Associate Degree Requirements

The awarding of an associate degree symbolizes the college’s successful attempt to lead students through learning experiences designed to develop certain capabilities and insights. Among these are the ability to think and 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 consider ethical issues; and to develop the capacity for self-understanding. In addition, the student shall acquire sufficient depth in a field of knowledge to contribute to life time interest.

The Governing Board of West Hills Community College District shall confer the degree of Associate of Arts or Associate of Science upon a student who has demonstrated competence in reading, in written expression and in mathematics and who has satisfactorily completed at least 60 semester units of college work. Course work requirements must be fulfilled in a curriculum accepted toward the degree by West Hills College Lemoore as shown in this catalog.

An associate degree program can be planned to meet a variety of goals. It is important that you keep the following information in mind in planning a program of study.

Specific Career Program or Major

It is strongly recommended that students see a counselor or advisor early in their college experience. This will help ensure that no unnecessary classes are taken, in particular within the student’s academic record, or classes that will not transfer if that is the student’s intention. Students are nonetheless encouraged to explore disciplines outside of their major for curiosity or to broaden one’s perspective. In all cases, it is important for students to see a counselor or advisor so that a student’s time to degree or certificate completion is not delayed.

This associate degree program requires :

  1. at least 18 semester units in general education courses
  2. a major area of study, with no grade lower than a “C”,
  3. elective units to complete 60 units and
  4. overall grade point average of at least 2.0.
  5. Of the required units, at least 12 semester units must be completed in residence at West Hills College Lemoore.

Associate Degrees for Transfer

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 California community colleges. 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 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.

Local Degree Graduation Requirements

The following West Hills College Lemoore courses meet the associate degree requirements:

I. Major Requirements,

A student must complete at least 18 semester units of study from a single discipline or related disciplines.

*At least 12 semester units must be completed in residence at West Hills College Coalinga or West Hills College Lemoore. (AP 4100)

II. General Education Requirements

Area A. Language and Rationality

These courses emphasize both the content and form of communication. Students are taught the relationship of language to logic as well as how to analyze, criticize, and advocate ideas, to reason deductively and inductively, and to reach sound conclusions. Courses fulfilling this requirement provide understanding of the psychological and social significance of communication; focus on communication from the rhetorical perspective; reasoning and advocacy; organization; accuracy; the discovery and critical evaluation and reporting of information; reading, listening, speaking and writing effectively; and provide active participation and practice in written and oral communication.

  1. English and Composition (3 units)
    ____ English 001A
  2. Analytical Thinking (3 units)
    ____ Business 039
    ____ Mathematics 001A, 001B, 002A, 002B, 010A, 010B, 015, 025, 045, 063, 064, 065


Area B. Natural Sciences (3 units for AA - 6 units for AS)

These courses impart knowledge about living and non-living systems and mathematical concepts and quantitative reasoning with applications. Courses fulfilling this requirement promote understanding and appreciation of the methodologies and tools of science, emphasize the influence of scientific knowledge on the development of civilization, impart appreciation and understanding of basic concepts, not just skills and offer specific inquiry into mathematical concepts, quantitative reasoning and application.

____ Biology 010, 015, 032, 035, 038

____ Chemistry 001A, 001B, 002A

____ Earth Science 002

____ Geography 001, 004

____ Geology 001, 003

____ Physical Science 001, 002

____ Physical Science 002

____ Physics 002A, 002B, 004A, 004B, 004C

Area C. Humanities (3 units)

These courses cultivate intellect, imagination, sensibility and sensitivity. They encourage students to respond subjectively as well as objectively and to develop a sense of the integrity of emotional and intellectual responses. Courses fulfilling this requirement study great work of the human imagination, increase awareness and appreciation of the traditional humanistic disciplines such as art, dance, drama, literature, and music, impart an understanding of the interrelationship between creative art, the humanities, and the self, provide exposure to both western and non-western cultures, and include foreign language courses.

