Academic Program Information

From the 2015-2016 Catalog

Terms You Need to Know

Degree programs: academic programs requiring 60 to 68 credit hours to complete and which earn the Associate in Arts or the Associate in Science degree designation. An Associate Degree requires a minimum of 60 credits.

Certificate programs: short-term programs, usually 30 credits or less, intended for occupational training, upgrading, or retraining. Students receive a Certificate upon successfully fulfilling all requirements and applying for graduation.

Online courses: courses offered via computer Internet connection, without regularly scheduled on-campus classes. For more information, contact the Director of Distance Learning, 203-332-5206.

Hybrid courses: courses that combine traditional classroom lectures with online coursework. Normally 50% of course work is conducted by on-campus meetings. All hybrid courses meet in the classroom on the first scheduled day of class.

Prerequisite course: a course that must be successfully completed before a student can enroll in the next course. Often a grade of "C" or higher is required.

Parallel course: a course that must be taken during the same semester as another course in order to fulfill the prerequisite for that course.

Electives: credit courses selected by the student to supplement the required courses in the program of study. Students should consult with their faculty advisors when choosing electives. The courses from which electives may be selected are specified in the program of study.

Behavioral Sciences electives: courses in the behavioral sciences disciplines (anthropology, psychology, sociology). Listed as Elective Code: BS

Social Sciences electives: courses included in the social sciences disciplines (economics, geography, government, history, political science) and CJS* E101, SOC* E220, and SOC*E222. Listed as Elective Code: SS

Business electives: courses included under the following headings: accounting, business administration, business office technology, computer science, and economics. Listed as Elective Code: B

Fine Arts electives: courses in ART* (except ART* E290), DGA* 283, music, theater (except THR* E190 and THR* E290), and creative writing (ENG* E281). Listed as Elective Code: F

Humanities electives: courses in humanities, literature (except ENG* E281 and ENG* E282), philosophy, religion, foreign languages, and American Sign Language. Listed as Elective Code: H

Mathematics electives: any mathematics course (except MAT* E075 and MAT* E095). Listed as Elective Code: M

Open electives: courses whose credits can be applied toward graduation, numbered 100 or higher.

Computer Science electives: any computer science course except CSA* E106, CSA* E163, and CSA* E220. Listed as Elective Code: CS

Science electives: any course listed under biology, chemistry, engineering, natural science, and physics. Students planning to transfer should give serious attention to selecting a science elective with a laboratory. Listed as Elective Code: S

From the 2016-2017 Catalog

General Education Core

All degree programs at HCC share a common core of learning. This core, considered General Education, is that aspect of the college's instructional program that develops and integrates the student's knowledge, skills, and experiences so that the student can engage effectively in a lifelong process of inquiry and critical thinking.

General Education Core* courses are:
ENG* E101 and ENG* E102

6 credits


3-4 credits


3-4 credits

Fine Arts

3 credits

Social Science

3 credits

Behavioral Science

3 credits


3 credits


24-26 credits

*In addition to the General Education core students must complete the computer literacy requirement.

Goals and Objectives of the General Education Core

The student will be able to:

1. Demonstrate a general knowledge of the liberal arts and sciences:

1.1 Demonstrate a knowledge of the humanities and their methods;
1.2 Demonstrate a knowledge of the behavioral and social sciences and their methods;
1.3 Demonstrate a knowledge of the sciences and their methods;
1.4 Demonstrate a knowledge of fine arts and their methods;

2. Develop the ability to think critically:

2.1 State a problem clearly;
2.2 Observe data accurately;
2.3 Analyze and organize facts and ideas;
2.4 Draw reasonable inferences from facts and ideas.

3. Develop the ability to communicate effectively:

3.1 Write and speak clearly in standard English;
3.2 Receive and comprehend written and oral information;
3.3 Develop and explain a main idea;
3.4 Develop an argument to persuade an audience.

4. Develop the ability to use print and electronic information systems:

4.1 Collect and organize information about a topic;
4.2 Access information from libraries using printed and electronic sources;
4.3 Know the fundamentals of computer operation.

5. Develop the ability to make informed judgments concerning ethical issues:

5.1 Recognize both personal and public ethical issues;
5.2 Understand the consequences of a decision or a course of action.

6. Develop the ability to reason quantitatively:

6.1 Apply arithmetic and basic algebraic skills to problem-solving;
6.2 Interpret numerical information as presented in charts and graphs.

From the 2016-2017 Catalog

Computer Literacy Requirement (updated February 7, 2017)

In today’s global society, computer literacy has become an essential skill, comparable to reading, writing, and arithmetic. Computer literacy at the college level means the ability to use computer-based technology in communicating, problem solving, and acquiring information. Upon graduation, students should have the tools necessary to evaluate and learn new technologies as they become available.

In order to complete their education at Housatonic Community College, HCC students must either complete a program-specific course showing computer literacy or successfully pass a test that shows ability to use word processing, presentation software, spreadsheets, the Internet, and email as tools to communicate and access electronic information.

All students enrolling in an associate degree program at HCC are required to fulfill the Computer Literacy Requirement prior to graduation and are encouraged to do so within the first 12 college-level credits.

The Computer Literacy Requirement can be satisfied in either of the following ways:

  • Successful completion of a designated Code “C” course at HCC or an equivalent course from another accredited college (an official transcript must be submitted and a course description and course syllabus may be requested).
  • Passing the HCC Computer Literacy Test* with a satisfactory score.
    *Students who fail to pass the test after two attempts (one month apart) must satisfy the Computer Literacy Requirement by taking one of the designated Code “C” courses.

The Computer Literacy Requirement is built into some of the associate degree programs.

Elective Code “C” courses at HCC will teach students to meet the following computer literacy competencies adapted from

  • The ability to use a computer or mobile device, including use of a mouse, keyboard, icons, and folders;
  • The ability to use software and applications as tools of communication, including proficiency in at least four of the following software types: word processing, spreadsheet software, presentation software, the Internet, and email.

Courses that satisfy Computer Literacy Requirement (code C):

CJS* E222 Computer Investigative Techniques 3 credits
COM* E116 Publications Workshop I 3 credits
CSA* E105 Introduction to Software Applications 3 credits
GRA* E111 Introduction to Computer Graphics 3 credits

From the 2016-2017 Catalog

All degree and certificate programs require various courses that must be completed to meet graduation requirements. Many programs include elective courses in addition to specific courses.

The following codes are used to help you and your advisor determine which elective the course will satisfy. In addition to the codes indicated, all courses with course numbers at the 100 and 200 level (HSE* E101, as example) qualify as open electives. You are advised to pay special attention to program footnotes when selecting your electives.

Elective Codes:

BHEL Behavioral Science elective
BUS Business elective
C Computer Literacy (satisfies requirement)
COMP Computer Science Elective
FINA Fine Arts elective
HUM Humanities elective
MATH Mathematics elective
SCI Science elective
SSCI Social Science elective
OPEN Elective All courses numbered 100 or higher