VGCC puts Associate in Arts degree on fast track

Vance-Granville Community College is introducing a new way for students to complete the first two years of a four-year degree on an accelerated timetable.

Starting with the fall semester that begins in August 2017, students will have the option to earn the 60-credit-hour Associate in Arts (College Transfer) degree in just three semesters: fall, spring and summer. Under the standard pathway currently in place, full-time students typically complete the Associate in Arts in five or six semesters (while taking courses in the summer on a part-time basis).

“The VGCC Division of Arts and Sciences is very excited to be able to offer a new accelerated pathway for the Associate in Arts,” said Cynthia Young, the college’s dean of arts and sciences. “This will allow dedicated students the ability to complete a two-year degree in just one year and quickly move on to a four-year university.”

The new pathway will be rigorous, with students taking a combination of 16-week and eight-week courses. For example, during the fall semester, students on the accelerated schedule will take two courses over the entire 16 weeks, four other courses during the first eight weeks and three others during the second eight weeks. A student would take a maximum of six courses at any one time. Only three courses would be required in the eight-week summer term.

Some required courses will be taken online, while others may be taken either online or in the traditional face-to-face format.

Students must first either complete or place out of any developmental coursework in order to complete the degree on this schedule.

The Associate in Arts (A.A.) is ideally suited for students who want to pursue bachelor’s degrees in communication, education, humanities, fine arts, languages, and social and behavioral sciences. Students in the program complete essentially the same required general education courses that they would take at most four-year universities and colleges. Graduates with an A.A. who make a grade of “C” or better in every course are assured of admission into one of the 16 universities in the University of North Carolina system, usually transferring in with junior ranking.

In the past few years, the comprehensive articulation agreements between all North Carolina community colleges, the UNC System and the private N.C. Independent Colleges and Universities have been revised with clearer pathways, simplifying the transfer of credits for both A.A. and Associate in Science (A.S.) graduates.

Registration for the fall semester at VGCC is currently ongoing, and ends on Aug. 10.

For more information on the accelerated pathway, contact Oluwunmi Ariyo at (252) 738-3270 or

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