Generic degree expected to happen

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By Bleah B. Patterson

Jo-Carol Fabianke, vice chancellor of academic success, is waiting for presidents from the five colleges to decide whether to remove concentrations from associate of arts or associate of science degrees Oct. 3.

However, Dr. Robert Vela, president of this college, said he does not expect the PVC to change its decision with two colleges facing reaffirmation and Northeast Lakeview College pursuing accreditation. During an interview Sept. 16, Vela said this college has never officially had the power to provide concentrations.

“The SACSCOC (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges) has specific rules set in place in order to offer programs,” he said. “We have never had those procedures in place. Our last reaffirmation was 10 years ago and back then, it wasn’t a focus of SACSCOC.”

Vela said it wouldn’t be possible to write rules in time for reaffirmation, expected in March 2016.

The degree change would eliminate concentrations, or majors, printed on degrees.

While faculty spoke against a generic degree at College Council here Sept. 9, Vela said he doesn’t understand why anyone would have a problem with it.

“The purpose of an associate degree is not to get a job,” he said. “Most jobs require at least a bachelor’s degree. It’s simply a stepping stone to something else.”

Vela said this change would prevent students from getting more than one associate degree. “Why would anyone want one, though? What you’re doing is watering down your degree taking just a few extra classes and getting another degree,” he said. “Employers will look at your qualifications not your associate degree.”


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