An Associate Degree is an academic degree awarded by community colleges, junior colleges, technical colleges, and bachelor’s degree-granting colleges and universities upon completion of a course of study usually lasting two years. In the United States and, uncommonly, in Canada, an associate degree is equivalent to the first two years of a four-year college or university degree. It is the lowest in the hierarchy of post-secondary academic degrees offered in these countries. Associate Degree Programs have started to become a trend nowadays.
It is roughly equivalent to the foundation degree and the Business and Technology Education Council’s Higher National Diploma in Britain, the two-year General Academic Studies Degree (French: diplôme d’études Universitaires générales, DEUG) in France, the Higher Education and Training Awards Council’s Higher Certificate in the Republic of Ireland. In 2000, Hong Kong introduced associate degrees, as equivalence to higher diplomas. These programmes are mainly provided through affiliated colleges at universities. In 2004, Australia added “associate degree” to the Australian Qualifications Framework. This title was given to more academically focused advanced diploma courses. However, very few courses yet use the new title.
Associate Degree Program in Pakistan:
An Associate Degree is a 2-year post intermediate qualification which is primarily offered in market-driven subjects. This degree opens doors to a more promising career path. This flexible and fast-paced degree allows students to earn a valuable qualification in just 4-semesters. This degree allows greater access to quality higher education to the youth, ensuring higher education at affordable cost in market-driven subjects having relevance to the needs of the industry. The scheme of the study for the associate degree offers a combination of compulsory, foundation, core and elective courses as per guidelines provided by HEC Pakistan. The flexibility is provided to offer both core and elective courses according to the requirements of the local community.
Associate degree programs prepare students to work in a particular field upon graduation and is generally more hands-on than the traditional 2-year bachelor’s degree programs. Although students will be ready to join the workforce immediately upon graduation, associate degree credits can be transferred towards a 4-year bachelor’s degree programs in the relevant subject area. The Associate Degree Programs are offered under a semester system of education and are awarded upon qualifying a minimum of 66 credit hours in four semester/ two years. It will be recognized as equivalent to existing 2-year bachelor programs.
- Equivalent to the conventional BA/BSc/BCOM
- Semester system (4-semesters, 2-years)
- A minimum of 66 credit hours and 22 courses
- Courses designed to develop students’ communication, interpersonal, analytical, and specialized occupational skills
- A dynamic approach in course designing through industry coordination.
- Flexible class timings