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Degree Guidelines

Time for Completion

A student’s vocational and academic educational objectives require careful planning. Students who change majors may take longer to graduate or may transfer with a loss of credit. The following degree programs can be completed in four semesters, going full-time and carrying the required number of hours. A student may choose, due to personal circumstances, to extend the amount of time for completion.

  • Associate Degree 2-Year
  • Associate of Applied Science Degree
  • Associate of General Studies Degree
  • Associate Degree 4-Year Alignment*
  • Associate of Arts Degree
  • Associate of Science Degree

General Education Requirements

In establishing general education requirements, it is the goal of Otero College to assist students in gaining a more meaningful and productive awareness of the world and themselves. In addition, it is anticipated that this assistance will instill a desire in the student to broaden knowledge regardless of plans to continue formal education.

The objectives for general education are:

  • To develop ability in the skills of communication-reading, writing, listening and speaking.
  • To introduce the student to certain fundamental knowledge useful to a better understanding of the world.
  • To provide an acquaintance with the major areas of knowledge and an awareness of their interrelatedness.
  • To assist the student to better understand the relationship to other persons and the interdependence of all people in a modern world.

General Information on Transfer of Credits

Transferring Credits from Otero

Students preparing themselves in any of the fields under the Associate of Arts or Associate of Science Degree curricula are generally interested in transferring to a four-year institution. Otero College staff can make transfer as smooth as possible. If students will keep in mind some general observations concerning transfer, it will assist in planning a good curriculum. These general observations are:

Two general patterns of transfer exist.

  • Those colleges and universities that accept the Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degrees, grant junior standing, waive general education requirements and require the student to fulfill course requirements for a major and minor(s).
  • Those colleges that evaluate all courses individually and apply them toward meeting general education and major/minor requirements.

This type of institution may work out contract agreements with Otero and list courses to be taken before transfer, may require graduation, and also may require a grade point average above the minimum. When all of the stipulations of the contract are met, the student will be accepted and all of the courses stipulated will transfer.

  • Students who have graduated from a junior college have fewer transfer difficulties than do students who transfer without graduating.
  • Students can usually transfer a minimum of 60 semester hours of junior college credit or one-half of the degree requirements, whichever is greater.
  • Institutions may transfer only those courses for which they have equivalent offerings.
  • A change of major may extend the time required to complete a degree.
  • Credits that are transferred are generally evaluated in the following order.
  • General Education requirements.
  • Major and minor courses.
  • Elective credits.

Note: Credits that carry a “D” grade may be counted toward graduation at Otero; however, they may not transfer to another school. A “D” negates the guarantee of the 60+60 transfer degree.

Transfer of Associate of Arts and Associate of Science Degrees

Colorado public four-year higher education institutions will honor the transfer of an Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree and the Associate of Science (A.S.) degree earned at a Colorado public institution that offer A.A. or A.S. degrees. A student who earns an A.A. or A.S. degree at a Colorado public college, including completing the state guaranteed general education courses with a grade of C or better in all courses will transfer with junior standing into any arts and science degree program offered by a Colorado public four-year college. Since 1988 Colorado has had an operating two-plus-two transfer agreement that ensures a student who completes an A.A. or A.S. degree with a grade of "C" or better in all courses, will have junior standing at the receiving institution i.e., transfer 60 credit hours. Because most liberal arts and sciences degrees are designed to be completed in 120 credit hours, a transfer student may complete a four-year degree in the same time as a native student, 120 hours. The receiving institution will evaluate credit for prior learning, Advanced Placement, and correspondence courses following its standard policy.

Transfer of General Education

Colorado's state guaranteed general education courses are designed to allow students to begin their general education courses at one Colorado public higher education institution and later transfer to another without loss of general education credits. That is, the state guaranteed general education may be applied to the general education graduation requirement or the graduation requirements of the declared major, whichever is in the student's best interest. Effective fall 2003, Colorado policy ensures that students who successfully complete a state guaranteed general education course will receive transfer credits applied to graduation requirements in all majors at all public institutions unless a specific statewide articulation agreement exists.

The state's guaranteed general education curriculum is organized into five categories: communication, mathematics, fine arts and humanities, social and behavioral sciences, and physical and life sciences. To complete the Colorado state guaranteed general education core, students are required to take 11 courses or 38 to 39 semester credit hours and earn a C grade or better in each course. The guarantee is limited to the number of semester credit hours in each general education category.