DETERMINING CREDIT HOURS

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

Applied Associate degree programs are developed to assist persons who are preparing for, or advancing in, an occupation. Curricula of applied associate degree programs are designed to reflect statewide competency requirements for a target job(s) which define the occupational program. Credit requirements are stated in the program curriculum credit and range distribution compliance rules chart found under the Educational Services Manual - Related Guidance section of the myWTCS website. Programs with more than 70 credits in the curriculum require written approval by the WTCS president. For curricula with more than 70 credits, the additional credits must be technical studies. Typically, these additional credits are needed to meet licensure or certification requirements.

Associate of Arts and Science courses (Aid Code 20) may not be used as primary courses in an Applied Associate Degree curriculum. They may only be used as alternates to an existing aid code 10 course.

General Education courses will be selected from the system course list found on the myWTCS website under WTCS General Education Approved Course List.

System-wide Prepared Learner (General College) courses are not appropriate for use in meeting Associate of Applied Arts or Applied Science program requirements and are not approvable as part of an applied associate degree program.

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.

Course Hours Information

A Type Hours:

Instructor-delivered content via multiple learning environments including face-to-face and through a variety of distance education modalities.

  • Content includes lectures, presentations, discussions, and other teaching methods.
  • Course outcomes, learning objectives and performance assessment criteria are specified.
  • Instructor interaction is frequent or continuous.
  • A Type Hours exclude clinical, independent, and individualized study, laboratory, occupational (internships/externships), practicum, scenario, simulation, and work-based learning per B-E Hour definitions.
Associate Degree/Liberal Arts Course Credit Standards
  • In A Type Hours, eighteen 50-minute potential periods of instruction per term equal one associate degree credit. PHI/18 = CR
  • Student outside effort: two hours for each potential period of instruction.
Technical Diploma Course Credit Standards
  • In A Type Hours, thirty-six 50-minute potential periods of instruction per term equal one technical credit. PHI/36 = CR
  • Student outside effort: No less than 1/2 hour for each contact hour.

B Type Hours:

Hands-on and experiential learning via laboratory, scenario, simulation, shop, or other non-work-based learning experience.

  • Course outcomes, learning objectives and performance assessment criteria are specified.
  • Instructor interaction is frequent or continuous.
  • Instructor delivers content via multiple learning environments including face-toface and through a variety of distance education modalities.
Associate Degree/Liberal Arts Course Credit Standards
  • In B Type Hours, thirty-six 50-minute potential periods of instruction per term equal one associate degree credit. PHI/36 = CR
  • Student outside effort: one hour for each two potential periods of instruction.
  • Technical Diploma Course Credit Standards
  • In B Type Hours, thirty-six 50-minute potential periods of instruction per term equal one technical credit. PHI/36 = CR
  • Student outside effort: No less than 1/2 hour for each contact hour.

C Type Hours:

Independent and individualized study, instructor-led work-based learning, extended lab OR instructor-led clinicals* Associate Degree/Liberal Arts Course Credit Standards

  • In C Type Hours, fifty-four 50-minute potential periods of individualized/independent instruction per term equal one associate degree credit. PHI/54 = CR
  • Student outside effort: none required.
Technical Diploma Course Credit Standards
  • In C Type Hours, fifty-four 50-minute potential periods of individualized/independent instruction per term equal one technical diploma credit. PHI/54 = CR
  • Student outside effort: None required.
Independent and individualized study:
  • Course outcomes and learning objectives and performance assessment criteria are specified.
  • Instructors manage learning, create objectives, and remotely direct.
  • Instructor/student interaction schedule is set by the instructor appropriate to the learning objectives and performance objectives.
  • May include hours spent in lab or shop settings where students are engaged in independent and self-directed work.
Instructor facilitated work-based learning:
  • Includes on-campus work-based learning (excluding internships)
  • Instructor interaction is varied and occurs as needed
  • Students provide services to live clients or customers (paid or unpaid) as in salon, culinary, automotive, and others
  • May include simulated work environments where instructor serves in the role as an instructor as well as an "employer"
Instructor-led clinicals:
  • Includes instructor-led clinicals, instructor-led practicums, and simulations in lieu of clinicals
  • Instructor directs the learning and provides direct oversight of program standards.
  • Instructor provides frequent or periodic supervision.
  • Content includes planned learning experiences based on identified objectives.
  • Course outcomes, learning objectives, performance assessment criteria, sequencing, and student progress reporting expectations are identified and documented by faculty.
  • Instructor evaluates student progress through precepted clinical on a regular/consistent basis.
Extended Lab:
  • Hands-on and experiential learning via laboratory, scenario, simulation, shop, or other non-work-based learning experience where student outside effort is not required, practical or possible.
  • Course outcomes, learning objectives and performance assessment criteria are specified.
  • Instructor interaction is frequent or continuous.
  • Instructor delivers content via multiple learning environments including face-toface and through a variety of distance education modalities.

D Type Hours

Work-based learning including internship, externship, job shadowing, and clinicals* or practicums not specified for C or E hours.

  • Content includes clearly specified and documented learning criteria. Instructor and employer direct the learning.
  • Course outcomes, learning objectives, performance assessment criteria, sequencing, and student progress reporting expectations are collaboratively identified and documented by instructor and employer.
  • Examples of student learning may include supervised job-shadows, individual assignments, or team-based projects.
  • Instructor provides direct oversight of program standards with frequent or periodic supervision.
  • Employer provides direct or indirect supervision.
Associate Degree/Liberal Arts Course Credit Standards
  • In D Type Hours, seventy-two hours of worked-based learning equal one associate degree credit. PHI/72 = CR
  • Student outside effort: none required.
Technical Diploma Course Credit Standards
  • In D Type Hours, seventy-two hours of worked-based learning equal one technical diploma credit. PHI/72 = CR
  • Student outside effort: none required.

E Type Hours:

Work-based experience (E hours are used infrequently and require Education Director pre-approval).

  • Student has shown competency to work at an approved off-site employer and independently performs the occupation as any other employee with limited supervision.
  • Employer works with the student to meet their learning objectives.
  • Used to accommodate specific program requirements not addressed by D Type hours, including limited clinicals*.
  • Discuss intended use with relevant Education Director.
Associate Degree/Liberal Arts Course Credit Standards
  • In E Type Hours, two hundred sixteen hours of work-based learning experience equal one associate degree credit. PHI/216 = CR
  • Student outside effort: none required.
Technical Diploma Course Credit Standards
  • In E Type Hours, two hundred sixteen hours of work-based learning experience equals technical credit. PHI/216 = CR
  • Student outside 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.