Completing the minimum and achieving more. When attending community college, transferring should always be the main goal, and the less time spent doing so is the most advantageous. With that being said, if obtaining an Associates of Arts degree was mandatory to transfer, it would then cost more valuable resources such as time and money.
The Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum, or IGETC, is the series of classes a student can complete to finish up the freshman to sophomore year of general education, to transfer to most UC’s. The IGETC consists of 11 courses and 34 units for completion with a 2.0 grade average or higher.
If a student take 12 units per semester, they can easily finish within 4 semesters. With the cost per unit at 46 dollars, the total cost for all 11 courses would be 1,564 dollars at Pierce College.
For those not eligible for student aid, this will most likely be the least amount of money you would need to spend – effectively saving both money and time..
In order to obtain an associates degree, the student must complete the mandatory 60 unit transfer minimum, while also completing courses listed specifically towards a chosen major. Completing these courses would double the time and money compared to completing the IGETC.
Without having to bother with getting an AA degree, one would save the most resources, which could be used toward earning a bachelor’s degree at a university . Thus said they would be on the most optimal path for their education.
Overall earning an AA degree is almost useless when compared to higher level education.
According to an article on AEI, writers Mark Schneider and Matthew SIgelman wrote, “Every year, around 670,000 students earn associate degrees from community colleges yet only about 32,000 job postings in 2016 specifically asked for an associate of arts (A.A.) degree,” Schneider and Sigelman said. “Five years after graduation, A.A. degree holders earn on average less than $40,000 per year.”
Overall, obtaining an Associates of Arts degree should not be mandatory to transfer. An AA’s cost, effort, and effectiveness in the job market makes it another obstacle in a student’s educational career.