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Technical Advanced Placement (TAP) enables qualified high school students to earn credit and/or advanced standing in programs at Tri-County Technical College that lead toward an occupational associate degree, diploma, or certificate.
The purpose of TAP is to reduce duplication between high school and College courses and curricula, and at the same time enable students to save time, money, and/or to carry lighter course loads in one or more terms while at Tri-County Technical College.
This handbook will help you determine if Technical Advanced Placement (TAP) is an opportunity that you wish to pursue, as well as provide specific procedures to follow as you participate in the TAP process. It contains an introduction, answers to frequently asked questions, tips for career planning, and specific TAP procedures.
Important Information about TAP Credit
- You have up to one year from your date of high school graduation to apply for TAP.TAP credit is good for one year from the date it is awarded until you enroll at Tri-County Technical College.
- You must enroll (be accepted, register for classes and maintain enrollment for at least six class days) in order for the credit to appear on your official TCTC transcript.
- Once you complete your first semester, the credit becomes part of your permanent record, just as if you took the course(s) on the TCTC campus.
- If you successfully earn TAP credit for one or more courses, you do NOT have to take those courses when you enroll at Tri-County - TAP credit is used just like credit awarded for courses taken on the Tri-County campus.
- TAP credit means you've exempted certain courses at Tri-County. You'll earn credit hours but will not receive a "grade" on your transcript, so there will be no effect on your overall grade point average.
- TAP credit may be used for required courses or approved elective courses in TCTC degree programs or for required courses in diploma or certificate programs. (Elective course credit must be approved by the TCTC department head for the program in which you are enrolled.)
- While students may earn a number of credits at Tri-County Technical College through TAP, a minimum of twenty-five percent of the credit hours required for a certificate, diploma, or associate degree must be earned through courses taken at Tri-County Technical College. Included in the approved coursework for a diploma or degree must be two courses selected from the curriculum major, unless specifically exempted by both the department head and division chair.
- TAP credit applies primarily to Tri-County Technical College programs. If you plan to enter or transfer to another college, you should contact that college to verify whether or not TAP credit would be accepted. In most cases, TAP credit would NOT tranfer to a four-year college or university.
If you take certain high school courses and complete specific requirements, you can receive TAP credit. In some ares, requirements might be as simple as submitting a recommendation form from your high school teacher and completing a TAP exam; in other areas, requirements might include taking the college's placement test and completing a transition course.
- Identify the Tri‑County course(s) for which you want to earn TAP credit. A complete list of all courses articulated for TAP credit is available in APPENDIX B of the TAP Handbook.
- Read the TAP procedure page for your particular program/major.
- Follow all steps carefully and ask questions whenever you need more information. Follow up on the scheduling of your exam.
No, it doesn't cost anything to participate in TAP.
Most of the time, you just need to be a high school senior to begin the TAP process and even some high school juniors may be eligible for TAP credit. (See TAP Credit for Juniors).
When you complete all required TAP procedures, you will receive a copy of the "Course Transfer/Exemption" form from Tri-County Technical College. Once you enroll in courses at Tri-County, the credit appears as "transfer credit" on your official college transcript. The credit may be applied to graduation toward any Tri-County certificate, diploma, or associate degree program as either a required course, or as an elective in an associate degree program (with your College department head's approval). If you successfully earn TAP credit for one or more courses, you do NOT have to take those courses when you enroll at Tri-County - TAP credit is used just like credit awarded for courses taken on the Tri-County campus.
In most cases, TAP credit can only be used for advanced placement in one of Tri-County's programs.
If you enter Tri-County's University Transfer program, you can use TAP credit for electives that apply toward AA/AS graduation requirements, but you should not plan on TAP credit transferring to a four-year college or university at this time.
All South Carolina technical colleges (and many throughout the country) offer similar programs, although they may be called something other than "Technical Advanced Placement." Each college sets its own program guidelines and requirements. For more information, contact the college you plan to attend.
For the list of courses available for TAP credit, click here.
For more information on the TAP program, please visit more of the TAP webpages in this TCTC website or contact Donald White, Technical Program Specialist, at 646-1528 or email@example.com
TAP Exams: TAP exams are usually given between April and August on the Tri-County campus, although some departments will make special arrangements on an individualized basis. Exam schedules are mailed to each school and career center during the spring of each year, or you may contact the TCTC department head for more information.
Transition Courses: Several programs require successful completion of a transition course in order to earn TAP credit for one or more entry-level course(s) in a specific Tri-County major. In such cases, you would need to:
- submit a completed Competency Verification/Teacher Recommendation form (or other documentation of competency as indicated on the TAP procedure page);
- be admitted to the College by completing all admissions requirements;
- register for and complete the transition course. There is a cost involved with taking a transition course.
High school seniors or recent high school graduates usually pursue TAP credit. However, some juniors may pursue TAP credit during their junior year if EACH of the following criteria is met:
- If you have taken an occupational course at your high school and/or career center that is articulated with a Tri-County course for TAP credit, AND
- You plan to enroll in a Tri-County course during your senior year of high school through the Dual Enrollment STEP (Secondary Transition Enrollment Program), AND
- The course(s) you plan to enroll in as a STEP student requires a prerequisite for which TAP credit is possible. For example, you want to take CPT 270 Advanced Microcomputer Applications as a STEP student, which has a prerequisite of CPT 170 Microcomputer Applications. If you qualify to take the TAP exam for CPT 170, pass it, and enroll as a STEP student in CPT 270 during your senior year, you will be given TAP credit for CPT 170.
If each of these three criteria apply to your situation, you may take the TAP exam at the end of your junior year in high school. Again, this option is limited to students who plan to enroll in a higher level course during their senior year in high school through the Dual Enrollment STEP Program.