Counseling FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Click a question below to see a response.
- I hear people saying they're taking the
basics. What does that mean?
- How will I know what classes to enroll in?
- What if I want to transfer to another college to finish a Bachelor's
- My friend had to take Orientation. What's that?
- How will I know how many classes to take?
- What is a semester hour?
- Do I have to have a major?
- What about testing? How will I know if testing requirements
apply to me?
1. I hear people saying they're taking the
basics. What does that mean?
When students talk about taking the basics, they usually mean
they are taking classes in English, social sciences, mathematics,
speech — courses that are common to many majors.
2. How will I know what classes to enroll in?
Test results from THEA or Compass will determine placement into
college-level or developmental classes in English, math and reading-intensive
courses like government. Texas law requires most students to
be tested for these skills before they enroll for the first time.
There are exceptions to the testing rule. Please call the OC
Help Center at 432-335-6433 for more information on testing requirements.
Some classes have prerequisite requirements, meaning there is another
class or some other condition you must meet first. This information
is always the last line of the course description in the OC catalog.
3. What if I want to transfer to another college to finish a Bachelor's
You can easily begin your college studies at OC and we will
work with you to help you pick classes that transfer and fulfill
specific requirements in your major. Different colleges and majors
may have different requirements.
It's important for you to know that courses may transfer
to a university, but may not apply to your degree. For example,
if you begin your college studies intending to major in business
and follow that course of study, then change your mind and switch
to engineering, some of the courses required for a business degree
may not apply to an engineering curriculum. There are many courses
that you can take which will fit into almost every degree and we
will help you to choose classes that will transfer and apply to
your bachelor's degree.
Need help or have questions about transferring? Please visit the Transfer Center in the Student Union Building Room (SUB) 204A.
4. My friend had to take Orientation. What's that?
Our ORIE 1100 is an introduction for new students who enroll
in six or more semester hours. It's designed to help you
become familiar with college in general and OC in particular.
ORIE 1100 also focuses on skills that most college students want
to develop: effective study techniques, time management and stress
management. ORIE 1100 is an eight week (half-semester) class
taught by faculty and staff at OC. Many sections are taught as
5. How will I know how many classes to take?
We can give you individual assistance with this decision. As
a general rule, you should plan to spend two to three hours OUTSIDE
class for every hour in the classroom. That means that a three
semester hour class may demand six to nine additional hours each
week. You also need to consider other obligations: family, work,
commuting, chores, etc. We have some worksheets in the Help Center
that can help you divide up your week.
students enroll in at least twelve semester hours — usually
about four classes. Any course load under twelve semester hours
is considered part-time. Whether you are full or part-time depends
on a number of factors.
6. What is a semester hour?
Semester hours represent the clock time that you spend in class
each week during a semester. The long semesters, Fall and Spring,
are each sixteen weeks long. Midwinter, May Mester and Summer
I and II are shorter in duration, but class meeting times are
Here's an example: English 1301 (first semester college
English) is a three semester hour class. (The second digit of OC's
course number indicates the semester hours.) You could take this
class three days each week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and go
to class for 50 minutes each day. You could take it twice a week
and spend 1 hour and 20 minutes in class each day. Or, you could
enroll in an evening class that meets one night each week for a
two hour and fifty minute class. Whichever scheduling option you
choose, you will spend approximately three clock hours in ENGL
1301 for sixteen weeks — 3 semester hours, 48 contact hours.
7. Do I have to have a major?
It's not a requirement. In fact, you can graduate from
OC with a general degree: Associate in Arts, Associate in Science
or Associate in Arts — General Studies. Each of these degrees
represents a core of academic courses and a variety of elective
courses that total at least 63 semester hours.
planning a specific career, OC has many major plans that will
help you to realize your goal. Our bulletin, or
catalog, published each year, lists the requirements for these
majors as well as course descriptions for the classes required
There are also shorter training options at OC. Called Certificates
of Technology or Completion, these programs focus on technical
skills in a particular field.
8. What about testing? How will I know if testing requirements
apply to me?
The Texas Success Initiative Assessment (TSIA) is a placement test designed to help Odessa College determine if you are ready for college-level work in the general areas of reading, writing and mathematics. This program also will help determine what type of course or intervention will best meet your needs to help you become better prepared for college-level course work if you are not ready.
If a student does not meet the passing standard in one or more
academic areas (reading, writing and mathematics) on the TSI,
state law requires that developmental, or remedial, courses in
those areas be completed before the student can progress to college-level
work related to reading, writing or math. In some cases, the student
will need to retest in an area before completing TSI requirements
and continuing to college level courses.
courses are designed to strengthen students' skills
in reading, writing and math. They are not considered college level
courses and will not satisfy degree requirements or transfer. They
do count toward the student's
academic load for financial aid purposes.
There are several exceptions to testing. Please contact a Student Success Coach at 432-335-6433 for more information.