GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS


GRADUATION INFORMATION
A formal commencement ceremony is held annually at the end of the spring semester. Commencement is for those students who are completing requirements during that spring semester or who have completed requirements during the preceding summer or fall semesters.
To be considered as a candidate for a degree or certificate, the student should submit an online graduation application by the designated deadline:
Completing in fall semester – October 1
Completing in spring semester – April 15
Completing in a summer term – July 1
Hill College does review student coursework for automatic degree or certificate awards, but students are encouraged to apply for graduation during the semester they will meet the requirements of the degree or certificate. Applications submitted after the deadline may be considered the following semester.


TYPES OF DEGREES AND CERTIFICATES
Hill College grants the:
1. Associate of Arts Degree
2. Associate of Science Degree
3. Associate of Arts in Teaching Degree
4. Associate of Applied Science Degree
5. Certificate of Technology
6. Certificate of Completion
7. Occupational Skills Award
Hill College can grant up to one Associate degree for each degree level in the Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, and Associate of Arts in Teaching if all requirements are met. Students can earn multiple Associate of Applied Science degrees, Certificate of Technology and Certificate of Completion certificates if requirements are met for each award.
The curriculum for the Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, and Associates of Arts in Teaching degrees are designed for the student planning to transfer to a senior college or university.
The Associate of Applied Science degree is awarded for successful completion of a two-year prescribed occupational competencies and curriculum.
The Certificate of Technology is awarded to those who complete the technical competencies of a two-year occupational curriculum.
The Certificate of Completion is awarded for successful completion of competencies and curriculum in an occupational program of less than two years in length.
An Occupational Skills Award is a sequence of technical-based credit courses totaling 9-14 semester credit hours (SCH) within an approved program of study.


Associate of Arts Degree
The Associate of Arts Degree from Hill College will be granted to the student who has made formal application for graduation and who completes the following requirements:
1. The student must complete a minimum of 60 semester hours of credit.*
2. The student must complete all core curriculum / general education requirements for graduation.
3. The student must complete at least three or four electives in their major or the major of Liberal Arts will be awarded.
4. The student must earn at least 25 percent of the credit hours required for the degree at Hill College.
5. The student must have a 2.0 grade point average on all work from Hill College.
6. The student must satisfy the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) requirements in reading, writing, and mathematics, unless exempt.
7. The student must have satisfactorily settled all college financial obligations.
*Developmental courses may not be counted or used as hours towards the Associate of Arts Degree.
Associate of Science Degree
The Associate of Science Degree from Hill College will be granted to the student who has made formal application for graduation and who completes the following requirements:
1. The student must complete a minimum of 60 semester hours of credit.*
2. The student must complete all core curriculum / general education requirements for graduation.
3. The student must complete at least three or four electives in Science and/or Mathematics.
4. The student must earn at least 25 percent of the credit hours required for the degree at Hill College.
5. The student must have a 2.0 grade point average on all work from Hill College.
6. The student must satisfy the Texas Success Initiative Assessment (TSIA) requirements in reading, writing, and mathematics, unless exempt.
7. The student must have satisfactorily settled all college financial obligations.
*Developmental courses may not be counted or used as hours towards the Associate of Science Degree.


Associate of Arts in Teaching Degree
The Associate of Arts in Teaching Degree from Hill College is for students seeking initial Texas teacher certification either in EC-4 (except Early Childhood Specialization), 4-8, EC-12 or in Early Childhood Specialization only. The degree will be granted to the student who has made formal application for graduation and who completes the following requirements:
1. The student must complete a minimum of 60 semester hours of credit.*
2. The student must complete all core curriculum / general education requirements for graduation.
3. The student must complete at least three or four electives in their major or the major of Liberal Arts will be awarded.
4. The student must earn at least 25 percent of the credit hours required for the degree at Hill College.
5. The student must have a 2.0 grade point average on all work from Hill College.
6. The student must satisfy the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) requirements in reading, writing, and mathematics, unless exempt.
7. The student must have satisfactorily settled all college financial obligations.
*Developmental courses may not be counted or used as hours towards the Associate of Arts in Teaching Degree.


Associate of Applied Science Degree
The Associate of Applied Science Degree from Hill College will be granted to the student who has made formal application for graduation and who completes the following requirements:
1. The student must complete a minimum of 60 semester hours of credit.*
2. As part of the minimum 60 semester hour degree requirement, the student must complete a minimum of 15 semester hours of general education courses. The core of general education courses must include at least a 3 semester credit hours (SCH) from each of the following areas: humanities/fine arts, social/behavioral sciences, and mathematics/natural sciences.
3. The student must complete the prescribed competencies and curriculum for a two-year occupational program as outlined in the degree plan listed under Career Pathways.
4. The student must earn at least 25 percent of the credit hours required for the degree at Hill College.
5. The student must have a 2.0 grade point average on all work from Hill College.
6. The student must satisfy the Texas Success Initiative Assessment (TSIA) requirements in reading, writing, and mathematics, unless exempt.
7. The student must have satisfactorily settled all college financial obligations.
*Developmental courses may not be counted or used as hours towards the Associate of Applied Science Degree.


Certificate of Technology
The Certificate of Technology from Hill College will be granted to the student who has made formal application for graduation and who completes the following requirements:
1. The student must complete between 30-51 semester hours of credit.*
2. The student must complete the prescribed technical competencies and curriculum for the occupational program as outlined in this catalog under Career Pathways.
3. The student must earn at least 25 percent of the credit hours required for the degree at Hill College.
4. The student must have a 2.0 grade point average on all work from Hill College.
5. The student must satisfy the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) requirements in reading, writing, and mathematics, unless exempt.
6. The student must have satisfactorily settled all college financial obligations.
*Developmental courses may not be counted or used as hours towards the Certificate of Technology.
Certificate of Completion
The Certificate of Completion from Hill College will be granted to the student who has made formal application for graduation and who completes the following requirements:
1. The student must complete a minimum of 15 semester hours of credit.*
2. The student must complete the prescribed technical competencies and curriculum for the occupational program as outlined in this catalog under Career Pathways.
3. The student must earn at least 25 percent of the credit hours required for the degree at Hill College.
4. The student must have a 2.0 grade point average on all work from Hill College.
5. The student must have satisfactorily settled all college financial obligations.
*Developmental courses may not be counted or used as hours towards the Certificate of Completion.


