Associate degrees are commonly referred to as undergraduate degrees. Duration of studies is counted as units or semester credit hours. Each semester has 15 credit hours hence an Associate degree is earned once a student reaches the minimum 4 semesters, equivalent to 60 units or semester credit hours. Associate degrees are generally 2-year degrees, like those conferred at community colleges. Now, associate degrees are available online, allowing you to study whenever or wherever you want.
An associate degree is defined as, An academic degree awarded by community colleges, junior colleges and some bachelors degree-granting colleges and universities upon completion of a course of study usually lasting two years.
The program consists of three parts: general education requirements, major requirements, and electives. Online associate degrees are the same as on-campus or in-classroom associate degrees, but the degree can be taken entirely through the Internet or by distance education.
An online associate degree in business, liberal arts, and other disciplines, is widely accepted for transfer into bachelor’s degree programs throughout the country.
Types of Associate Degree Programs:
A.A. – “Associate of Arts” degree
This degree is designed to transfer to a four-year college or university.
A.A.S. – “Associate of Applied Science” degree
Designed to prepare graduates for career entry or job advancement after 2 years of college study. AAS degrees may transfer in whole or in part to 4 year colleges. A.A.S degrees may also be known by occupational specific titles such as Associate in Engineering Technology, Associate in Business, etc.
A.S. – “Associate of Science” degree
Designed to transfer to a 4 year college or university.
Also referred to as “applied” degree programs, an occupational degree program at a two-year college is designed to prepare students to enter the workforce immediately following graduation. The primary function is career preparation, however some courses and/or programs may transfer to 4 year colleges.
Online Associate Degrees
Associated degrees available nationwide include disciplines such as accounting, arts and humanities, business and management, marketing, design, graphic design, early childhood development, education, engineering, fire science, health sciences, hospitality management, human resources management, law and paralegal, criminal justice, social sciences telecommunications and technology.
Taking a degree in-classroom, online or by distance learning makes no difference except for the cost, time and place. Other than these aspects, education and programs are common to all of them, although there is less emphasis on an industry-specific competency. An Associate degree is more focused on learning the basic academic discipline, than in specialization.
All associated degrees are available through the Internet, but accelerated online programs make it easier to earn a certificate in less time. Earning an Associate degree also enables students to enter interesting professions, with minimal additional training in the field of electronics, health care and other faster growing occupations.
When you earn Associate degree online, you will not be singled out because yours was distance learning. A certificate for an Associates degree looks the same, regardless of whether it was earned online or on a campus. When you learn online, you will find that you can schedule work, family obligations and fun as well as learning into your busy life. Lectures can be downloaded and listened to at any time. Documents can also be read on the website, and you can turn in your homework assignments by e-mail or fax. Those who want to earn associate degree online but who are not sure how to get started should browse through various programs and locate one that is right. This requires a lot of research, but ultimately it pays off in the form of greater confidence, qualifications, and pay.