‘Fields of interest’ will salvage more credits


First-year transfer studies student Rooz Inanloo reads in the library. Photo by Daniel Salomon

Editorial Board

AACC will introduce a new program called “fields of interest” in the fall, and we like the idea.

Here’s what it means:

When you first came to AACC, odds are you didn’t bring a road map. Maybe you had an idea of where you were headed, but you couldn’t pinpoint a major. After checking out the college website, browsing the course catalogue and meeting with an adviser, you probably ended up in a program called “transfer studies.”

Transfer studies students at AACC can take general education classes before settling on a major. The only problem is, once you choose a major, some of the credits you took early on might not count toward your associate degree.

The new fields of interest program will make undecided students’ time here better spent. You can take first-year courses in a field of interest—a group of related subjects—and later apply all of those credits to whichever major you choose within that field of interest.

You can choose to take courses in one of the following fields of interest: architecture and interior design; business; engineering and math; health and human services; hospitality management and culinary arts; humanities and social science; law and criminal justice; science; teacher education; technology; or visual arts.

From there, you can choose a specific major within your field, and up to 15 of the credits you completed in your field will transfer, regardless of which major you choose.

This gives you a great opportunity to test out different classes without fear of wasting time or money on courses that won’t count toward your major.

Some students change their majors multiple times before settling on something specific—and they wind up taking a bunch of classes that don’t apply toward a major or certificate. One student, for example, may love children, but isn’t sure what to major in. The student starts off with a major in transfer studies, taking classes like anthropology, sociology and photography just to get some credits.

After taking 15 credits, the student switches from transfer studies to early childhood education, until finally settling on elementary education. And many of the classes the student took since the first day of school may not count toward a degree in elementary education. The only way to save credits is to petition the college to allow you to substitute your completed credits for the newly required ones.

But this petition process is not easy, and requires a letter of reasoning, a signature from an adviser, approval from the Committee on Academic Standards and a waiting period of up to a month.

AACC is a stepping stone to a four-year university or a professional certificate. Why not take classes that you not only need for your associate degree or certificate, but that you can use toward your four-year major as well?

Talk to an adviser about fields of interest, and you’ll soon be able to fly the Riverhawk nest and achieve your academic goals.