As defined by the Texas Legislature, the official service area of HCCS includes territory within the following school districts:
- Houston Independent School District
- Stafford Municipal School District
- Spring Branch Independent School District
- Alief Independent School District
- North Forest Independent School District
- Katy Independent School District
- Fort Bend Independent School District
The Houston Community College System offers a wide array of degrees, including associate's degrees, terminal degrees and certificates in over 70 different occupations, and the first two years of general coursework for transfer to a four-year institution. In addition, the Houston Community College System offers non-degree options, continuing education courses, community education, and corporate training modules.
Major areas of study at Houston Community College include: Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources, Architecture & Construction, Arts, AV Technology & Communications, Business, Education & Schools, Government & Public Service, Manufacturing, Health & Medical Sciences, Hospitality & Tourism, Human Services & Social Sciences, Information Technology, Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics, and Transportation & Logistics.
The Houston Community College System is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges (SACSCC).
The financial aid office at the Houston Community College System offers several options to help students offset the costs of attendance. Students interested in being considered for need- and/or merit-based financial aids are asked to submit a completed FAFSA form with their admissions materials. The most common forms of aid disbursed to HCCS students include scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study jobs. Approximately half of the HCCS student population receives some form of financial aid.
For students wishing to use their education to enter the workforce immediately the college has designed programs that meet those needs. These job training programs offer students courses that provide them with college credit as well as job training. For many students this unique program gives them an opportunity before committing to decide that they want to do something differently.
Knowing the difficulty that high school students often have making the transition from high school to college, the HCCS has developed programs specifically for these students. Students receive training in what to expect from their college experience, and how to complete college level assignments. They are provided advisors who assist them with any educational resources they may need.
The Ongoing Education Program offers workshops and classes which are geared towards individuals who are working or changing careers. The classes for focused on the specific needs of the students and encourage students to pursue further academic goals when they have completed the program.
There are several scholarships available for the students of HCCS through the community college system and private sponsors. These scholarships are available to students who are residents of Texas as well as students who may be coming to Texas specifically to attend school.
Although organized athletics are not a major part of campus life at the Houston Community College System, several of the campuses within the system do field teams in sports like basketball and baseball. Typically, these teams compete in the Lonestar College Sports Club Conference and NIRSA Region IV. In addition, intramural and club teams are a popular pastime on several HCCS campuses.