Occupational Skills Award
A Occupational Skills Award is a sequence of technical-based credit courses totaling 9-14 semester credit hours (SCH) within an approved occupational program. Typically, an external workforce advisory committee identifies the coursework (classes) to be included in the award. Students may receive a dual benefit from earning an award because it helps to create a ‘pathway’ to program completion and can also demonstrate to potential employers a level of aptitude and workplace preparedness.


CORE CURRICULUM
Statement of Purpose
Hill College adopts the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s statement of purpose concerning the core curriculum which states: through the Texas Core Curriculum, students will gain a foundation of knowledge of human cultures and the physical and natural world, develop principles of personal and social responsibility for living in a diverse world, and advance intellectual and practical skills that are essential for all learning.


Elements of the Texas Core Curriculum
The Texas Core Curriculum (TCC) is a 42 Semester Credit Hour (SCH) core curriculum for all undergraduate students in Texas public higher education. Each institution selects the specific courses it will offer to fulfill that framework of the TCC in a way that takes into account the individual role and mission of the institution. The TCC implementation at each institution must receive approval from the Coordinating Board and institutions must evaluate the effectiveness of their TCC at regular intervals.
One of the most important provisions of the TCC is that it allows students who successfully complete a 42 semester credit hour (SCH) core curriculum at one institution to transfer the entire set of completed courses to another public Texas higher education institution without having to repeat any core courses. Students who transfer without completing the entire 42-SCH core curriculum also receive credit for each of the core courses they successfully complete. Although the courses included in the TCC may vary by institution, every Texas higher education institution's core curriculum must include the following Foundational Component Areas and semester credit hours:
• Communication (6 SCH)
• Mathematics (3 SCH)
• Life and Physical Sciences (6 SCH)
• Language, Philosophy and Culture (3 SCH)
• Creative Arts (3 SCH)
• American History (6 SCH)
• Government/Political Science (6 SCH)
• Social and Behavioral Sciences (3 SCH)
• The Component Area Option (6 SCH)
Students have flexibility to choose courses from an institution's core curriculum. However, that flexibility may be limited by the student's major. For example, most science majors have prescribed math and science requirements as part of their degree program requirements. Students should always consult with an academic advisor at their institution to determine what courses they should take.


Field of Study Curricula
A Field of Study (FOS) is a selection of lower-division courses that are guaranteed by state law to transfer and apply to a degree program. If a student takes all the courses in an FOS and then transfers to another Texas public institution of higher education, the FOS is guaranteed to transfer as a block and be applied to the appropriate major. If a student has completed the FOS, the Texas common core curriculum, and any university or college courses required of all students regardless of major, then the student is finished with all the lower-division courses for the degree program at any Texas public institution. If a student transfer with an incomplete FOS, then each completed FOS course is guaranteed to transfer and apply to the degree program, although the institution many require additional lower-division courses.

GRADUATION FEE
Hill College believes that every student should have the opportunity to participate in commencement following the completion of a program of study. Therefore, the college does not charge a graduation fee.


GRADUATION WITH HONORS
Students who are graduating with an Associate Degree, who have at least 24 semester hours in residence, who have completed at least two semesters at Hill College, and who have a grade point average of at least 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale) on all work attempted will graduate cum laude (with honors). Students who are graduating with an Associate Degree, who have at least 24 semester hours in residence, who have completed at least two semesters at Hill College, and who have a grade point average of at least 3.75 (on a 4.0 scale) on all work attempted will graduate magna cum laude (with high honors). Students who are graduating with an Associate Degree, who have at least 24 semester hours in residence, who have completed at least two semesters at Hill College, and who have a grade point average of at least 3.9 (on a 4.0 scale) on all work attempted will graduate summa cum laude (with highest honors).


CENTER FOR ADVANCED STUDIES (CAS):
The CAS is an opportunity for any student to do an outside project with a faculty or staff member in addition to the required curriculum in any course. CAS projects may be pre-determined by the instructor/staff, or can be custom designed by the student under supervision of the instructor/staff. There are CAS opportunities in all fields of study, and they will be done on a student-interest plus faculty-interest basis.
The benefit of participating in CAS projects to the student is 1) hands-on experience in their field of passion, 2) recognition on a transcript and resume, and 3) University-level opportunities in a one-on-one small-school setting. The benefit to the college of providing CAS opportunities to students is that it would 1) make Hill College the college of choice by providing unique advanced studies opportunities to students and 2) improve student success and retention. Studies show that students who participate in advanced studies, extracurricular projects, and spend time with faculty/staff outside of class are more likely to be successful and stay in school. The length of time required by the CAS project will vary depending on the student, instructor/staff, and project: some might be a semester long, some might be just a week-long trip, etc. A student would sign up for a CAS project by contacting that instructor/staff to discuss potential projects. The instructor will inform admissions (or the appropriate admin) that the student is a CAS student for this particular subject. A student can participate in as many or as few CAS projects as they desire. Some examples of a CAS project might be outside scientific research (not necessarily limited to a science course), publishing/editing written work for a Hill College website or journal, running a College media production outlet, trips to Washington to interview politicians, research of historic documents, study abroad trips, and more.