Importance of Advising. Advising is a critical element in the completion of any degree. Each student is strongly encouraged to identify a faculty adviser in his or her area of study as early as possible. For some degrees, adviser approval is required for completion of the degree. In addition, students pursuing the AS degree, with the aid of a faculty adviser, are responsible for checking specific major requirements of baccalaureate institutions in the year prior to transfer.
For students who plan to earn a baccalaureate (four-year) degree, the transfer program is designed to be the first step to achieve that goal.
Courses in this program parallel the first two years of a university program, and credits earned in these courses generally transfer to four-year colleges throughout the United States. Study in this program leads to an Associate of Arts (AA) degree or an Associate of Science (AS) degree (for science majors).
It is important that students who already know which four-year college they wish to attend read the institution’s catalog, or make contact via its Website or in person, and plan their program at Highline to meet the requirements of that institution.
Students who have not decided on a major or a specific four-year college or university should generally pursue Option A of the AA degree. Option A will prepare students to meet the general requirements of most Washington state four-year colleges and universities. More tailored AA degree, Option A, programs may be designed - with an adviser’s assistance - to meet pre-major requirements in fields such as business and education. Degree requirements can be found within Associate Degree & Certificate Requirements .
Transfer admission is competitive. While completion of an associate’s degree in arts or science provides students with many advantages in the transfer process, it does not guarantee admission to the four-year institution or to the major of the student’s choice.
Associate of Arts (AA)
The AA degree is intended to prepare students to transfer to bachelor’s degree programs in a wide variety of fields. The AA degree corresponds to the first two years of a four-year baccalaureate degree program. Most transfer students plan to earn this degree. The AA degree can be general in its emphasis, providing a broad educational background for students who wish to transfer to a university. In this general form, the degree is best suited to students whose major area is in the liberal arts and/or social sciences. However, for students who have chosen specific majors, an AA program may be designed - with adviser assistance - to meet specific prerequisites and/or pre-major lower-division requirements for transfer in these fields:
- Associate of Business
- Associate of Elementary Education
- Associate of Pre-Nursing
At Highline, the AA degree is offered in two options: A or B.
Associate of Arts, Option A
This degree is designed to satisfy the lower-division general requirements at many Washington colleges and universities. AA, Option A degrees earned after 1984 meet the requirements of the Direct Transfer Agreement (DTA) of the Intercollege Relations Commission (ICRC). It is important to work out the exact requirements of transfer with an adviser because programs change from time to time.
Associate of Business: This specialized AA, Option A, degree is designed to help students meet the requirements for entry into the business major after transfer. This Major-Related Program (MRP) degree meets the guidelines for the DTA of the ICRC.
Associate of Elementary Education: This specialized AA, Option A, degree is designed to help students meet the requirement for entry into the elementary education major after transfer. This MRP degree meets the guidelines for the DTA of the ICRC.
Associate of Pre-Nursing: This specialized AA, Option A, degree is designed to help students meet the requirements for entry into the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program after transfer. This MRP degree meets the guidelines for the DTA of the ICRC.
Associate of Arts, Option B
This degree is a specialized transfer degree, individually designed to meet the requirements for certain majors at specific colleges and universities. It does not meet the requirements of the ICRC. In order to plan this degree program, it is essential to know both the major and college or university to be attended. Students must work closely with their adviser.
Associate of Science (AS)
The AS degree is intended to prepare students for transfer in science, mathematics and other pre-professional fields. The degree is recognized by the ICRC. At Highline, the AS degree is available in the following disciplines:
- Computer Science
- General Engineering
Associate of Applied Science (AAS-T)
An associate in applied science-transfer (AAS-T) degree is built upon the technical courses required for job preparation but also includes a college-level general education component, common in structure for all such degrees. Further, the general education courses for the degree are drawn from the same list as those taken by students completing the Direct Transfer Agreement (DTA) associate degree or the Associate in Science-Transfer (AS-T) degree. These degrees are consistent with the dual purpose of transfer and preparation for direct employment. The general education component of the transferable technical degree is to be comprised of not less than 20 credits of courses generally accepted in transfer. These 20 credits must include as a minimum the following:
5 credits in Communication
5 credits in Quantitative Skills
Any course from the generally accepted in transfer list with Intermediate Algebra as a prerequisite
10 credits in Science, Social Science, or Humanities
Courses selected from the generally accepted in transfer list including a course meeting the human relations requirement.
The 20 credit minimum is proposed in recognition of the difficulty that some technical programs would have in adding even more general education credits to their degree. Yet other technical degrees would go beyond the 20 credits minimum because the technical program may already include transferable courses including the introductory course in the technical field.