Aug 21, 2018  
2016-17 Catalog 
2016-17 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Associate of Arts, Option A

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Learning Outcomes

Written Communication
After successfully completing the Written Communication requirements, students will:

  • Produce finished writings by generating ideas, developing and revising drafts, editing texts, and proofreading final copies.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the interactions among critical reading, critical thinking, and academic writing and use sources in written work ethically and effectively.
  • Produce focused, organized written work that considers audience, context, and purpose.
  • Respond critically and constructively to the written work of published writers and peers.
  • Use clear mechanics, academic conventions and documentation style appropriate to the discipline or context.

Communication Studies
After successfully completing the Communication Studies requirement, students will:

  • Identify key concepts and models in intrapersonal, interpersonal and small group communication.
  • Use the principles of information literacy.
  • Apply the awareness of diversity in their interpersonal, public and group communication.
  • Construct and present effective informative and persuasive public presentations.

After successfully completing the Diversity and Globalism requirement, students will:

  • Articulate the political, social, legal, global or systemic issues that manifest or contribute to discrimination and marginalization of individuals or groups.
  • Explain different cultural perspectives on a topic.
  • Critically analyze human diversity through the lens of the academic discipline in a particular Diversity and Globalism studies class.

Physical Education
After successfully completing the Physical Education requirement, students will:

  • Acquire, evaluate, and apply information that promotes personal, community, and/or global health.
  • Assess personal risk factors and lifestyle choices that influence health and wellness.
  • Identify and/or employ appropriate physical activity and nutritional strategies to enhance life-long well-being and quality of life.

Quantitative Skills
After successfully completing the Quantitative Skills requirements, students will:

  • Comprehend, analyze, estimate, calculate, and draw logical conclusions from quantitative information represented by numbers, symbols, graphs, and words.
  • Communicate quantitative information using numbers, symbols, graphs, and words.
  • Generate abstract generalizations using quantitative and symbolic reasoning, and explain their impact on society and students’ own lives.

Social Science, Area I
After successfully completing the Social Science Area I distribution requirements, students will:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of basic terminology and facts specific to the discipline of economics, geographys, history and/or political science.
  • Organize, analyze, and critically evaulate evidence from the perspective of economics, geography, history, and/or political science.
  • Apply the analytical frameworks and methods from economics, geography, history, and/or political science to explain social issues.
  • Explain the interrelatedness of individuals and groups from economic, historical, geographic and/or political perspectives.

Social Science, Area II
After successfully completing the Social Science Area II distribution requirements, students will:

  • Apply the scientific method to evaluate assumptions of human behavior.
  • Apply multiple perspectives in explaining human behavior.
  • Identify factors that contribute to behavioral, cultural, and biological human variation over time.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of human diversity and the interdependence of humans.
  • Explain the connection between social environment and human behavior.

Humanities, Area I
After successfully completing the Humanities Area I distribution requirements, students will:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of cultural practices, intellectual trends, or aesthetic productions of their own culture and other cultures.

For students taking World Languages:

  • Demonstrate progressive ability to understand and effectively communicate in a specific world language.

For students taking Film Studies, Humanities, Philosophy or DGS courses:

  • Analyze and critically evaluate major texts, ideas, concepts, or trends in the Humanities using varied analytical perspectives.
  • Apply the concepts and vocabulary of a Film Studies, Humanities or Philosophy course.
  • Critically apply humanities insights to understanding of the ongoing conflicts, controversies and evolutions in human societies.

Humanities, Area II
After successfully completing the Humanities Area II distribution requirements, students will:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the basic concepts and vocabulary in an arts discipline, including, but not limited to, definitions and systems of classification (e.g., style, genre, period, elements, etc.).
  • Interpret artistic works through analysis in verbal, written, and/or other forms.

For students taking history and appreciation classes in music, art, and drama:

  • Explain, verbally or in writing, relationships between cultural, socio-economic, technical and political factors and artistic movements.

For students taking applied courses in music, art, or drama (e.g. Beginning Group Piano, Ceramics):

  • Demonstrate progressive technical mastery of one or more artistic mediums.

After successfully completing the Sciences distribution requirements, students will:

  • Apply algorithmic approaches, logical and/or sequential reasoning, mathematics, and field-specific techniques to address and solve quantitative and qualitative problems.
  • Demonstrate an ability to work constructively and collaboratively as a member of a team.
  • Demonstrate the ability to communicate scientific knowledge in written and/or oral form.
  • Demonstrate the understanding that scientific knowledge can be acquired through inductive or deductive reasoning.
  • Evaluate the proposal, claim, process or theory of their peers and/or published authors.

For students who complete the lab-science requirement, the above criteria AND:

  • Collect and analyze data quantitatively using appropriate tools.
  • Demonstrate safe use of appropriate tools within a discipline specific setting (i.e. lab or field).
  • Demonstrate ethical behavior in the acquisition, reporting, and use of data in the sciences.


AA, Option A Requirements

For general information about this degree choice, see Programs, Resources and Services for Students .

Important Note: Students are responsible for knowing degree requirements and for staying informed regarding changes in their degree requirements.

