Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC)

Community College of Allegheny County

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General Education Requirements of Transfer Schools

Selecting a Major at CCAC

Earning a good quality point average


General Education Requirements of Transfer Schools
If you were beginning your education at a four-year school, you might not declare a major or take most of your course work in that major until your junior year. During your freshman and sophomore years, you would take what colleges describe as core skills, general education or distribution courses.  Colleges prescribe the number of credits required across various discipline areas like natural sciences and mathematics, humanities, social sciences and fine arts. Within these requirements, some colleges require subjects such as foreign languages and laboratory science courses. Typically, 60 college credits are distributed as general education and represent half of the Bachelor’s Degree.

Although you may take a few introductory courses, most of your course work will be determined by the major you choose at the transfer college.  Most colleges require a general education distribution of courses to provide students with broad knowledge to understand a complex world and to expand their interests.  The latter often helps students determine their major if they are uncertain when they begin college.  

Selecting a Major at CCAC  
It is more important that you match the distribution requirements of your targeted transfer school than declaring a major in a subject area while enrolled at CCAC.
 Meeting the distribution requirements is essential if you want most of your credits to transfer. Some institutions will not accept credits in a major beyond those in introductory courses as they prefer students take the majority of major courses at their institution.

The following programs are designed for transferring to a four-year institution and are general in nature. One of these programs may be best suited for you while enrolled at CCAC, however, consult with a transfer counselor prior to making this decision:

The first four are University Parallel Programs and are intended for transfer to institutions where CCAC has articulation agreements. As explained earlier, an articulation agreement is a signed contract between two institutions.  It guarantees that upon completion of the Associate degree in a University Parallel Program, the four-year school will accept the student’s CCAC credits.  Students must meet the admissions criteria of that institution.

The General Studies degree permits greater flexibility in course selection and is appropriate for students who are transferring to schools where the general education requirements are very specific. 

You will also find a number of programs for specific majors. These majors may or may not be appropriate for your transfer school as they may focus more on courses in a major rather than the distribution requirements of the transfer school. If so, many of the program credits may not be accepted by the transfer school.

CCAC also offers career majors that are intended to prepare students for the workplace rather than for transfer. In some cases, certain schools may accept several credits from CCAC’s career programs, such as business, allied health, or nursing. If you are planning to major in those areas at the transfer school, you will need to explore your options with a transfer counselor. 

Earning a good quality point average  
Applying for admission to another school places you in a competitive pool with other students. Although schools require a minimum QPA to be eligible for admission consideration, they often admit students with the best grade point average. Do your very best at CCAC to make sure that you are accepted by your transfer choice. Remember that most transfer institutions accept only the courses with C or better grades. Under most circumstances, students will be required to maintain at least a QPA of 2.0 or above. In many instances, four-year colleges require a much higher QPA in specific programs of study, such as education or business. It is important to be aware of the minimum QPA that is acceptable at the four-year college you plan to attend.

If you find yourself in academic difficulty in any course at CCAC, get help immediately. Ask your instructor for an appointment to review your work.  For additional help, make an appointment to receive tutoring. In addition, work with a counselor to review all of the variables that maybe affecting your work. The counselor may advise you to withdraw from the course for that semester and discuss other support services and resources that are available to assist you. It is critical that you take action to identify and address what is causing the academic problems. Not acting could have long-range consequences that may impact your transfer plans.