Graduation Requirements  P-7241 

7200     ACADEMIC STANDARDS           
7240     Graduation Requirements                                                                         

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ASSOCIATES DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

1.0 Degree Earned

1.1 The degree of Associate in Arts or Associate in Science can be earned through any College in the Los Rios Community College District.

1.2 The degree may be conferred upon students qualified to transfer to a four-year college or university as well as upon those completing their formal education in a two-year vocational program as outlined in the catalog of any of the Colleges of the District.

1.3 In accordance with law and with the rules and regulations of the California Community College Board of Governors and the Los Rios Community College District Board of Trustees, the requirements for the degree Associate in Arts or Associate in Science are defined below.

2.0 Graduation Requirements

2.1 Number of Units

2.1.1 Satisfactory completion of a minimum of 60 units of collegiate work with a "C" (2.0) grade point average in a curriculum which the District accepts toward the degree, provided that 12 units must be earned in residence at the College recommending the degree.

2.1.1.1 All reference to "units" in this policy is to "semester units."

2.2 Major Field of Study

2.2.1 Satisfactory completion of a minimum of 18 units in a major field of study or an area of emphasis from those specified in the catalog of each College.  Each College shall establish a minimum grade of "C" or the equivalent for any class in a major field of study or a 2.0 grade point average for classes taken in the major field of study.  

2.3 General Education Requirements

2.3.1 Each College of the District will publish in its catalog a specific philosophy of general education. The following will serve as a pattern for the Colleges in the development of their individual philosophy statements.

The primary function of education is to transmit from each generation to the next the knowledge and skills requisite to enlarge the comprehension of our place in the universe. Los Rios Colleges are committed to the principle of providing general education which includes: Natural Science, Social and Behavioral Science, Humanities and the Arts, Language and Critical Thinking, and other courses that provide for life-long learning and understanding, and that explore the significance of work, production, consumption and leisure in the lives of individuals. All of these are basic and necessary to participate in and contribute to a balanced life in a democratic society that is diverse in its social, cultural, and educational backgrounds.

A comprehensive education serves to develop the creativity, critical thinking, ethical behavior, and self-understanding which are essential to the attainment of personal goals and to participate in a society characterized by increasing global interdependence and by rapid and significant change.

Therefore, the purpose of general education is to give breadth to the college experience, enhance the ability to learn, and insure an appropriate level of competency. The general education program thus provides coherence to under-graduate education and affords students the opportunity to develop an integrated overview of the diverse fields of human knowledge.

2.3.2 The courses allowed by the Colleges of the District for the fulfillment of the general education requirements shall be introductory in nature and usually without course prerequisites. The content of the courses should encompass broad fields of knowledge, covering major principles and their applications to a wide field or fields. The intent should be to provide the students with an understanding and appreciation of a significant body of knowledge and give to the students a basis for evaluating the physical environment, the culture, and the society in which they live.

2.3.3 Students receiving an Associate Degree must satisfactorily complete 21 units in general education selected from the following areas as indicated:

2.3.3.1 Natural Sciences (3 units minimum)

Courses in the natural sciences are those which examine the physical universe, its life forms and its natural phenomena.  To satisfy the general education requirement in natural sciences, a course should help the student develop an appreciation and understanding of the scientific method, and encourage an understanding of the relationships between science and other human activities. This category includes introductory or integrative courses in astronomy, biology, chemistry, general physical science, geology, physical geography, physical anthropology, physics and other scientific disciplines.

2.3.3.2 Social and Behavioral Sciences (3 units minimum)

Courses in the social and behavioral sciences are those which focus on people as members of society. To satisfy the general education requirement in social and behavioral sciences, a course should help the student develop an awareness of the method of inquiry used by the social and behavioral sciences. It should stimulate critical thinking about the ways people act and have acted in response to their societies and should promote appreciation of how societies and social subgroups operate. This category includes introductory or integrative survey courses in anthropology, economics, history, political science, psychology, sociology and related disciplines, exclusive of those which fulfill the American Institutions requirement.

2.3.3.3 American Institutions Requirement (3 units minimum)

Courses in American Institutions are those which focus on the historical development of American institutions and ideals, the operation of representative democratic government under the Constitution of the United States, and the principles of state and local government established under the Constitution of this State. To satisfy the general education requirement in American Institutions, a course should help the student develop an appreciation and understanding of the basic institutions, ideals, knowledge, and skills necessary for intelligent and loyal citizenship. It should stimulate critical thinking, problem solving, and literacy skills in regard to American historical, political, governmental, economic, social, and intellectual issues as they relate to both domestic and foreign affairs. This category includes introductory or integrative survey courses in history and political science which qualify under the guidelines of either "a" or "b" below.

(a) Any course which addresses the historical development of American Institutions and ideals, inclusive of the following:

1. Significant events occurring in the entire area now included in the United States of America, including the relationships of regions within that area and with external regions and powers as appropriate to the understanding of those events within the United States during the period under study.

2. The role of major ethnic and social groups in such events and the contexts in which the events have occurred.

3. The events presented within a framework which illustrates the continuity of the American experience and its derivation from other cultures including consideration of three or more of the following: politics, economics, social movements, and geography.

