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MCC’s new A.A. transfer degree, effective Fall 2021, will give students ‘maximum flexibility’

June 24, 2020
By Tim Engle

MCC AA Degree Update GraphicMetropolitan Community College’s associate in arts is already the College’s most popular degree option, and a recent revamp should make it even more student-friendly. Following an 18-month process, changes to the A.A. degree were recently approved by the Board of Trustees.

The new associate in arts degree will be official as of Fall 2021.

Among the changes:

  • A.A. students will choose more elective courses, from 14 credit hours in the current A.A. to 18 in the new one.
  • The three-credit “Global Diversity” requirement is now simply “Diversity,” with more emphasis on the diversity part than the global part. British Literature, for instance, is “global” but arguably not too diverse, says Rich Higgason, humanities division chair at MCC-Blue River and a member of the A.A. task force.
  • Students will be able to take a performance course as part of the general education requirement. “They probably should be called humanities lab courses,” Higgason says.

Kim Wilcox, another faculty member on the task force and president of the Academic Senate, told trustees that the revised degree was designed to give students “maximum flexibility” while also bringing MCC into compliance with Missouri Core 42 requirements. Core 42 courses will transfer to any public college or university in the state.  

The 18 hours of electives contribute to that flexibility, but so do “guided pathways” and “meta-majors,” which MCC is working toward. “The A.A. is the framework, but pathways give some direction to students,” Higgason says. A student who wants to be a biologist would likely choose a different A.A. pathway than someone going into education. The pathway would influence their choices in math, science and humanities courses, as well as the electives.

MCC’s A.A. degree is intended to provide a well-rounded educational foundation. In addition to preparing students to select appropriate majors and career paths, it paves the way for transfer to another institution and successful completion of a bachelor's degree.