It’s the first day of New Student Orientation, and as I look over the crowd of eager and excited students I can’t help but feel that a sense of anxiety sits on their minds. In fact, I can almost feel it as I remember what it was like to be in their shoes, not knowing what courses I needed to register for or what degree plan I needed to accomplish my goals.

Today, as a Pathways Advisor at Front Range Community College, I have the privilege of helping these students ease their tensions and focus on the task at hand: setting the path.

Is the A.A. (Associate of Arts) the Way for me?

With so many options available to students, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and confused. As advisors, we want to ensure that we assist students with choosing the correct degree path. Discovering the proper path boils down to two factors:

  • Is your goal to transfer to a four year college/university to obtain a bachelor’s degree in the future?
  • Does your profession or area of study align more with the liberal arts, communication, social sciences, and/or business?

If you answer yes to these questions, then it is time to begin working on an A.A.

What is an A.A. and How Will it Work For Me?

The A.A. degree is designed to be completed in 60 credit hours, which for full-time students can amount to two years’ time.

This degree plan is primarily designed to assist students with completing what are general education requirements for a bachelor’s degree (written communication, arts and humanities, social and behavioral science, natural and physical science, math) as well as any additional requirements that may be specific to a program (e.g., business courses for business majors, history courses for history majors).

Ultimately, to put it in terms that are clear as day for students, the A.A. cuts your bachelor’s degree in half as the bachelor’s requires 120 credit hours to complete. And if properly planned, with our excellent team of advisors, of course, it will allow students to enter their four-year institution with junior status.

How Can I Get Help with my Plan?

Understanding your program of study and the degree path that is required is only half the battle. It is of great importance to have a plan that will guide your educational journey and put you in the best position to be successful. This is why it is crucial that students work with their advisors to set their schedule of courses every semester.

Even more, with the Pathways model at FRCC, students now have the opportunity for support that goes beyond picking classes. You will learn success tips, receive academic assistance, and join a career and academic community. Therefore, even if the A.A. is not the path for you (maybe it’s one of our other degrees or certificates), we are here to assist you with navigating your academic goals.

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