Although most Associate of Science degrees (A.S.) are transferable degrees, there is still a bit of a misunderstanding when it comes to what each university refers to as a science degree and what constitutes an arts degree.

An A.S. degree is a degree offered to students who plan to transfer to a four-year university and obtain a Bachelors of Science degree. Typically, the difference comes in whether students are required to take a foreign language or not.

Tyler Junior College is making an effort to communicate with universities to see what exactly they call their degrees so that TJC can look at their own degree plans and make sure they are consistent.

“We will be changing the titles of some degrees we offer so that they will transfer better in a senior university,” Dr. Homer “Butch” Hayes, TJC provost, said.

According to Hayes, it will communicate better with universities by changing the titles of some degrees to being called A.S. degrees as opposed to Associate of Arts (A.A.)

A.S. degrees were removed from TJC in the 1980s, because there was not as much emphasis on math and science as there is today.

According to Hayes, by making these changes, it will not impact disciplines in particular, it will impact what classes a student will be required to take.

“I think that reintroducing the A.S. degree is a great idea. It stresses the differences and importance of mathematics and the sciences,” Steve Green, instructor and department chair of Mathematics, said.

Hayes wants to encourage students to enroll in more math and science courses due to the fact that in this day, more and more careers are calling for students to have more knowledge in math and science.

“Due to the State’s constraints on the number of hours that can be required of students, it would be more difficult to require more math and science. However, since math and science courses open up more options for students, students need to be educated about these benefits and encouraged in every possible way to take more of theses courses,” Green said.

The exact time of when these changes will be made are still undetermined, but Hayes and Figueroa are taking all the steps needed in order to implement the A.S. degrees as soon as possible.

“We already have authority from the state to change the names of theses degrees. Dr. Figueroa and I are looking at catalogs and degrees with the help of the staff to make these changes,” Dr. Hayes said.

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