Panorama Community Schools

Chris Webner » What is an Associate Degree?

What is an Associate Degree?

U) Why would I care about getting an Associate Degree?

Associate of Arts (AA) degree is equivalent to freshman & sophomore years at any four year college/university. It is delivered by community college in typically two years earning 64 college credits. Associate in Science (AS) degree is similar to AA degree. The difference is the type of courses students have to choose from are bit different – example: AS degree of DMACC Perry Campus does not require a lab science, but AA degree of other campuses does require a lab science. Both degree can be transferred to four year college/universities or used for background knowledge before entering work force.
  • IF you are UNSURE of what direction your life will take AFTER HIGH SCHOOL? Earning an Associate degree from a community college is a wise use of your time and money:
    • Associate degrees help people get all kinds of entry level jobs that have good benefits (health care, opportunity for advancement, financial aid for more college)
    • Associate degrees are 2 year programs delivered primarily by community colleges, contains the liberal arts portion of 4 year bachelor’s degree, typically 64 credits
    • DMACC requires 48 credits of core: Communications (9cr.), Social & Behavioral Science (9cr.), Math & Sciences (9cr.), Humanities (9cr.), Distributed requirements (12cr.)
    • Associate degrees can be transferred as the first 2yr of a 4yr college degree (example: go to DMACC 2yr then + transfer to ISU for a bachelor’s degree = 4yr total)
    • Associate degrees can be earned at an affordable price in two years;
      • Most college courses are 3 credits; sample cost of 1 credit in 2008-09 at
        • DMACC = $102, ISU = $313, Buena Vista U= $801
    • If you would attend a 4yr college and decide to take a job after two years you are considered a college drop out, but after 2yr at a community college you are likely a college graduate.
    • Closest Associate (AS) degree to Panora is now in Perry, Iowa – DMACC’s VanKirk Center - DMACC AS Degree as at Perry Campus.
  • See how you can earn an associates degree at a community college (DMACC) and have Iowa State (Cyclone) Student Status at same time -
  • DMACC 2010-2011 reports $29,567/year salary by those who chose to enter workforce after earning an Associate degree
  • University of Iowa & Kirkwood CC = 2 + 2 Guaranteed Graduation Program in Iowa City 
  • Hawkeye CC in Waterloo most often transfers student to neighboring University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls