DETERMINING CREDIT HOURS

ASSOCIATE DEGREE OCCUPATIONAL PROGRAMS (Code 10) (Associate Degree in Applied Arts or Applied Sciences)

  1. Associate degree programs are developed to assist persons preparing for, or advancing in, an occupation. Curricula of associate degree programs are designed to reflect statewide competency requirements for a target job(s) which define the occupational program. Associate degree programs require a minimum of 60 semester credits. Programs with more than 70 credits in the curriculum require written approval by the WTCS President when needed to meet licensure, certification, and other requirements. Curricula with more than the maximum credits shall reflect the additional credits in the technical studies.
  2. The Technical Studies category includes courses that are specific to, or support the development of, technical skills and knowledge. The credit requirement range for Technical Studies is 36 to 49 credits.
  3. The General Studies category includes general education program courses which relate to the effective functioning of the individual in both occupational and community settings. The credit requirement range for General Studies is 21 to 30 credits. It is further defined by the course categories shown below.
  4. Credits for electives range from 0 to 6. Electives are used to broaden and enrich the specific program of study.

Associate in Arts and Associate in Science

  1. The Associate in Arts (AA) and Associate in Science (AS) degrees are designed to prepare students to transfer to four-year colleges and universities by providing a broad background in Liberal Studies. Each degree is designed to provide the flexibility necessary to meet the needs of students regardless of their future academic plans. For students who have not yet decided on a major, the degrees provide exposure to subject areas common to all majors at all colleges and universities. For students who have already selected a major, the degrees can be tailored to meet their general education requirements.

    The AA degree is designed to build skills and knowledge in communications, humanities, fine arts, and social sciences. It is the appropriate choice for those who wish to study education, business, any of the social sciences, history, or any of the humanities.

    The AS degree is designed to build skills and knowledge in methods of observation, quantitative analysis, and logic in order to understand the mathematical, biological, and physical nature of the world. It is the appropriate choice for students who wish to study mathematics, science, engineering, or medicine. At the heart of both the AA and AS degrees, the liberal arts core provides the student a well-rounded academic background including written and verbal communication skills, broadly based problem solving abilities, critical thinking abilities, and knowledge of diverse cultures – skills required to succeed in baccalaureate studies and also critical in the workplace. Both degrees are valuable intermediate goals on the road to a four-year degree, provide the preparation necessary to enter or advance in the workplace, and demonstrate rigorous academic accomplishment.
  2. Associate in Arts and Associate of Science degree programs require a minimum of 64 credits. Liberal Arts courses are drawn from the disciplines of English, Speech, Humanities, Social Science, Mathematics, Natural Science and Humanities. Elective credits may be met by the successful completion of approved liberal arts courses as described below, or through implementation of the district advanced standing policy.

TECHNICAL DIPLOMA PROGRAMS (Codes 30, 31, and 32)

Technical programs are based on local needs of business and industry and are designed to assist persons preparing for entry into, remaining in, or advancing in an occupation. Technical diploma programs have a minimum of two (2) technical credits and a maximum of 70 technical credits.

  1. Technical diploma - Less than One Year (Code 30) - a minimum of two (2) technical credits and a maximum of 25 technical credits.
  2. Technical diploma - One Year (Code 31) - a minimum of 26 technical credits and a maximum of 54 technical credits.
  3. Technical diploma - Two Year (Code 32) - a minimum of 55 technical credits and a maximum of 70 technical credits.
  4. Deviation beyond 70 technical credits requires approval by the state director.
  5. Occupational specific course requirements - minimum 70% Seventy (70) percent to hundred (100) percent of the total program credits shall be in courses which are occupational specific. Occupational specific refers to those program courses which contain content directly related to a specific technical area.
  6. Occupational supportive/general education course requirements - maximum 30% Credits in occupational supportive and/or general education may not exceed thirty (30) percent of total program credits. Occupational supportive/general education courses are program courses that relate to effective functioning in an individual's occupational and community settings. These courses shall be drawn from natural science, mathematics, social and behavioral sciences, communicative skills, and other disciplines, both general and occupational.