General Requirements

  • Completion of a minimum of 90 college-level credits (courses numbered 100 or above);
  • A minimum 2.0 cumulative college-level GPA;
  • Completion of at least 23 of the total required credits at Highline with a minimum 2.0 GPA (known as the residency credit requirement).

For a detailed list of these requirements, general information and information on exceptions to general or specific requirements, students should refer to the overview information on Transferable Degrees and Certificates .

Specific Requirements

Course requirements for the AA, Option A, are summarized as follows:

  • Communications requirement: 15 credits
  • Quantitative Skills requirement: 5 credits
  • Physical Education requirement: 3 credits
  • Diversity and Globalism requirement: 3 credits
  • Distribution requirement: 55 credits; includes two options:
  • Standard Distribution
  • Distribution with Emphasis
  • Elective requirement: 12 credits

Additional requirements for the AA, Option A:

  • At least 75 credits must be defined as fully transferable by the university to which a student intends to transfer;
  • A maximum of 15 credits of CR grades (for classes taken “credit” or “pass”) may be applied to the AA degree. Such credits may or may not be recognized by other institutions.

Courses listed in this section may be used to meet the specific course requirements of the AA, Option A, degree. This list, however, changes from time to time. Students should obtain the most current list from the Advising Center.

Communications Requirement: 15 credits

Students must complete specific written English and communication studies courses to satisfy the Communications requirement. If written English and communication studies credits total more than 15, then up to five of these credits may be applied to Humanities Area I. The same credits may not be used to satisfy both the Communications requirement and the Humanities Distribution requirement.

Quantitative Skills Requirement: 5 credits

Proficiency in intermediate algebra must be demonstrated through placement testing, completion of Intermediate Algebra (MATH 095 , MATH 097  or equivalent) or consultation with a mathematics instructor. Students must complete a five-credit mathematics or philosophy course, listed below, for which Intermediate Algebra (MATH 095 , MATH 097  or equivalent) is a prerequisite. Credits used to satisfy this requirement may not be applied toward other requirements. Students must choose from the list below.

Physical Education Requirement: 3 credits

Students must complete three credits of physical education either through a single course of three or more credits; a mix of classroom and activity courses; or three different (unduplicated) physical education activity credits. A maximum of three physical education activity credits may be applied to the AA degree.

Complete either A, B or C:

B. Complete one of the following two-credit courses, plus one additional PE course of at least one credit:

C. Complete three different (unduplicated) physical education activity courses.

Diversity and Globalism Requirement: 3 credits

Students are required to complete a course of three or more credits to satisfy the Diversity and Globalism requirement. In some cases, Diversity and Globalism classes may also apply to distribution or other requirements. Other Diversity and Globalism courses may be used only to help satisfy elective requirements. Applicable courses are listed below; one or more asterisks (*) indicate other requirements the course may satisfy.


*Denotes courses that also apply to the Social Sciences Distribution requirement.

**Denotes courses that also apply to the Humanities Distribution requirement.

***Denotes courses that also apply to the Sciences Distribution requirement.

****Denotes courses that also apply to the Physical Education requirement.

Distribution Requirement: 55 credits

The Distribution requirement attempts to ensure variety and breadth by requiring educational experiences in a number of disciplines, including science, mathematics, social science, humanities and the arts. Courses designated as special study, directed study, independent research or cooperative education do not carry distribution credit.

Students may choose either Standard Distribution or Distribution with Emphasis.

Standard Distribution

Students complete a minimum of

  • 15 credits in Humanities;
  • 20 credits in Social Sciences; and
  • 20 credits in Sciences.

At least two areas must be represented in Humanities and Social Sciences and two departments in Sciences (see the “Distribution Areas ” section).

Distribution with Emphasis

Students complete a minimum of

  • 10 credits in Humanities;
  • 15 credits in Social Sciences;
  • 15 credits in Sciences; and
  • 15 credits in a single department.
    This department will normally be chosen as the student’s major upon transfer to a four-year school.

At least two areas must be represented in Humanities and Social Sciences and two departments in Sciences (see the “Distribution Areas ” section).

Elective Requirement: 12 credits

These credits may be from any department and must be numbered 100 or above. Courses may be chosen from the Distribution Areas  or from courses meeting other requirements (in most cases, however, the same course cannot be used to meet two separate requirements).

Students may also select electives from other disciplines. However, in doing so, students should consult the baccalaureate (four-year) institution’s catalog, since most four-year schools will accept no more than 15 credits of traditionally nontransferable restricted (often called “Gray Area”) courses.

Traditionally, nontransferable restricted courses include most professional-technical education courses and all courses from the following departments: College Studies, Cooperative Education, Parent Education, Reading and Student Services.  A maximum of 3 credits of Physical Education (PE) activity courses can be applied toward the Direct Transfer Agreement (DTA) and are considered unrestricted.  All non-activity PE courses are considered restricted.  Restricted courses generally also include course challenges, independent study classes, credit by examination, military experience credit, CLEP and other nontraditional credit. Advanced Placement (AP) courses generally are transferable but are subject to the policies of the receiving institution.

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