What is an Associate Degree?
An associate degree is an undergraduate degree that accounts for approximately two years of college. To receive a Northland Pioneer College associate degree you need to complete about 64-65 credit hours. (Some degrees may require more credit hours, 64-65 is average.) As in a four-year degree, the associate degree has basic categories of requirements: general education requirements, core courses and electives. This structure ensures the student is widely educated in a range of subjects.
Why earn an associate degree?
What is the value of attending Northland Pioneer College and getting your two-year associate degree? Why not just head off to a four-year college and get a bachelor’s degree? Or why not start working right out of high school; why go to school for another two years? If you are asking these kinds of questions, here are some advantages of having an associate’s degree:
- An associate degree can give you a head start on your career path
- For current job holders, an associate degree can mean a promotion
or raise in pay
- You'll spend far less money earning your associate degree than a bachelor’s degree, yet it can give you an advantage over
non-dgree job seekers
- Associate degree holders earn, on average, $6,600 per year more than high school diploma holders, and enjoy 30% lower unemployment rates (US Department of Labor).
- Associate degrees allow you to concentrate your studies for a specific area or explore your interests for far less money than you would pay starting at a four-year institution.
- Can provide a smooth transition at a much lower cost to a bachelor’s degree program
- If you want to earn a bachelor’s degree, having an associate degree enables you to work a professional job while you complete your studies.
NPC offers a wide variety of associate degrees.
1. Guaranteed Transfer Degrees – for students wanting to
continue in college and earn a bachelor's degree.
- Associate of Arts (AA)
- Associate of Arts in Elementary Education (AAEE)
- Associate of Business (Abus)
- Associate of Science (AS)
These transfer degrees are designed to allow you to take courses at Northland Pioneer College that fulfill the lower division general education requirements of the three AZ state universities (ASU, UofA, NAU). In other words, they will accept your NPC credits toward a bachelor’s degree and you'll enter the university with two year’s of undergraduate work already completed.
Save thousands of dollars in tuition alone by starting your degree at NPC!
2. Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree – a technical/
vocational degree (direct to work)
- The AAS provides learning in areas such as cosmetology, fire science, welding, nursing, automotive technology, computer technology, paramedicine (emergency medical technology), heavy equipment operations and many others.
- NPC offers many different areas in which you can earn your Associate of Applied Science (AAS).
- Certificates, shorter programs with a narrower focus than the full AAS degree, are also available in many of these same career
and technical areas.
3. Associate of General Studies (ASG) degree
The basic AGS degree is designed to offer two-years of post-high school education for individuals who are NOT planning to transfer to a four-year college or university nor prepare for a specific vocational field. Some, but
not all, courses earned may transfer to a four-year college/university.
Consider this degree if:
- You do NOT plan to go on and earn a bachelor’s degree
- Your employer wants you to obtain a college degree and you want a broad-based education
- You want to explore the widest variety of subjects of all the degrees
4. Associate of General Studies (AGS) specialized degrees
- May transfer to a four-year college/university
These unique alternative degrees enable you to pursue these special occupational fields that have BOTH lower division and upper division options. These degrees are useful for those who may wish to continue studies in these fields at a four-year college or university since they fulfill many lower division general education course requirements at other institutions.In some cases, depending on the college or university, the degree MAY fully transfer. Always consult an NPC academic adviser for details.
These special AGS degrees also meet work-related mandates for those currently employed in these fields. And when working toward these AGS degrees, students qualify to apply for Federal financial aid.
- AGS Early Childhood Infant/Toddler
- AGS Early Childhood Management
- AGS Early Childhood Preschool Degree
- AGS Special Needs Educational Assistant Degree