CERTIFICATES

Local Certificates: Local Certificates may be awarded at the option of the local district for participation and/or attendance at any WTC program level and/or adult continuing education course(s), groups of courses or attainment of specific competencies. Courses may be offered as any aid code, and have a Curriculum Exception Code of 35, 36, 37 (see ISM 20.19)

WTCS Pathway Certificates: WTCS Pathway Certificates are a set of courses taken from the initial sequence of courses within the curriculum of an already approved degree, which provides the learner a set of industry recognized skills and abilities that prepares them for entry-level employment in an occupation. WTCS Pathway Certificate courses are offered in the aid code of the associated already approved degree program (i.e., if a pathway is in a technical diploma, then the certificate courses would be at aid code 30, 31 or 32 unless the technical diploma is also embedded in an AAS, in which case the aid code of the course could be aid code 10). While an already approved degree program may have more than one pathway certificate, each certificate may be associated with only one degree program. WTCS Pathway Certificates are officially recognized by the WTCS Board via the Embedded Technical Diploma Approval and W TCS Pathway Certificate Recognition Process. (see ESM Section 4, Chapter 10, Unit 7). Advanced Technical Certificates: Advanced Technical Certificates are certificates specifically designed and approved by the System Office. Courses within an Advanced Technical Certificate are at the aid code 10 level, and courses that are unique to the Advanced Technical Certificate are submitted with a Curriculum Exception Code of 30, 31, 32 (see ISM 20.19). Directions for establishing Advanced Technical Certificates can be found in ESM Section 7, Chapter 10, Unit 1.

ASSOCIATE DEGREE/LIBERAL ARTS COURSE CREDIT STANDARDS

Associate degree and Liberal Arts courses must be assigned credit and be approved by the system office before offering to students. Assignment of credit will be based on the standards below. One (1) credit is granted for 54 - 50 minute periods of student effort in any given term whether in classroom, clinical, laboratory, assigned outside study, independent instruction/study, or any combination of the aforementioned. (See Types of Instruction A, B and C below.) Exceptions to this rule are identified in Types of Instruction D and E which follow. For type D and E instruction, classroom/lab experiences are decreased in favor of the work experience.

For purposes of calculating credits, the various instructional approaches will be grouped into five (5) types. The type of instruction will be the standard upon which credit is determined.

  • Type A: Classroom Presentations (Lecture/Demonstration/Discussion)
    1. Specifically planned learning experiences based on identified objectives.
    2. Direct instructor involvement.
    3. Generally on campus utilizing scheduled space.
      1. Presentations by instructor
      2. Demonstrations by instructor
      3. Discussion
    4. Instructor - student contact: the equivalent of eighteen (18) - 50 minute potential periods of instruction per semester equals one (1) associate degree credit. PHI/18 = CR
    5. Student outside effort: two (2) hours for each potential period of instruction.

  • Type B: On-Campus Laboratory
    1. Specifically planned learning experiences based on identified objectives.
    2. Direct instructor involvement with ongoing supervision.
    3. On or off campus scheduled space.
      1. Demonstration
      2. Practice and/or skill development
    4. Instructor - student contact: thirty-six (36) - 50 minute potential periods of instruction per semester equals one (1) associate degree credit. PHI/36 = CR
    5. Student outside effort: one (1) hour for each two (2) potential periods of instruction.

  • Type C: Individualized/Independent Instruction and Selected Clinical, Extended Laboratory and/or Shop Experiences.
    1. Specifically planned learning experiences based on identified objectives.
    2. Periodic evaluation check points and/or supervision by instructional staff.
    3. On or off campus scheduled space.
      1. Mediated presentation and demonstration
      2. Limited discussion activities
      3. Practice and/or skill development on an individual/independent basis.
    4. Instructor - student coordinated experience: fifty-four (54) - 50 minute potential periods of individualized/independent instruction or selected clinical per semester equals one (1) associate degree credit. PHI/54 = CR
    5. Student outside effort: none required. Included in instructor - student coordinated experience.

  • Type D: Simulated or Actual Occupational Experience.
    1. Programs of activities with planned learning experiences identified jointly by instructor, student and, if appropriate, employer.
    2. Periodic supervision and evaluation of performance by instructional staff.
    3. On or off campus.
      1. Practice and/or skill development
    4. Instructor coordinated experience: 72 hours of simulated or actual occupational experience equals one (1) associate degree credit. PHI/72 = CR
    5. Student outside effort: none required.

  • Type E: On-the-job Experience (Limited Selected Programs).
    1. Programs of work with non-specified learning experiences.
    2. Supervision of work performance by the employer and minimal supervision by instructional staff.
    3. Off campus.
      1. Practice and skill development (with or without student remuneration)
    4. Instructor coordinated experience: 216 hours of job experience equals one (1) associate degree credit. PHI/216 = CR
    5. Outside student effort: none required.

*NOTE All credit calculations for Liberal Arts and associate degree courses will be whole credits. Types A, B, C, D, and/or E may be partial credit as long as the total credit is a whole number.