What Associate Degree Should I Get?
A.A., A.S., A.A.S. … talk about a lot of acronyms! What do they all mean? Hopefully this will help you break it down. At TVCC, we have an A.A., an A.S., and A.A.S. degrees. If it has 2 letters, it is a transfer degree. If it has 3 letters, it is a technical degree, called a Career and Technical Education (CTE) degree. Basically, we separate it into those two tracks.
I know I want to get my Bachelor's someday.
Then you want to get an Associate of Arts (A.A.) or an Associate of Science (A.S.)
degree. These degrees are designed to transfer. These degrees help you get your core
credits taken care of that every college student has to take: English, Math, Science,
etc. This way, when you get to the four-year university, you just have 2 years left
to complete in your field of study classes.
Most Important: If you head down this track, know where you are going. In other words, figure out what four-year college or university you plan to attend, find out what they require and then work with advisors at both the four-year school and TVCC to ensure you take the greatest advantage of your time here at TVCC.
Should you choose the A.A., A.S., or A.A.S?
We have the A.A.O.T. (Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer) degree that is the best for transferring to an Oregon 4-year school. This guarantees that the student has met all of the lower-division general education requirements for the Oregon University System https://ccwd.oregon.gov/studentsuccess/SSdocs.aspx?p=3&h=18 and will take you into their system as a "junior" level student. This degree allows you to select a future focus area, if you desire.
If you don't plan to ever move on to a 4-year college, we recommend you obtain an A.A.S. degree, which is designed to provide you with a career track. After you obtain an A.A.S. degree, you are not restricted from moving on to a 4-year college, but that receiving college may not award all your 2-year credits toward your 4-year degree.
Finally, we have a General Associate of Science (A.S) degree and an A.S. degree in Business (A.S.O.T). These are designed to help you transfer with a set focus area, such as Business, Crop Science, etc.
So TVCC has four degrees: Associate of Arts – Oregon Transfer (A.A.O.T), Associate of Science – Oregon Transfer (A.S.O.T), Associate of Science – General (A.S.) or the Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.), designed to allow you to focus on the area in which you are most interested.
What about certificates?
Certificates are shorter term, specific programs. For instance, you can get a one year certificate in Corrections, Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), or Welding. TVCC currently has (9) one-year certificates that allow you to 'step out' and head out to work. If you decide to continue your education, all of the classes are embedded in our two year degrees, so that you can come back and continue where you left off.
We also have a number of Career Pathway certificates. These are less than one year certificates designed to provide you some 'step out' points in the event you need to stop taking classes for awhile. Again, these courses are embedded in our two year degrees so you can come back and keep moving forward.
What Classes do I take?
Remember to meet with an Advisor.
You should always talk with an academic advisor each quarter to make sure you are on track to graduate with the right degree for your goals. They can help make sure you get the classes you need and keep you pointed in the right direction.