The flexibility and options within the higher education system in the U.S. can be both exhilarating and confusing.
Educational goals are often tied to a particular level of completion and the corresponding certificate or degree.
Not Sure What’s What
Here’s some clarification:
Occupational Skills Award (OSA)
Prepares you for immediate employment or adds to your marketability to employers.
Awarded upon successful completion of at least 9 and not more than 14 semester credit hours in a particular technical area like welding, machining, and computer information systems and technology, among others.
Typically requires one semester to complete and is Texas Success Initiative (TSI) exempt.
Best for students who want to enter the workforce after completing the program or to enhance skills in their field.
Level 1 Certificate
Prepares you for occupational employment in fields like Agriculture Management, Business Management, Criminal Justice and Engineering Technology, among others.
Awarded upon successful completion of at least 15 and no more than 42 semester credit hours in specific courses that have been industry validated and sequenced for the purpose of developing and upgrading skills in an occupation.
Normally requires one year to complete and is Texas Success Initiative (TSI) exempt.
Typically requires two years (60 hours) of full-time study at a community college.
North Central Texas College offers four types of associate degrees.
Associate of Applied Science degree (AAS)
Prepares you for a degree in a workforce field.
For students who want to begin a career after completing
the program or who want knowledge in a specific
AAS graduates from NCTC can transfer all of their credit hours earned to several universities in Texas to earn a Bachelor’s of Applied Science (BAAS) degree.
Associate of Arts Degree (AA)
Provides a liberal arts foundation that does not generally include a declared major.
For students who want to earn a degree that fulfills core curriculum/basics to transfer to a four-year college or university.
Associate of Arts in Teaching (AAT)
Provides a first step toward a career in teaching.
For students who want to transfer into a teacher education program at a four-year college or university.
Associate of Science Degree (AS)
Fulfills lower division course requirements and includes a major in a science, an engineering discipline or a related discipline.
For students who want to earn a degree in a science or engineering discipline that transfers to a four-year college or university.
Regardless of what degree you’re seeking, NCTC can help you get started on the right path. Check out a list of the programs we offer on pages 18 and 19 of this edition of CareerFocus, and visit www.nctc.edu for more specific details about the many fields of study you can pursue at various NCTC campuses.