Explanation of Degrees, Certificates, Awards

Vernon College awards the Associate of Arts degree, the Associate of Arts in Teaching degree, the Associate of Science degree, the Associate in Applied Science degree, the Certificate of Completion, and the Occupational Skills Achievement Award.

Associate of Arts, Associate of Arts in Teaching, and Associate of Science Degrees. The Associate of Arts (AA) and Associate of Science (AS) degrees provide general academic curricula in university-parallel and pre-professional courses of study which generally correspond to the first four semesters of a bachelor’s degree program. While VC does not offer a major in the AA, AAT, or AS degrees, suggested transfer curricula are included in the catalog to serve as a guide for students whose educational goals include transfer to a four-year university. Students should consult the catalog of the receiving institution for specific requirements.

Associate in Applied Science Degree. The Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) Degree programs are designed to prepare the student for immediate employment and/or career advancement. These programs are generally workforce or paraprofessional in nature and are identified with a specialty designation.

Certificate of Completion. Certificate programs are designed for entry-level employment, meeting a particular specialty within an occupational area, and/or upgrading one’s skills and knowledge within a vocation. It is possible for a student to earn a certificate of completion while qualifying for an associate degree in some programs.

Occupational Skills Achievement Award. Occupational Skills Achievement Awards consist of a course or series of courses that provide workforce skills for basic entry-level employment in a vocational career field. An award may be a Career and Technical Education credit program of 9-14 semester credit hours or a continuing education program of 144-359 contact hours. The awards meet standards of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA), but are too short to qualify as Certificates of Completion.