What's the difference between an AA, AS and AAS?
Degrees basically break down into two types: college transfer programs and career education programs.
Associate of Arts:
Students who plan to transfer to a 4-year college to earn their bachelor's degree typically will earn an Associate of Arts (AA) degree.
An Associate of Arts program is a two-year course of study that covers the core materials needed to complete the first two years of a four-year bachelor's degree. The credits that you earn can be transferred to a four-year college or university of your choice. The AA degree is the credential earned when you have successfully completed your two-year course of study.
Associate of Science:
The Associate in Science (AS) program can be one or two years long, depending on your chosen course of study. A.S. programs provide you with the knowledge necessary to perform and excel in a particular profession. Some of the credits earned in an A.S. degree program can be transferred to a four-year college or university.
Note: it is VERY IMPORTANT that you check with your Enrollment Specialists at SCC and at your intended transfer school to ensure that your credits will transfer whether you earn your A.A. or your A.S. degree.
Associate of Applied Science:
Our career education programs are designed to provide all the instruction a student will need over the course of one or two years in order to graduate and begin a career in their chosen field of study. Most of these are Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degrees.
The main difference between an AAS and an AS degree is that an AAS degree is intended for someone who plans to find a job as soon as they finish school in a specialized area of skill (e.g. welding, automotive technology, electronics technology, etc.). An AS degree is intended for those looking to go on to a 4-year university. With an AAS degree MOST of the technical or vocational courses WILL NOT TRANSFER to a four year degree but you will be able to find a job in your area of concentration.
SCC also offers a variety of diplomas and certificates.
Diploma programs TYPICALLY REQUIRE one year or less to complete. They are very specific to one specialized area of skill. They are intended for someone who plans to find a job immediately after they finish school in their area of specialization.
Certificates are awarded for successful completion of a select few number of courses of specialization in a particular area of skill. They are best for people already working in a particular field who want to get advanced training or enhance their current skills.