Associate in Arts Degree
The Associate in Arts degree is equivalent to the first two years of a bachelor’s degree program and is offered for those students planning to transfer to a four-year institution or to remain at NWFSC to complete the last two years of a bachelor’s degree program. The AA degree is awarded upon satisfactory completion of 60 credit hours of general education and college credit electives, attainment of the appropriate minimum grade point averages, and completion of all other applicable college graduation requirements, including the Speaking-Across-the-Curriculum and Technology-Across-the-Curriculum requirements. Although the number of credits and specific courses required for a bachelor’s degree may vary across upper-division schools, the Florida community colleges and universities enjoy an articulation agreement, which guarantees certain transfer rights for students who complete the AA degree.
A.A. degree students should work closely with an Academic Advisor or faculty advisor to select the appropriate courses to meet their degree goals.
Graduation Requirements for the AA Degree
The A.A. degree curriculum requires the following.
- Complete a minimum of 60 college credits per the following distribution as outlined in the AA Degree General Education Requirements :
- Complete 36 credit hours of general education courses distributed appropriately across the Communications, Humanities, Social Sciences, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, and General Education Elective categories presented in the AA Degree General Education Requirements section of the catalog for specific courses
- Completion of two sequential credits in high school foreign language, a minimum of 6 credit hours in one foreign language at the college level or an appropriate score on an approved CLEP examination.
- Complete 24 credit hours of college credit electives. (Students should consult with a counselor or advisor to select the electives most appropriate to their intended baccalaureate program.)
- Meet the Gordon Rule (FAC Rule 6A-10.030) minimum grade and writing requirements:
- Attain a grade of “C” or higher in each Gordon Rule writing course (any general education course from the Communications or Humanities categories, and those designated as Gordon Rule in the Social Science category), whether credits in such courses are earned at NWFSC or elsewhere.
- Complete the Gordon Rule writing requirement (students who complete 6 credits each from the Communications and Humanities Categories, and an additional Gordon Rule Social Science course, will satisfy this requirement).
- Attain a grade of “C” or higher in each Gordon Rule Mathematics course (any course from the Mathematics category that is used to meet AA general education requirements), whether credits in such courses are earned at NWFSC or elsewhere.
- Complete at least 15 credits at NWFSC; (normally, an AA degree seeking student will be required to complete his/her last fifteen credits at NWFSC).
- Maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.00 for all college credit course work pursued at NWFSC.
- Maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.00 for all college credit course work pursued, whether at NWFSC or by transfer.
- Complete applicable admission requirements for the program. See the Admissions section of the catalog.
- Complete at least 25% of the course work towards the program at NWFSC.
- Satisfy all outstanding obligations to the college.
- Apply to graduate by the published deadline.
Transferring to another Four-Year College or University within the State of Florida:
Faculty members, counselors and advisors will gladly assist students in achieving a smooth transfer to other institutions in Florida. Liaison representatives from the respective public institutions in the state are eager to help. Several of the liaisons make regular visits to campus and will meet directly with students to answer questions. The names of the liaisons and dates of upcoming visits are available in the Advising Center in the Student Services Center on the Niceville Campus. In addition, Common Prerequisite Manuals for the Florida State University System are available on RaiderNet at nwfsc.edu or at www.flvc.org.
It is desirable that students transferring to a senior institution plan their program so that common prerequisites can be completed for the upper-division transfer school for their major. It is best for the student to complete the entire two-year degree program prior to transfer, as A.A. graduates who transfer to one of the institutions in the Florida State University System (SUS) enjoy certain protections under the statewide articulation agreement. These rights are presented in the “Student Bill of Rights”.
NWFSC offers the necessary prerequisites for most of the State of Florida University Baccalaureate Programs. Students are encouraged to consult a current catalog from the upper-division school where they plan to transfer in addition to meeting with a college advisor or faculty member to acquire an official program plan of study for their intended major.
Special Foreign Language Requirements for Entry into Upper-Level Florida Universities:
Effective August 1, 1990, according to requirements of the Florida Board of Regents, new applicants to any of the state universities must have completed two sequential credits in high school foreign language, a minimum of 6 credit hours in one foreign language at the college level or an appropriate score on an approved CLEP examination. There are two exceptions to this requirement: 1) students who received an A.A. degree prior to September 1, 1989, or 2) students who enrolled in a program leading to an A.A. degree prior to August 1, 1989 and maintained continuous enrollment. Students who are not exempt but fail to satisfy the requirement, may be admitted to the university as part of the 5% admissions exceptions group but will be required to complete eight-ten credit hours in one foreign language as a graduation requirement, regardless of the requirements in the student’s major. Students transferring into the Florida SUS without an A.A. degree or fewer than 60 transferable credits must meet this foreign language requirement before going on to the upper division. NWFSC offers the necessary coursework in French, Spanish, Chinese and American Sign Language (ASL) to meet the Florida SUS admission requirements.
Student Bill of Rights
Florida Community College Associate in Arts graduates are guaranteed the following rights under the Statewide Articulation Agreement (State Board of Education Rule 6A-10.024):
- Admission to one of the state universities, except to Limited Access* programs.
- Acceptance of at least 60 credit hours by the state university toward the baccalaureate degree.
- Adherence to university requirements and policies based on the catalog in effect at the time the student first entered a community college, provided the student maintains continuous enrollment.
- Transfer of equivalent courses under the Statewide Course Numbering System.
- Acceptance by the state universities of credit earned in accelerated programs (e.g., CLEP, DANTES, AP, PEP, Dual Enrollment, Early Admission and International Baccalaureate).
- No additional General Education Core requirements.
- Advance knowledge of selection criteria for Limited Access* programs.
- Equal opportunity with native university students to enter Limited Access* programs.
Should any guarantee be denied, students have the right of appeal. Each state university, and state college shall make available established appeal procedures through the respective articulation officers. At NWFSC, students may contact the Vice President of Academic Affairs or the Dean of Students.
* Limited Access is the designation given to programs that require additional admission requirements which are more selective than general admission requirements. These may include the following: increased total GPA and test scores; additional courses and prerequisites; and auditions and portfolios.