About E.1.3 Core Curriculum and Degrees
The Alamo Colleges have proposed a policy change for E.1.3 Core Curriculum and Degrees—effective for students entering in the 2016-2017 academic year—as part of an overall effort to maximize the number of credits students can transfer from Palo Alto College to count toward a bachelor degree.
The policy changes focus specifically on Fields of Study and the awarding of the Associate of Arts (AA), Associate of Science (AS), Associate of Arts in Teaching (AAT), and Associate of Applied Science (AAS), but does not apply to any currently enrolled students on a catalog from 2015 or earlier. These awards are defined as follows:
Fields of Study
A Field of Study is a specific curriculum developed by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) and intended to provide statewide guarantee of transfer to any public college or university in Texas. The THECB has thirteen (13) approved Fields of Study, and Palo Alto College currently offers the following eleven (11) for AA and AS degrees:
- Advertising/Public Relations
- Computer Science
- Criminal Justice
- Education (EC-6 Generalist) as an AAT*
- Education (7-12 and Other EC-12) as an AAT*
- Journalism/Mass Communication
- Mexican-American Studies
- Radio & TV Broadcasting/Broadcast Journalism
- Speech Communication
Students who successfully complete a Field of Study can transfer those courses to a public college or university and receive full academic credit toward their degree program, satisfying freshman and sophomore requirements for a bachelor’s degree. This Field of Study is listed on students’ transcripts, as specified by the THECB.
For additional information click link to Fields of Study Frequently Asked Questions »
AA and AS Degrees
As stated in the Alamo Colleges 2015-2016 Academic Catalog and specified by the THECB, the AA and AS degrees are specifically designed to satisfy, as closely as possible, the freshman- and sophomore-level courses in a baccalaureate program at a Texas public college or university. The AA and AS degree programs require 42 hours in core curriculum, general education courses, and provide 18 hours in areas of concentration. Those areas of concentration will be listed on students’ transcripts through Summer 2016.
Our current practice at Palo Alto College has been to message to students that the concentration provides a guided area of study within the remaining 18 hours of the associate degree. This practice has been reaffirmed during the 2014-2015 academic year in conversations with students, faculty, and staff in the College Leadership Team. The three Alamo Colleges currently pursuing reaffirmation have stated to SACS-COC that they offer concentrations, rather than majors. As part of this process, each of these colleges has noted that the concentration serves as a guide for students in a particular discipline before transferring to earn a bachelor degree. In this, each of the four accredited Alamo Colleges align with the THECB’s fundamental criterion for AA and AS degrees.
The 2015-2016 Academic Catalog lists two Fields of Study for Education, which are issued as an AAT. The AAT degree as defined by the THECB is fully transferable to all Texas public universities. Because the AAT fulfills the requirements of the Field of Study, all Texas public universities must accept the AAT if they offer the applicable bachelor degrees leading to initial teacher certification.
AAS Degrees and Certificates of Completion
The AAS degrees and certificates are designed to provide professional and technical skills in a specified discipline. Through a sequential delivery of program courses, students develop necessary technical and workplace skills in preparation for entry-level positions. In AAS programs, students are typically enrolled in 15 hours of general education courses. The remaining 45 hours of coursework are related to a specific area of study (examples are Computer Information Systems, Horticultural Science, or Veterinary Technology), and this area of study is listed as a major on students’ transcripts.
Fields of Study Frequently Asked Questions