Richland College must comply with federal law to enroll international students as provided by the US Department of Homeland Security. An international student seeking appropriate F-1 or M-1 visa status to attend a college of the DCCCD must:
- Contact the college directly to request international student admission information;
- Provide proof of English language proficiency if the student is not admitted directly into an Intensive English (ESL language training) program if such ESL program is provided by the college of choice. In order to meet the minimum English language proficiency requirement, students must be TSI met in reading/writing or otherwise TSI exempt/waived. If the student is a transfer from a US college/university, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 530 or higher on the paper and pencil version, or a TOEFL score of a 71 or higher on the internet based test, the student may be required to submit said scores by the individual college international admissions office, especially if the student is waived/exempt from TSI testing or is not able to take the TSI assessment at time of admission. An IELTS score of a 6.0 or higher can be submitted in lieu of the TOEFL. Initial overseas students will be required to submit proof of English language proficiency, if applicable, in addition to any TSI testing that may be required upon arrival on campus. A college may waive the proof of English language proficiency requirement if that campus admits the student to enroll in an Intensive English program at the college or presents scores that meet requirements from an assessment test approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board under TSI unless otherwise exempt. Please note that submission of the official TOEFL scores or IELTS scores that meet the score requirements outlined above does not exempt the student from a TSI assessment if not determined to be exempt from the TSI requirement. Students who are citizens of native English speaking countries may be exempt from having to submit TOEFL/IELTS scores;
- Show documented evidence of sufficient financial support for the academic year;
- Provide official written medical proof of freedom from tuberculosis through either a negative Mantoux tuberculin skin test or chest x-ray that was given in the United States within the last year. An international student must undergo testing for freedom from tuberculosis upon arrival in the United States before registration in classes is allowed. The District recommends that all prospective students have adequate immunization for bacterial meningitis, diphtheria; rubeola, rubella, mumps, tetanus and poliomyelitis (see Department of Health and Human Services Recommended Adult Immunization Schedule) Bacterial meningitis vaccination is required for anyone who is 21 years of age or younger. More details regarding vaccination requirements/recommedations;
- Submit an official transcript from each U.S. college or university previously attended with a minimum of 2.0 GPA;
- Fulfill all other admission requirements before the application deadline designated by the college for an international students and receive approval for admission from an international admissions advisor at that college.
In addition to the requirements stated above, an international student must be in good academic standing (2.0 or better GPA) and also in valid F1 immigration standing as defined by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) who wish to transfer from another U.S. institution of higher education. Valid F1 immigration status inclues but is not limited to pursuit of a full course of study during the term immediately preceding transfer from the institution last authorized by The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP).
If admitted, students must present all original immigration documents. Each individual college of the DCCCD is authorized to issue Form I-20s for attendance in classes at the college that issued the I-20. An international student must obtain an I-20 from the college that admits the student. In the event a student wishes to transfer to another institution that is Student and Exchange Visitor Imformation System (SEVIS) approved the student must contact the international student office at that college to initiate the transfer in SEVIS request. If a student wishes to take courses at another college (another college of the DCCCD or a non-DCCCD college), the student must receive prior written permission from the admitting college. In the event of a complete transfer to attend another college (all classes taken at another college), a student must complete a transfer procedure as required by the SEVIS program prior to enrollment.
An international student must enroll in 12 hours or in a course load otherwise defined as full-time in accordance with USCIS F1 regulations as required for an F1 student to maintain full-time student status during each regular semester in order to maintain visa status. Therefore, an international student must be enrolled in and maintain a full course load as determined by each individual college program. For example, an international student who pursues an Associate Degree in Nursing, Vocational Nursing, or Associate Degree in one of the allied health fields of study, is considered a full-time student when the student's lecture, laboratory assignment and clinical work in clock hours are determined by the college to equal or exceed 12 credit hours. A college may also determine whether an international student who is enrolled in an intensive English program is a full-time student based upon the student's clock hours in class each week of the session in this program.
After admission, international students must present scores from an assessment test approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board under the TSI unless otherwise exempt. If adequate scores are not demonstrated through assessment, the college shall require placement in any or all of the following courses: additional reading, English language or mathematic courses to meet course prerequisites.
The college shall take all the following steps regarding out-of-status international students:
- Advise each student, in writing, to seek reinstatement with the USCIS. Visit the USCIS Web sit at http://www.uscis.gov for more information. Also, please visit http://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/students.
- The college will report the student's status in the SEVIS system as required by Federal law. The student is ultimately responsible for their status and continued enrollment.
For tuition purposes out of the status F1 students may not claim undocumented out of status for any reason. Students who enter this country with visas, other than F-1 or M-1 visas, must submit an application for admissions and provide documentation of immigration status. The college recommends that all prospective students have adequate immunization for bacterial meningitis, diphtheria; rubeola, rubella, mumps, tetanus and poliomyelitis (see Department of Health and Human Services Recommended Adult Immunization Schedule); and submit an official transcript from each college or university previously attended in the Unitied States as well as any assessments if required by a college. For tuition purposes, colleges shall classify these students based upon their visas and appropriate documentation. As with international students, these students may not also claim undocumented status for any reason. An undocumented student is defined in this policy/catalog as anyone who entered the United States without papers (visa stamp/I-94 record)/official inspection at a US immigration border post as defined by the Texas Noriega student law and the Dream Act.
It is strongly recommended that international students obtain health insurance for the duration of their studies in the college.