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Core Curriculum FAQs

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What is the Core Curriculum?

The Core Curriculum is the name given to a set of courses designed to give you the fundamentals of a college education.

Every public institution of higher education in Texas has a Core Curriculum. The Core is designed to provide a solid foundation for your college education and is guaranteed to transfer as a block of credit between and among Texas institutions of higher education.

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What are the benefits of the Core Curriculum?

It saves you money. One three-hour course at the colleges of DCCCD costs only $156, or $52 per credit hour for Dallas County residents. Tuition is only $97 per credit hour for out-of-county residents and $153 per credit hour for out-of-state or out-of-country residents. Compare our tuition rates per course to those of other area institutions of higher education.

It saves you time. With seven colleges, there’s one near your home or workplace. Class times on days, evenings, weekends and online ensure that everyone can find time to earn college credit.

It’s guaranteed to transfer. You can complete your general education requirements for college, and transfer of completed credits to any public college or university in Texas is guaranteed. However, please check with the institution you want to attend to make sure the courses you select will be applicable to the major you want to pursue when you transfer.

It shows accomplishment and educational attainment. You can achieve a goal that builds your self-esteem, résumé and job-seeking abilities on your way to a college degree! With only three or four more courses beyond the Core, you can earn an associate degree!

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What does “guaranteed transfer” mean?

Since 1999, it has been a state law that students who complete the Core Curriculum with at least a 2.0 GPA are guaranteed that their courses will transfer as a block of credit to any Texas public college or university without being required to take any additional Core courses. If transferring to a four-year college or university is in your plans, it’s to your distinct advantage to complete the Core Curriculum because it will save you both time and money — and it makes transferring much easier for you!

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Does it matter if I complete the whole Core Curriculum?

It’s in your best interest to complete the Core so that your transcript is marked “Core Complete.” That entire block of classes must be accepted by other Texas public institutions of higher education and makes it that much easier to go ahead and earn your associate degree.

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Will individual Core courses also transfer to other institutions?

Yes, transfer of individual Core courses is also guaranteed.

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Is the Core Curriculum the same at all the colleges of DCCCD?

Yes. The Core Curriculum is the same at all seven of our colleges.

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What are “tiers” and “learning categories”?

The Core Curriculum is arranged in three tiers designed to give you a systematic way to navigate the Core and select appropriate courses. The Core also features “learning categories,” which are groupings of courses that reflect “big ideas.”

Tier 1 — Core Foundations requires completion of five courses. Learning categories are:

  • Critical Reading and Writing (6 credit hours)
  • Speaking and Listening (3 credit hours)
  • Quantitative Reasoning (3 credit hours)
  • Wellness and the Human Experience (1 credit hours)

Tier 2 — Core Domains requires completion of eight courses. Learning categories are:

  • Qualitative Reasoning, Literacy and Research (3 credit hours)
  • Self and Society (9 credit hours)
  • Humanity, Creativity and the Aesthetic Experience (6 credit hours)
  • Scientific Discovery and Sustainability (8 credit hours)

Tier 3 — Integrative Learning consists of a single learning category:

  • Critical Issues in the State-Federal Relationship (3 credit hours)

Note: The tiers are intended to guide you, not serve as a rigid plan. You can enroll in Tier 2 courses while completing Tier 1 requirements or enroll in Tier 3 while completing the Tier 2 courses.

View the selection of courses in each Core tier and learning category (PDF - 2.74MB).

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How many college credit hours are in the Core Curriculum?

The Core Curriculum, revised for Fall 2010, contains 42 credit hours.

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How many courses does it take beyond the Core to earn an associate degree?

The Core is the very basis of the Associate in Sciences (A.S.), Associate in Arts (A.A.) and Associate of Arts in Teaching (A.A.T.) degrees (as well as Field of Study and Emphasis degrees). You can earn one of these degrees with approximately 18 hours beyond the Core Curriculum.

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How will my transcript reflect my Core status?

The colleges of DCCCD are required by the state of Texas to show your Core status and Core code on your college transcript. You may wish to complete the Core so that your transcript will indicate “Core Complete.”

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I understand that the Core Curriculum has changed as of Fall 2014. Will this affect my degree plan?

If you’re partway through your associate degree, you’ll keep your degree plan, which will be aligned with the revised Core but will not require extra courses. To check your exact status, contact an academic advisor at your college.

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Which colleges and universities will accept my Core Curriculum?

All Texas public colleges and universities must accept a complete Core Curriculum block, guaranteed. However, please check with the institution you want to attend to make sure the courses you select will be applicable to the major you want to pursue when you transfer.

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Does it matter what grade I get on my Core Curriculum courses?

Yes! Most universities will not accept a grade of D in transfer to fulfill Core requirements. Guaranteed transfer applies to Core courses completed with a grade of C (2.0) or higher.

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Will only Texas public colleges and universities accept the Core Curriculum as a block? What about out-of-state or private institutions?

All Texas public colleges and universities must accept a complete Core Curriculum block, but out-of-state or private institutions are not so required. You will need to check with the out-of-state or private institution you plan to attend regarding how they will accept courses in transfer.

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How does the Core save me money?

One three-hour credit course for in-county students is just $156. Compare a three-hour course at other area institutions:

DCCCD college $156

UNT $1,243

UTA $1,004

UTD $2,165

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Can I take any course for the required 42 hours?

The Core is arranged in tiers designed to guide you to appropriate courses. Each tier includes one or more “learning categories” (groupings of courses that reflect “big ideas”).

You must select approved courses from within each learning category.

View the selection of courses in each Core tier and learning category (PDF - 2.74MB).

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Is the Core Curriculum for the colleges of DCCCD the same as at other colleges and universities?

No. While there are elements in common, each public college and university in Texas has a Core Curriculum of 42 hours. Each institution has a unique Core, which is one reason that it is to your advantage to finish the Core at the same college where you began. However, many of the same courses are required.

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Can I use courses from another college or university to meet my Core requirements?

Yes. If you have met certain component areas at another Texas public college or university, we are required to accept it as part of the Core Curriculum. Check with an academic advisor at any of our seven colleges to verify equivalency of courses from another institution once your transcript has been officially evaluated.

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What courses are required to complete the Core Curriculum?

View the Core Curriculum for detailed information.

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I don’t see my question here. Whom can I talk to about Core Curriculum?

If you have additional questions about Core Curriculum, please speak with an advisor at the college you have chosen to attend. If you haven’t chosen a location, an academic advisor at any of our seven colleges should be able to answer your questions.

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