What is the difference between Dual Credit and ECHS?

Dual Credit is a system in which an eligible high school student successfully completes a college course(s) that is paired to a high school course required for graduation and receives credit for the course on both the college and the high school transcripts Texas Education Code (TEC) §28.009. (http://www.tea.texas.gov/). 

Early College High Schools (ECHS) are open-enrollment high schools that allow students least likely to attend college an opportunity to receive both a high school diploma and either an associate degree or at least 60 credit hours toward a baccalaureate degree. (www.tea.Texas.gov)

ECHS students participate as early as the ninth grade and complete more college courses in a four-year period. 

A traditional Dual Credit program usually limits students to no more than two college courses per semester in the 11th and 12th grades (https://dualcredit.austincc.edu).

Dual Credit and ECHS classes are held online and in-person at area high schools and ACC campuses. Students may choose how they attend classes when applying.

What courses are available for Dual Credit and ECHS students?

Dual Credit and ECHS students can choose from two of core classes, SPCH 1311 and SPCH 1315.

SPCH 1311: Introduction to Speech Communication

Introduction to Speech Communication explores the theories and practice of speech communication behavior to promote communication competence in interpersonal, small group, and public speaking situations.

Some of the topics you’ll cover in your Speech 1311 course include practices for sharpening your listening and nonverbal skills, and how to enhance your speech organization and delivery skills. Additional topics may include how to work in teams and manage conflict communications effectively, as well as examining the impact of cultural differences on communication.

Students completing this course will complete at least one assignment to assess interpersonal communication skills, one assignment to assess small group communication skills, and one assignment to assess public speaking skills. Students will also complete at least two exams. More detail about this course is available in the SPCH 1311 Master Syllabus.

SPCH 1315: Public Speaking

Public Speaking, SPCH 1315 is designed to apply communication theory and practice within a public speaking context. Emphasis is placed on audience analysis, and speaker and visual media delivery practices to inform and motivate an audience for impact and effectiveness. Other topics in the course include the ethics of communication, cultural diversity, as well as speech organization and delivery techniques to develop students’ speaking abilities and confidence.

Students completing this course will complete at least four speeches. Students will create outlines and source documentation for at least two of these speeches. Students will also create and use a visual aid for at least one of these speeches. This course also requires students to complete at least two exams. More detail about this course is available in the SPCH 1315 Master Syllabus.

Who can I talk to for more information on these programs?

The Office of College and High School Relations is dedicated to helping you serve Dual Credit and ECHS students. Their mission is to enable high school students to experience college and explore potential careers. They engage them in an environment that provides guidance for college success, real-world experiences for workforce mastery, and support to ensure credential realization.

To find out if your high school offers Communication Studies class, contact your ACC liaison. A full list of the liaisons for high school programs can be found HERE.

For more information on Dual Credit and ECHS as a whole, visit their ACC Website!

High School Programs Academic Success staff are responsible for advising all high school students enrolled in ACC courses, monitoring their success, and providing academic coaching. They serve as students’ main support once they are enrolled in ACC programs.

For more questions about the Communication Studies specific courses, feel free to email communication-studies@austincc.edu