W. Va. Code R. § 135-11-3 - Degree Designations

Current through Register Vol. XXXIX, No. 11, March 18, 2022

3.1. Degree program: A degree program is an area of study approved as such by the institution and the Council and listed on the official Council inventory of degree programs, e.g. Business, Criminal Justice, and General Studies. The degree, which is an award signifying a rank or level of educational attainment and which is conferred on students who have successfully completed a degree program, is represented by the official degree designation, e.g. A.A. - Associate in Arts, A.S. - Associate in Science, A.F.A. - Associate in Fine Arts, or A.A.S. - Associate in Applied Science. The degree program completed would be listed on the student's diploma.

There are nationally recognized associate degree designations adopted for use. Each has a specific purpose and declares the specific intent of those who framed the academic program requirements. The respective degree designations communicate clearly the primary, predetermined goal for the preparation of the student. Associate degrees require a maximum of sixty-credit hours unless otherwise required by accrediting agencies for completion of the degree and the certificate degree requires a maximum of thirty-credit hours for completion unless otherwise required by accrediting agencies.

The curriculum is the foundation of certificate and associate degree programs. For students to earn the degrees, the program must consist of a coherent and sequenced set of courses, including an evaluation procedure that assesses the outcomes of the learning process. The program must state the proficiency outcomes required for the students to transfer to baccalaureate institutions and/or achieve career goals.

Certificate and associate degree programs must include a full complement of general education requirements appropriate to the level of the degree, including essential communication and computation skills.

3.1.1. The Associate in Arts (AA) degree. The purpose and intent of this degree are to prepare the student to transfer to an upper division baccalaureate degree program. It gives emphasis to those majoring in the arts, humanities, social sciences, and similar areas. While a student may enter directly into employment upon attainment of this degree, the goal of programs that award this degree is successful transfer with junior status.
3.1.1.a. General Education. For successful transfer with program emphasis in arts, humanities, social sciences, and similar areas, a substantial component of this degree, at least 24 semester hours of coursework, shall be in general education.
3.1.2. The Associate in Science (AS) degree. The purpose and intent of this degree are to prepare the student to transfer to an upper division baccalaureate degree program. It gives emphasis to those majoring in the areas with substantial undergraduate requirements in mathematics, natural sciences, and similar areas. While a student may enter directly into employment upon attainment of this degree, the goal of programs that award this degree is successful transfer with junior status.
3.1.2.a. General Education. For successful transfer with program emphasis in agriculture, engineering and technology, and the sciences with a substantial undergraduate requirement in mathematics and the natural sciences, a large component of this degree, at least 24 semester hours of coursework shall be in general education.
3.1.3. The Associate in Fine Arts (AFA) degree. The dual purpose and intent of this degree is to prepare students to enter directly into employment in a specific art-related career while also preparing students for transfer to an upper division baccalaureate program. It gives emphasis to those majoring in areas with substantial emphasis in the arts. While a student may enter directly into employment upon attainment of this degree, the goal of programs that award this degree is successful transfer with junior status.
3.1.3.a. General Education. For successful transfer with program emphasis in art-related areas, a large component of this degree, at least 24 semester hours of coursework shall be in general education.
3.1.4. The Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree. The purpose and intent of this degree are to prepare the student to enter directly into employment in a specific career. It gives emphasis to those majoring in occupational programs designed with and through employer advisory committees. It is the goal of this degree to achieve acceptance as an employment credential. While a student may be able to achieve successful transfer of some or all the courses within this degree, the goal of programs that award this degree is successful employment.
3.1.4.a. General Education. For successful entry directly into employment in a specific career and to provide a basic foundation for life-long learning and future career changes, at least 15 semester hours of coursework for this degree shall be in general education unless otherwise required by the accrediting agency. General education shall include communication and computational skills and other general education coursework related to the specific occupational career area.
3.1.5. Certificate in Applied Science Degree [CAS] program. A certificate program in applied science is a coherent, specialized curriculum designed for students in search of a specific body of knowledge for personal/career development or professional continuing education. The purpose and intent of the certificate degree program are to prepare the student to enter directly into employment in a specific career and meet the documented workforce needs of local employers. Generally, certificate programs provide the foundation for the associate in applied science (AAS) degree for occupational programs. Like the AAS degree, the goal of certificates is to achieve acceptance as an employment credential.
3.1.5.a. General Education. As the foundation of the Certificate in Applied Science degree and for successful entry into employment in a specific career, at least 6 semester hours of coursework for the certificate shall be in general education, including essential communication and computation skills.
3.2. Program of Study: A program of study is a defined curriculum within an approved degree program. An institution should include the program of study on the student's transcript. The program of study is identified by a distinct Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code.
3.3. Concentration: Concentrations provide a thematic focus of study that enable the student to spend the time and effort to acquire depth in a particular discipline, in addition to meeting the normal breadth of requirements for the associate degree. A student might choose a concentration to begin early preparation for a specific academic area that they might wish to later pursue in a bachelor degree program. Typically, approximately 12-18 credit hours would be expected for a concentration within an associate degree program. Concentrations should appear on the student's transcript.
3.4. Advanced Skill Set Certificate: A series of courses or competencies that prepare individuals for a specific skill and carry value of 12 or more but less than 30 credit hours or non-credit contact hours equivalent to 12 or more but less than 30 credit hours.
3.5. Skills Set Certificate: A series of courses or competencies that prepare individuals for a specific skill and carry value fewer than 12 credit hours or non-credit contact hours equivalent to fewer than 12 credit hours.

Notes

W. Va. Code R. § 135-11-3

The following state regulations pages link to this page.



State regulations are updated quarterly; we currently have two versions available. Below is a comparison between our most recent version and the prior quarterly release. More comparison features will be added as we have more versions to compare.