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Degrees & Certificates

Associate Degree Requirements

The awarding of an Associate Degree is intended to represent more than an accumulation of units. It is to symbolize a successful attempt on the part of the college to lead students through patterns of learning experiences designed to develop certain capabilities and insights. Among these are the ability to think and to communicate clearly and effectively both orally and in writing; to use mathematics; to understand the modes of inquiry of the major disciplines; to be aware of other cultures and times; to achieve insights gained through experience in thinking about ethical problems; and to develop the capacity for self-understanding. In addition to these accomplishments, the student shall possess sufficient depth in some field of knowledge to contribute to lifetime interest.

Graduation from College of San Mateo with the Associate in Arts or Science degree is based upon the completion of 60 units of lower-division college-level work, including the requirements A through E in the A.A./A.S. Degree Worksheet. A maximum of 12 units from courses in which the student has a Credit/No Credit option may be applied toward an Associate degree. An application for the degree must be filed in the Office of Admissions and Records during the last semester of attendance (refer to the calendar for the college year for deadline).

Philosophy of General Education

Central to an Associate Degree, General Education is designed to introduce students to the variety of means through which people comprehend the modern world. It reflects the conviction of colleges that those who receive their degrees must possess in common certain basic principles, concepts and methodologies both unique to and shared by the various disciplines. College educated persons must be able to use this knowledge when evaluating and appreciating the physical environment, the culture, and the society in which they live. Most importantly, General Education should lead to better self-understanding.

Student Catalog Rights

Graduation requirements are listed in the Catalog. Each catalog covers an academic year that reflects enrollment beginning with the fall term and includes subsequent spring and summer terms. Having "catalog rights" means students are held to the graduation requirements listed in the catalog at the time enrollment begins. Students may choose to use catalog rights for any subsequent year of continuous enrollment at Cañada College, College of San Mateo, and Skyline College. Catalog rights apply to enrollment in any of the San Mateo County Community College District colleges.

For the purpose of this policy, "continuous enrollment" means attending at least one term (fall, spring, summer) each academic year. Attendance is required through the fourth week of instruction for semester length classes or thirty percent (30%) of summer classes and semester classes that are shorter than the full semester.

Catalog rights gained at a college outside of the San Mateo Community College District are not applicable at Cañada College, College of San Mateo, or Skyline College.

Catalog rights cannot supersede any State or Federal Regulation or requirement in effect at the time of graduation.

Additional Associate Degrees and Certificates

A student may earn multiple Associate Degrees and Certificates from College of San Mateo. Each additional degree and Certificate of Achievement will be posted to the student's academic record and the student will receive diplomas for each degree and Certificate of Achievement earned. For additional degrees and certificates any course used to meet the prescribed graduation requirements may count toward more than one degree and certificate. Courses used for one major used to meet the prescribed graduation requirements for additional majors. Courses used to meet competency requirements and general education requirements for the first degree may be used to fulfill these requirements for additional degrees, provided the student has maintained "continuous" enrollment (see Graduation Requirements and Student Catalog Rights). If a break in enrollment occurs, a student must comply with the competency, general education, and major requirements in effect at the time the student resumes attendance or those in subsequent years of the student's enrollment.

Requirements for the Associate in Arts for transfer (AA-T) or Associate in Sciences for transfer (AS-T)

The Student Transfer Achievement Reform Act (Senate Bill 1440, now codified in California Education Code sections 66746-66749) guarantees admission to a California State University (CSU) campus for any community college student who completes an "associate degree for transfer", a newly established variation of the associate degrees traditionally offered at a California community college.

The Associate in Arts for Transfer (AA-T) or the Associate in Science for Transfer (AS-T) is intended for students who plan to complete a bachelor's degree in a similar major at a CSU campus. Students completing these degrees (AA-T or AS-T) are guaranteed admission to the CSU system, but not to a particular campus or major. In order to earn one of these degrees, students must complete a minimum of 60 required semester units of CSU-transferable coursework with a minimum GPA of 2.0. Students transferring to a CSU campus that accepts the AA-T or AS-T will be required to complete no more than 60 units after transfer to earn a bachelor's degree (unless the major is a designated "high-unit" major).

This degree may not be the best option for students intending to transfer to a particular CSU campus or to a university or college that is not part of the CSU system. Students should consult with a counselor when planning to complete the degree for more information on university admission and transfer requirements.

The degrees are described in the following document and are included in the CSM catalog.