Answers to Common Questions

The Advanced Technical Credit (ATC) Program and Tech Prep


  1. Must all public schools and two-year colleges participate in statewide articulation?

No. Participation in statewide articulation is voluntary.

  1. If a college elects to participate in statewide articulation, can it pick and choose which areas to articulate?

Colleges that elect to participate in statewide articulation should all honor course articulations listed in the crosswalk, as long as the college offers the course in question and the student meets the terms of the Standard Articulation Agreement. However, colleges may participate in the Advanced Technical Credit Program at any level.

  1. How are ATC statewide-articulated courses different than non-articulated courses with the same name?

ATC statewide-articulated courses provide advanced instruction beyond, or in greater depth, than the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and are identified with unique course numbers and abbreviations. ATC statewide-articulated courses contain information equivalent to introductory-level technical courses offered by community and technical colleges.

  1. How does a college recognize ATC statewide-articulated courses?

ATC statewide-articulated courses have course abbreviations that end in “-TP” and are noted on the high school transcript with the “A” special explanation course code.

  1. How are ATC statewide-articulated and locally articulated courses differentiated on the high school transcript?

Both statewide and locally articulated courses are noted on the high school transcript (Academic Achievement Record) with the “A” special explanation course code.

Locally articulated courses also include on the reverse side of the transcript (local use area) a notation of the participating college(s) and the equivalent college course(s).

  1. Do ATC statewide-articulated courses apply only to two-year technical degrees?

Statewide articulation is a form of advanced placement that prepares students for college and for technical careers. In most cases, technical credit is awarded from the postsecondary Workforce Education Course Manual (WECM) for ATC statewide-articulated courses.

Under specific circumstances a college may at its discretion award academic credit from the postsecondary Academic Course Guide Manual (ACGM). A student may be required to demonstrate course proficiency by taking an examination.

  1. Will additional courses be approved for statewide articulation? Is there a process to update courses and course content?

Yes. Some additional courses will be added over the next several years. In addition, ATC articulated course alignments will be reviewed regularly by a joint ATC/WECM maintenance committee. The PEIMS secondary course Service ID code table C022 and the ATC Articulated Course Crosswalk will be updated as changes are implemented.

  1. Is statewide articulation the same as Tech Prep? Must a student be a Tech Prep program participant to take ATC statewide-articulated courses?

No. Although ATC statewide-articulated courses are frequently part of a Tech Prep program, participation in the Advanced Technical Credit Program is not dependent on participation in a Tech Prep program.

A student can take ATC statewide-articulated courses in order to earn college credit in a college degree program, including a college Tech Prep program, without first participating in a Tech Prep program in high school.

  1. Can a high school mix students enrolled in different course numbers in the same classroom?

Yes, but only under special circumstances.

  • Dual Credit and Statewide Articulation – A class may be composed of students enrolled in a ATC statewide-articulated course and students concurrently enrolled in college for purposes of earning dual credit because all students in the class are receiving college-level instruction.
  • High School Credit and Statewide Articulation – A class may be composed of students enrolled in a statewide-articulated course (course noted with “A” code and unique C/T course number and abbreviation) and students enrolled in the non-articulated course with the same name (no “A” code, current C/T course code). In this instance, the students enrolled in the statewide-articulated course MUST receive more in-depth instruction and the teacher must have participated in appropriate staff development.
  1. What qualifications must high school teachers possess to teach courses for statewide articulation?

A high school teacher must complete a TEA-required six-hour training program and must meet requirements outlined by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges, and by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in the Guidelines for Instructional Programs in Workforce Education (GIPWE).

Teachers must meet the one of the two following requirements to be approved to teach a course for Advanced Technical Credit:

Requirement 1:  The teacher must have a baccalaureate degree or higher in the teaching discipline.


Requirement 2:  The teacher must have a minimum of an associate degree and 3 years verifiable non-teaching work experience directly related to the teaching discipline.


Teachers who are not fully certified in the teaching discipline by the State Board for Educator Certification (i.e. state teaching certification) will be asked to provide the ATC Office with proof that they meet the above requirements.  For proof of their degree, they must have official transcripts sent directly to the ATC Office from the college or university.  For proof of work experience, they will be asked to submit full work history information to the ATC Office. More information

Teachers of courses eligible for inclusion in a postsecondary workforce education program that is subject to accreditation by external agencies and/or that prepare students for licensure or certification must meet the qualifications required by the external agency. More information

Non-degreed individuals will not be eligible for ATC approval.

For award of academic transfer credit for courses in the postsecondary Academic Course Guide Manual (ACGM), these qualifications include a master�s degree and 18 graduate credit hours in the subject area. A student enrolled in a course where the teacher does not possess these qualifications may take a challenge exam for award of college credit in lieu of this requirement.

  1. Who is responsible for verifying that a student has met requirements for award of college credit by articulation?

It is the responsibility of the school district to ensure that course content presented to students meets college-level requirements and that teachers have appropriate credentials and have met staff development requirements.

It is the responsibility of the college to verify that a student has met terms of the ATC Standard Articulation Agreement for award of college credit.

  1. Are ATC courses valuable only to career and technology students taking a coherent sequence of career and technology courses?

No. ATC courses are potentially useful to many students.

  • First, they provide an alternative avenue to satisfy advanced measures for the Distinguished Achievement Program for all students.
  • Second, they can be used as higher-level career and technology electives in a student�s high school graduation plan.
  • Third, students who complete all requirements can apply these credits toward relevant two-year college degrees, whether they used these courses in high school as electives, as part of a career and technology coherent sequence, or as part of a Tech Prep program sequence.
  1. Can a student get credit for locally articulated courses at colleges other than the one listed in the local articulation agreement?

Maybe. Some colleges honor local articulation agreements executed by other community and technical colleges. Colleges evaluate student requests for award of credit based on individual merit.

  1. When do schools and colleges develop local articulation agreements?

Local articulation agreements are developed for three reasons.

  • First, they are developed to provide local articulation options for courses not listed in the Statewide Articulation Course Crosswalk.
  • Second, they are used to award college credit for statewide-articulated high school courses when the college does not offer the college-equivalent course(s) listed in the Crosswalk.
  • Third, they are developed to provide local articulation options for colleges not participating in the Advanced Technical Credit Program.
  1. Must high schools recognize all ATC statewide-articulated courses as advanced measures for the Distinguished Achievement Program?

Yes. According to the Texas Administrative Code, all college academic courses and Tech Prep articulated courses count as long as the student makes a grade of 3.0 or higher and the student is eligible for award of college credit. The advanced measure is recognized as soon as the student successfully completes the course. Transcription of college credit is not required.

  1. If a student takes a single ATC statewide-articulated course such as Business Computer Information Systems-Tech Prep (BCIS1-TP) as a freshman or sophomore, does the course count as an advanced measure for the Distinguished Achievement Program?

No. Courses can only count for an advanced measure if they are eligible for college credit. BCIS1-TP taken in grades 9 or 10 is not eligible for college credit unless the student takes an additional course in a designated sequence in grades 11 or 12 (such as Business Information Systems II-Tech Prep). In general, if an ATC statewide-articulated courses is taken in the junior or senior year, the course is eligible for consideration as a DAP advanced measure.