____ Art 002, 003, 005A, 007, 015A, 016A, 016B, 020A, 042

____ American Sign Language 001, 002

____ English 001B, 002, 004, 025

____ Foreign Language Spanish 001, 002, 003, 004

____ Geography 002, 003

____ History 004A, 004B, 020, 021

____ Humanities 001, 022

____ Journalism 002A

____ Linguistics 011

____ Music 017A, 017B, 017C, 017D, 042

____ Performing Arts 001, 003, 014

____ Philosophy 001, 002, 003

Area D. Social Science (3 units)

These courses explore, at the micro and macro level, the social, political and economic institutions that underpin society. Courses fulfilling these requirements promote understanding and appreciation of social, political, and economic institutions, probe the relationship between these institutions and human behavior, examine these institutions in both their historical and contemporary context, include the role of, and impact on, non-white minorities and women and include both western and non-western settings.

____ Administration of Justice 001, 029

____ Child Development 005

____ Economics 001A, 001B

____ Geography 002, 003, 018

____ History 004A, 004B, 017A, 017B, 020, 021, 032, 034, 044

____ Political Science 001, 002, 004

____ Psychology 001, 002, 003, 004, 005, 006

____ Sociology 001, 002, 003, 005, 010

Area E. Local District Requirements (3 units)

These courses facilitate an understanding of human beings as integrated physiological, social and psychological organisms. These courses provide selective consideration of human behavior, sexuality, nutrition, health, stress, implications of death and dying and the relationship of people to the social and physical environment.

_____   CD 004, 005

_____   COM 005

_____   HE 035

_____   IS 001

_____   KINES 001

_____   NUT 001

_____   PE 002, 003, 007, 008, 011, 016, 018, 019, 021, 023

_____   024, 025A

_____   PSYCH 001, 002, 003, 004, 029

_____   SOC 003

Health Ed 35 may be waived under special circumstances.
Students may not complete Area E using only physical activity courses.

III. Electives

Electives to complete the total of 60 degree units.

IV. Competencies

A. Reading and Writing

____ Completion of English 001A with a grade of C or higher, or

____ Transferring to West Hills College Lemoore from another accredited college with a C grade or higher in a course equivalent to English 001A

B. Mathematics

____ Completion of Mathematics 065 or higher with a grade of C or higher, or

____ Transferring to West Hills College Lemoore from another accredited college with a C grade or higher in a course equivalent to Mathematics 065 or higher.

V. Grade Point Average

____ A student must maintain an overall 2.0 grade point average and have no grade lower than a “C” in the major.

NOTE: While a course might satisfy more than one general education requirement, it may not be counted more than once for these purposes.

Associate of Science Degree Requirements

Candidates for the Associate of Science degree must have satisfactorily completed all of the requirements for the Associate of Arts degree and an additional three units of General Education in the area of natural science. The candidates must also have satisfactorily completed a major with a minimum of 18 semester hours in one of the following fields: engineering, physical or biological sciences, or occupational curriculums.

Additional Associate Degree

Students desiring a further associate degree after completing all requirements for either the Associate of Arts or the Associate of Science degree may qualify for another degree by:

  • Completing all requirements for the additional major.
  • Completing necessary application forms for the degree.
  • A minimum of 12 units for the additional degree must be completed in residence.

Certificate Programs

Certificate programs are designed to give the student a concentration of skill courses adequate to provide immediate employment capability in a specialized field.

The course content and course patterns have been developed after considerable study of industry and employer requirements. The advice and recommendations of several lay advisory councils and information obtained in occupational surveys are to be utilized in the development of these programs.

Most Certificates of Achievement (COA) require 18 units or more of degree-applicable credit coursework with a grade point average of at least 2.0 in the area of certification, all certificates courses require grades C or above, a minimum of 12 semester units completed from West Hills College Lemoore, and all coursework as defined in the college catalogs.

Shorter credit programs that lead to a local certificate may be established by the District. Content and assessment standards for certificates shall ensure that certificate programs are consistent with the mission of the District, meet a demonstrated need, are feasible and adhere to guidelines on academic achievement.

Certificate requirements include:

  • a grade point average of at least 2.0 in the area of certification,
  • a minimum of 12 units of the total completed in residence and required major courses.