TDCJ Graduation Information and Degrees

Requirements for Degrees and Certificates

Trinity Valley Community College grants the (1) Associate of Applied Science Degree (AAS) and (2) Certificate of Completion. A student must graduate by August 31, 2027, to graduate under the provisions of this catalog.

Students may enroll in the Associate of Applied Science Degree or the Certificate of Completion programs.  The Associate of Applied Science Degree is designed to meet industry and business employment needs for a skilled workforce while meeting a broad spectrum of student interests, needs, and abilities.  The Certificate of Completion is designed to provide core courses in a workforce education program that specifically and directly relate to competencies needed for employment and potential advancement in a career field.  A student may enroll in a Certificate of Completion program and later apply the courses into the corresponding TVCC Associate of Applied Science Degree program.

The Certificate of Completion is awarded for successful completion of a specialized curriculum in a Career and Technical Education (CTE) program consisting of three eight-week cycles. The Certificate of Completion is not designed for transfer.

A Certificate of Completion is offered in Small Business Management and requires 36 semester credit hours. Small Business courses are offered during academic semesters at the Beto, Coffield, and Michael TDCJ Units.

Small Business Management will provide students with the skills necessary to operate a small business or be self-employed. The AAS degree consists of 60 semester hours, and the certificate program requires 36 semester hours. A student may enroll in the Small Business/Entrepreneurship Certificate Program without taking the TSI test.

The Certificate of Completion

  1. Complete the prescribed curriculum for CTE/Vocational programs outlined in this catalog.
  2. A minimum grade point average of 2.0 in the courses presented to meet the requirements for the certificate.

Students enrolled in certificate credit vocational programs will enroll in three eight-week cycles. Upon successful completion of the three eight-week cycles, the student will receive a certificate of completion.

The Certificate of Completion—Continuing Education Workforce Programs

1. Completion of the prescribed curriculum for continuing education workforce programs consists of two eight-week cycles (16-week certificate).

2. A passing grade (“P”) is required to meet the continuing education certificate requirements.

The continuing education certificate is a non-credit certificate and cannot be substituted for semester credit hours.

Assessment of outcomes

To meet the accreditation requirements for continuing program development and evaluation, Trinity Valley Community College must assess all academic and CTE programs based on students’ outcomes. To assess such outcomes, students may be required to take additional examinations, participate in surveys, and/or provide samples of their work throughout their enrollment at Trinity Valley Community College.

Application for Graduation

Once a student accumulates a sufficient number of hours toward an associate degree, they will be sent a graduation application to be completed and returned to an enrollment coordinator in partial fulfillment of graduation requirements. The deadline is the fall semester before spring graduation.

For TDCJ students who have completed their TVCC degree requirements during the fall semester or earlier, diplomas are printed, and a commencement exercise is held each spring at the Coffield Unit on a predetermined Saturday morning agreed upon by TDCJ and TVCC. All completers and their visitors must be approved to attend the ceremony by TVCC/TDCJ Administration. Details regarding participation, invitations, and guest lists are managed by TVCC and TDCJ and should be addressed with them. 

Students may only participate in one scheduled graduation ceremony. If a graduate chooses not to participate or is denied permission to participate in one graduation ceremony, no other opportunity will be afforded. TVCC will confer only one degree per year.

If graduates are not allowed to participate in a scheduled graduation ceremony because they are no longer in the custody of TDCJ, they may contact the Associate Vice President of Correctional Education to participate in the next scheduled graduation ceremony on the Athens campus.

Students may make an application for graduation under provisions of the current catalog or meet the graduation requirements of the catalog under which they entered Trinity Valley Community College, provided that the catalog is dated no more than five years before the expected date of graduation. 

Graduates completing the A.A.S. degree may be eligible to participate in TDCJ bachelor’s degree programs on other TDCJ units. Contact a TVCC enrollment coordinator for information.

Graduation with Honors

Those students who have excelled academically by completing an associate’s degree and meeting one of the sets of criteria below will graduate with the specified honors.  The cumulative grade point average referred to in each set of criteria will be based on all work attempted at the post-secondary level and will utilize every grade received if the course has been repeated.

Highest Honors - The graduate must have completed 24 semester hours in residence and must have a 4.0 cumulative grade point average.

High Honors - The graduate must have completed at least 24 semester hours in residence with at least a 3.8-grade point average and must have at least a 3.8 cumulative grade point average.

Honors - The graduate must have completed at least 24 semester hours in residence with at least a 3.5-grade point average and must have at least a 3.5 cumulative grade point average.

University-Transfer Programs

Contact a TVCC enrollment coordinator to discuss university transfer programs.

Graduation and Degrees

TDCJ students are encouraged to pursue a vocational certificate and an Associate of Applied Science degree. The Associate of Applied Science Degree provides a curriculum consisting of core program courses, workforce courses, and general studies courses. 

A student cannot receive the same degree twice. Only one diploma will be awarded to a student during any one graduation ceremony. Each degree must consist of twelve additional hours in residency at Trinity Valley Community College above the first degree completed. 


Phi Theta Kappa is a national honor organization for two-year colleges whose purpose is to promote scholarship, develop leadership and service, and cultivate fellowship among students.  To be eligible for membership in the local chapter, known as lota Alpha, a student must attain a 3.5 GPA, have completed any required developmental courses, and have completed 12 semester hours.  In addition, prospective members must be of good character, as determined by the faculty.  To remain a member, the student must maintain an overall 3.0 GPA.