Q: Does anyone know of a college offering a 2-year associate of arts or science
degree that is fully accredited by an agency recognized by the US Dept of
A:in general studies (essentially your first two years of general requirements to transfer up to a four-year college) or an associates degree in a specialized field (which can serve as an employment-ready stand-alone credential as well as being used as a stepping stone to the bachelor's). But here are a few associate's degrees in general studies to whet your appetite. Try Northampton Community College. They're located in PA and offer many great programs. I live nearby and am currently enrolled in an online program with them. Sometimes the Community College system in North Carolina is a little "generous" and the "college credit" actually credit granted in a degree program called "Information Systems/Network Administration and Support" that leads to an Associate of Applied Science Degree, not the more typical "Associates of Science" degree that many people are familiar with. The Associates of Applied Science degree is not transferrable to a regular 4-year college like North Carolina State or NYU in the sense that if you went to a Junior College and got an Associate of Arts or Science degree, you could transfer the credits earned to one of those four year institutions to complete your bachelor's degree. Some four year colleges offer Bachelor's In Applied Science or Arts degrees, but they are not considered to be the same in terms of the rigorous approach taken by schools that confer the Bachelor's of Arts or Science degrees. Mainly the science and math requirements are not as strong. In no way should this program be understood to be giving 12 credit hours in a curriculum such as Computer Science or Engineering, because it simply is not. It is a "trade-oriented" program and that is all it is. The goal of the Community College system is to train workers for employment in North Carolina short of the "college degree" level. Many times graduates of the technical programs at these schools do very well financially but they in no way shape or form have what is traditionally considered to be a "college degree," although they will adamantly swear they indeed do have one. A very positive result of programs in the many North Carolina Community Colleges is that it provides a very well trained high-tech work force and that is looked upon favorably by the local business community. In fact, the state-wide business community here in North Carolina has a lot of input into how the curriculum in the community colleges is determined, so many of the kids going into these programs are being trained in job areas that have a demand for their skills and many of the kids do internships in their fields before graduation and stay with their internship sponsors after graduation in permanent jobs. All in all a very good thing for kids who do not want or cannot do "college" level work.
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