(b) Any course which addresses the U.S. Constitution, representative democratic government operation, and the process of California State and local government, inclusive of the following:

1. The political philosophies of the framers of the Constitution and the nature and operation of United States political institutions and processes under that Constitution as amended and interpreted.

2. The rights and obligations of citizens in the political system established under the Constitution.

3. The Constitution of the State of California within the framework of evolution of Federal-State relations and the nature and processes of State and local government under that Constitution.

4. Contemporary relationships of State and local government with the Federal government, the resolution of conflicts and the establishment of cooperative processes under the constitutions of both the State and nation, and the political processes involved.

2.3.3.4 Humanities (3 units minimum)

Courses in the humanities are those which study the cultural activities and artistic expressions of human beings. To satisfy the general education requirement in the humanities, a course should help the student develop an awareness of the ways in which people throughout the ages and in different cultures have responded to themselves and the world around them in artistic and cultural creation and help the student develop an aesthetic understanding and an ability to make value judgments. This category includes introductory or integrative courses in the arts, foreign languages, literature, philosophy, religion, and related disciplines.

2.3.3.5 Languages and Rationality (6 units: 3 units each from (a) and (b)

Courses in language and rationality are those which use and examine principles and guidelines of clear and logical thinking and communication. Courses in this category should build upon rather than remediate verbal and quantitative skills.

(a) English Composition. Courses fulfilling the written composition requirement should include both expository and argumentative writing.

(b) Communication and Analytical Thinking. Courses fulfilling the communication and analytical thinking requirement include oral and written communication, mathematics, logic, statistics, computer language and programming, and related disciplines.

2.3.3.6 Living Skills (3 units minimum)

One physical education activity course (with ADAPT, DANCE, FITNS, PACT, SPORT, or TMACT designators) must be taken in this area and a minimum of 2 units from the other courses included in this category.  Adapted physical education courses are available for students with documented physical disabilities.  These Adapted courses will fulfill the graduation requirement.  

Courses in this area may be selected from a number of different disciplines that help students to acquire skills and knowledge to understand themselves as whole persons (integral to their environment). This category includes the study of courses that develop and maintain personal, social, physical and emotional well-being. It is the intent that this area include such courses as health education, human sexuality, marriage and family, nutrition, and personal adjustment.

2.3.3.6.1 Students with medical excuses may petition to be exempted from the physical activity course requirement when appropriate adapted physical education classes are not offered at the location where the student takes the majority of their course work.  

Students not completing a physical activity course on the basis of this exemption shall be required to complete a minimum of 3 units in other courses in the Living Skills area.

2.3.4 While a course might satisfy more than one general education requirement, it may not be counted more than once for these purposes. Courses which are a part of the major requirement and meet the intent of these general education guidelines may be used to satisfy both requirements.

2.3.5 Ethnic studies will be offered in at least one of the required general education areas (2.3.3.1 - 2.3.3.5).

2.3.6 Each College shall set up a process that will involve the review of courses submitted to meet the objectives and criteria of general education.

2.3.7 Students who show proof of a baccalaureate or higher degree completed at a college or university accredited through a CHEA (Council for Higher Education Accreditation) recognized Regional Accrediting Agency will have satisfied general education and competency requirements for the Associates of Arts or the Associates of Science degree.  Degrees from accredited institutions outside of the United States will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.  All Associates Degrees from institutions accredited from CHEA Regional Accrediting Agencies will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.  Degrees or courses from non accredited institutions will not be considered.   

2.4 Basic Skills Competencies

2.4.1 All students granted an AA or AS degree shall have demonstrated college-level competence in reading, written expression, and mathematics.

2.4.1.1. Examinations used to assess competency in any one of these areas will be uniform throughout the District and will be recommended by committees composed of members as provided in District Regulation (R-3412).

2.4.1.2 The Chancellor shall adopt regulations establishing specific competency standards.

2.5 Ethnic/Multicultural Studies

2.5.1 One 3-unit Ethnic/Multicultural studies course must be completed within the 60 unit graduation requirement. The course may be completed as part of the 21 unit general education pattern, as a course required by the major, or an elective course.

2.5.1.1 Courses in Ethnic/Multicultural studies examine significant aspects of the culture, contributions and social experiences of underrepresented ethnic/racial groups in the U.S., or the history and cultural traditions of non-western societies. Non-western courses should focus on non-Eurocentric cultures.

2.5.1.2 All courses should be comparative among multiple social groups and should include analysis of concepts of ethnicity, ethnocentrism and racism, and how they shape and explain ethnic experience.

3.0 Credit by Examination

Any specific course requirement may be satisfied by the procedures established for credit by examination.

4.0 Courses Specified

Each College within the Los Rios District shall specify in its college catalog the courses that may be taken by a student in each of the required areas listed above. Requirements satisfied at one college will be accepted by any other college within the District.


Policy Adopted: 3/10/65
Policy Revised: 12/6/72; 4/17/74; 1/28/81; 4/21/82; 1/19/83; 2/1/84; 7/27/88; 3/18/92; 3/1/00; 11/5/03; 6/18/08
Policy Reviewed:       
Adm. Regulation: R-7241

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