.
- Must be either enrolled at South Plains College in a course of study that would complete all specified program require ments or be able to complete them during the succeeding summer session.
Certificate of Proficiency
- Must have completed at least 10 college-level semester hour credits at South Plains College when an application for graduation is submitted.
- Must be either enrolled at South Plains College in a course of study that would complete all specified program requirements or be able to complete them during the succeeding summer session.
The following cumulative grade point averages (GPAs) determine which students qualify as honor graduates:
4.00 Highest Honors
3.85 to 3.99 Honors
Students who raise their GPAs as a result of spring and/or summer semester grades, and therefore qualify for honor student status, will have the accomplishment noted on their final academic record.
The honors eligibility will be based on your final GPA at the time of your graduation application.
Degree plans initiated under requirements set forth in a college catalog more than six years in publication must be evaluated. The instructional division will determine the extent to which semester credit hours previously earned will apply to degree requirements listed in the most current catalog.
Graduate Guarantee Program
Associate of Arts, Associate of Science Degrees
South Plains College guarantees to its Associate of Arts and Associate of Science students who have met the requirements for the degree, beginning May, 1992, and thereafter, that course credits will transfer to other public-supported Texas colleges or universities provided the following conditions are met:
- Transferability means acceptance of credit toward a specific major and degree at a specific institution. These three components must be identified by the student during the application for admission process prior to the first semester of enrollment at South Plains College.
- Limitations on total number of credits accepted in transfer, grades required, relevant grade point average, and duration of transferability apply as stated in the general undergraduate catalog of the receiving institution.
- Transferability refers to courses in a written transfer degree plan filed in a student’s file in the Office of Admissions and Records.
- Only college-level courses with Community College Academic Course Guide Manual approval numbers are included in this guarantee.
If all the above conditions are met and a course or courses are not accepted by a receiving institution in transfer, the student should notify the Dean of Arts and Sciences at South Plains College so the Transfer Dispute Resolution process can be initiated (see page 26).
If course denial is not resolved, South Plains College will allow the student to take tuition-free alternative courses, semester hour for semester hour, which are acceptable to the receiving institution within a one-year period from granting of a degree from SPC. The graduate is responsible for payment of any fees, books or other course-related expenses associated with the alternate course or courses.
Associate of Applied Arts, Associate of Applied Science Degree, Certificate of Proficiency
South Plains College guarantees the recipients of an Associate of Applied Arts, Associate of Applied Science degree or a Certificate of Proficiency that upon exit from the program they will possess technical job skills identified as basic competencies for entry-level employment positions in their respective fields of study. If a recipient of an Associate of Applied Arts, Associate of Applied Science degree or certificate is judged by his or her employer to be lacking in these technical skills, the graduate will be provided up to 12 tuition-free credit hours of additional skill training by South Plains College under the conditions of the guarantee policy. Special conditions which apply to this graduate guarantee include the following:
- The graduate must have earned the Associate of Applied Science degree or Certificate of Proficiency beginning May, 1992, or thereafter, in a technical program identified in the college’s General Catalog.
- The graduate must have earned the Associate of Applied Arts degree beginning May, 2001, or thereafter, in a technical program in the college’s General Catalog.
- The graduate must have completed requirements for the Associate of Applied Arts and Associate of Applied Science degrees or Certificate of Proficiency with the South Plains College System, with a minimum 75 percent of credits earned at South Plains College and must have completed the degree or certificate requirements within a five-year time span.
- Graduates must be employed full-time in an area directly related to the area of program concentration as certified by the appropriate division dean.
- Employment must commence within 12 months of graduation.
- The employer must certify in writing that the employee is lacking entry-level skills identified by South Plains College as program exit competencies and must specify the areas of deficiency within 90 days of the graduate’s initial employment.
- The employer, graduate, division dean, job placement counselor, and appropriate faculty member will develop a written educational plan for retraining.
- Retraining will be limited to 12 credit hours related to the identified skill deficiency and to those classes regularly scheduled during the period covered by the retraining plan.
- All retraining must be completed within a calendar year from the time the educational plan is agreed upon.
- The graduate and / or employer is responsible for the cost of books, insurance, uniforms, fees and other courserelated expenses.
- The guarantee does not imply that the graduate will pass any licensing or qualifying examination for a particular career.
A student’s sole remedy against South Plains College and its employees for skill deficiencies shall be limited to 12 credit hours of tuition-free education under the conditions described above. Activation of the Graduate Guarantee Program may be initiated by the graduate by contacting the appropriate divisional dean within 90 days of the graduate’s initial employment.