Student Handbook 
    Feb 25, 2024  
Student Handbook

Academic Support Services - ACADEMIC DEGREES

Academic Degrees

Associate in Arts Degrees

Associate in Arts degrees is designed to provide students with a broad background during their first and second year of study so that they can transfer to a four-year school with standing as a junior. Our degrees follow guidelines set by the state’s Intercollege Relations Commission. Our associate degree curriculum is designed to give students a general education that transfers to four-year universities for bachelor’s degrees.


Associate in Science-Transfer Degrees

Associate in Science-Transfer degrees is designed to prepare science and engineering majors for transfer to a four-year school with standing as a junior. All of our Associate in Science-Transfer degrees adhere to guidelines developed under the guidance of the Washington State Board of Community and Technical Colleges. Most coursework is in mathematics, science, and engineering, but the curriculum also includes general education requirements.


Direct Transfer Agreement

The Direct Transfer Agreement (DTA) associate degree is designed to transfer to most Bachelor of Arts degrees at all four-year colleges and universities in Washington state. Students who complete this path and are accepted at a four-year university will be ready for their junior year at all public and participating private colleges in Washington state.


DTA degrees provide students with…

…completion of lower division general education requirements; the opportunity to explore areas of study with up to 30 credits of elective courses; and the opportunity to complete prerequisites for a future major.


Major Related Programs

Major Related Program (MRP) pathways are transferred associate pathways outlining the appropriate courses in order for students to be well prepared to enter a major upon transfer – Major Related Program (MRP) pathways follow one of the two Washington statewide transfer agreements – the Associate in Arts DTA format or the Associate in Science-Transfer (AS-T) format.


Associate in Applied Science-Transfer Degrees

Associate in Applied Science-Transfer degrees are built upon the technical courses required for job preparation; however, they also include a college-level general education component, common in structure for all such degrees. The general education courses for the degrees are drawn from the same distribution requirements list as those taken by students completing the Associate in Arts or the Associate in Science-Transfer degrees. Associate in Applied Science-T degrees prepare graduates for jobs requiring two years of training or for transfer to four-year schools with specific bachelor’s programs that accept this degree.


Associate in General Studies Degree

The Associate in General Studies degree grants students academic recognition for an individually designed program of coursework. This coursework is designed for students not planning to transfer to a four-year school.


Associate of Technical Arts Degrees

Associate of Technical Arts degrees is designed to provide professional and technical training to prepare students for specific jobs or to improve existing skills. All of our career programs have advisory committees of professionals in related fields to help ensure that our curriculum evolves with changes in business and industry. Advisory committee members and faculty members work together to link education and employment and help students succeed.



Certificates are shorter programs and are designed to provide specialized training and skills in a number of interest areas.


Certificates of Completion

Certificates of Completion (COCs) are professional-technical programs of less than 20 credits. The courses are targeted to help students gain skills in a specific area. COCs are not eligible for financial aid; however, some COCs may be eligible for veteran’s benefits. In addition, some COCs can be applied to certificates (programs of 20 or more credits) or degrees. If interested in a COC, please inquire at your instructional department or academic advising.