Oct 19, 2021  
2017-2018 Catalog 
2017-2018 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Associate of Arts, Option A

Learning Outcomes

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

  • Effectively communicate orally and in writing to and with diverse audiences in public and human communication contexts.

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:

  • Identify and assess factors that influence personal and community health and wellness while employing lifestyle choices to enhance life-long well-being and quality of life.

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

  • Draw logical conclusions using symbolic or quantitative methods.  This includes comprehending, analyzing, representing, calculating, and communicating information presented using numbers, words, graphs, and/or symbols.

Social Science, Area I & II
After successfully completing the Social Science Area I requirement, students will:

  • Analyze and interpret evidence using social science framework.
  • Explain the relationships between social structures and human behavior.

Humanities, Area I & II
After successfully completing the Humanities Area I & II requirement, students will:

  • Analyze and/or produce forms of creative expression, applying critical thinking and exhibiting cultural competence.

After successfully completing the Sciences requirement, students will:

  • Use scientific, analytic, or logical methods, modes of inquiry, and terminology to demonstrate knowledge, comprehension, and application of science concepts and insights.
  • Collect and analyze data quantitatively using appropriate tools within a discipline specific setting (i.e., lab or field).

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 or completion of Intermediate Algebra. Students must complete a five-credit mathematics or philosophy course, listed below, for which Intermediate Algebra  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.