VCT Overview for Students

Host-Provider Model
Benefits to Students
Colleges' Participation in VCT
List of colleges participating as Host colleges in VCT


The Virtual College of Texas is a collaborative of all Texas public two-year colleges. It was created by the Texas Association of Community Colleges to facilitate sharing of distance learning courses among member colleges. CEO's of VCT member colleges developed the host-provider model upon which VCT operations rest and defined the principles of VCT's organization and management.

A three-year pilot project was launched in the fall semester of 1998. Concluding a successful pilot, VCT was established as an ongoing service beginning with the 2001 fall semester. As of spring 2006, there have been approximately 34,800 enrollments in courses listed in the VCT online schedule by VCT member colleges.

Host-Provider Model

Member institutions of the Virtual College of Texas share distance learning courses under the terms of a statewide VCT Memorandum of Understanding, which is based upon an operational model referred to as the Host-Provider Model.

The host (local) college:

  • Enrolls students locally to take courses from other (provider) colleges
  • Provides VCT-enrolled students with the same slate of student services it provides its other students
  • Administers tests as directed by provider colleges' instructors
  • Awards course credit
  • Includes the courses on its own transcripts

The provider (remote) college:

  • Provides instructors who define course content and instructional methodologies; directs all class activities, including assignments and tests, and awards final grades
  • Sets the academic calendar for courses it offers through VCT
  • The host college pays the provider a per-student instructional fee, following guidelines stated in the VCT Memorandum of Understanding. This fee is paid by the host college, not by students.

VCT Benefits to Students

  • Students throughout Texas have access to a statewide, online distance learning course schedule. This means that it is less likely for a student not to have access to a critical course at a critical point because it isn't offered in the semester it's needed or it's full.
  • Students are supported with quality, locally-delivered student services.
  • They pay in-district tuition if they are in-district students, irrespective of which colleges provide courses taken through VCT.
  • Courses provided by multiple colleges throughout Texas are maintained on a single transcript at the host college.

Colleges' Participation in VCT

Colleges decide for themselves whether or not they participate in VCT and, if they do, how and to what extent. Some colleges only provide courses because they locally offer large numbers of distance learning courses that usually meet their students' needs. Other colleges, with fewer locally offered distance learning courses, may serve mostly as host colleges, meaning they enroll students in courses provided by other colleges. Still other colleges both host and provide courses.

The following colleges currently participate as Host colleges in VCT. That means that they selectively offer courses that are available through VCT. Each college decides for itself which courses in the VCT State Course Schedule to make available to its students.


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