Some of you may have seen this story on our local Fox News 29 station: “Alamo College District Considering Changes to Degrees.” We’ve now received word from at least one faculty member at SAC that degree plans are being pulled from our college website. It’s no longer being considered. It’s being done. What is the explanation and rationale for this latest decree by District? This email was sent out to ALL-EMPLOYEES late last Friday afternoon from Vice Chancellor Jo-Carol Fabianke:
Beginning in the Fall 2014 term, new students at the Alamo Colleges with plans to transfer and seeking an Associate of Arts (A.A.) or Associates of Science (A.S.) degree will not have a major listed on their transcripts and diplomas. The Presidents, Vice Chancellors and Vice Presidents made this decision in consultation with our accreditor (the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges) as it was determined that not enough coursework is provided to constitute a true “major field of study” to these transfer degrees. Within these sixty-hour degrees, 42 hours of general education will remain as the required core. The Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) and Certificate workforce degrees will continue to identify majors. Students that enrolled prior to the Fall 2014 term may choose whether or not to seek the A.A. or A.S. under a previous catalog with a field of study included on the transcript.
Moving forward, the Alamo Colleges will be using Advising Guides to assist A.A. and A.S. students in aligning their academic interests with course offerings and, more importantly, with the expectations of their targeted transfer institution (transferable course acceptance differ at the various senior institutions). This decision ultimately provides students with greater academic flexibility as it allows them to better customize their course selection, develop relevant schedules, and maximize the number of credits they will be able to successfully transfer.
A Committee has been formed to work through all the details related to this change but all involved felt it necessary to move forward quickly with this announcement as it yields such positive benefits to our students.
Jo-Carol Fabianke, Ed. D.
Vice Chancellor for Academic Success
Faculty leaders at SAC have asked for a clearer explanation and rationale for this move. Students are up in arms. Are majors coming back after the accreditation crisis is over? Will students still be able to get two A.A. degrees, such as speech and theater arts?
The Ranger reported on this issue last week: “Chairs worried about student motivation to graduate” and in today’s print edition. More to come…