What Is an Accelerated Associate Degree Program?

An accelerated associate's degree program may be a good option for those, with some previous college credit, who would like to earn a degree as quickly as possible. Read below for more details regarding accelerated associate's degree programs.

Definition

Accelerated degree programs offer students the chance to complete post-secondary degrees in a short amount of time. Many programs that are generally completed in two years may be completed in less than a year. Accelerated associate's degree programs provide students with the tools they need to quickly complete an associate's degree and enter the workforce or enter a bachelor's degree program. An accelerated associate's degree program may be a good option for working professionals who have earned some college credit in the past. Although most accelerated degree programs are designed for bachelor's degree completion, many universities offer similar programs for students pursuing associate's degrees.

Previous College Credit

Most universities require students to have completed a certain number of college credits before enrolling in accelerated associate's degree programs. This reduces the number of required classes that students must take and allows them to be placed on a fast track towards graduation. Students should consult with an academic advisor at the school of interest regarding the validity of transfer credits before deciding to enroll.

Curriculum

Much of the curriculum of an accelerated associate's degree program is similar to that of a traditional associate's degree program. At most liberal arts based universities, students are generally required to complete a specific number of general education courses, such as English composition and introductory psychology. The bulk of the curriculum, however, consists of core courses that relate to the specific academic major in question.

Online Courses

Many accelerated associate's degree programs allow students to complete some or all of their coursework online. This gives students the freedom to work the courses into their busy schedules. Online coursework can often be completed in a self-paced manner, allowing working professionals to earn degrees without interrupting their careers. Students generally receive and complete online coursework electronically and engage in intensive interaction with fellow students and faculty.

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