Degrees & Certificates

Degrees & Certificates

Degrees and Certificates - Administrative Policy 305

Lower Columbia College offers associate degrees and certificates in accordance with requirements of the State of Washington and the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. Specific degree and certificate requirements are found in the current Lower Columbia College catalog.

Degrees Awarded

See current College Catalog.

The Board of Trustees, upon the recommendation of faculty, shall award associate degrees to students who have successfully completed prescribed courses of study.

Degrees Offered by the College

  1. (AA) - Associate in Arts and Science
  2. (AA-DTA) - Associate in Arts – Direct Transfer Agreement
  3. (AAS) – Associate in Applied Science
  4. (AAS-T) - Associate in Applied Science - Transfer
  5. (AS-T) - Associate in Sciences – Transfer
  6. (MRP-DTA) – Major Related Programs – Direct Transfer Agreement
  7. (AN-DTA/MRP) – Associate in Nursing – Direct Transfer Agreement/Major Related Program

Degree & Graduation Requirements

Administrative Policy 305.1

  1. A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.00;
  2. No more than 15 pass/fail credits (P/F not to be used in English 101/102 distribution requirements for any of the associate degrees offered).

General Requirements

Administrative Policy 305.2

  1. A minimum of 90 credits must be earned in courses numbered 100 and above; a maximum of three physical education credits may be included in the 90; and a maximum of 15 credits in Cooperative Work Experience (288 & 289 and/or Independent Study, 299);
  2. A minimum of two quarters, including the last quarter, must be completed at Lower Columbia College;
  3. A minimum of 24 credits, exclusive of credits by examination, must be earned at Lower Columbia College; and
  4. A minimum of five credits of course work with cultural diversity content must be completed satisfactorily.

Course Requirements

Administrative Policy 305.3

  1. Course requirements in each degree program shall be consistent with the educational philosophy of the College and the program in question. Such requirements shall promote the larger purposes of college-level education to help students develop into citizens who can reason clearly, communicate effectively, and think critically, as well as identify and achieve significant personal and social goals.
  2. Each degree shall incorporate reading, writing, and quantitative skills development consistent with its purpose.

Honors at Graduation

Administrative Policy 305.4

A student who graduates with a Transfer Degree (DTA, DTA/MRP, and AS-T) as well a student who graduates with a Professional Technical Degree (AAS) can receive honors based upon their college-level grade point average:

  • Honors – 3.5 to 3.79 GPA
  • Highest Honors – 3.8 to 4.0 GPA

Only grades for courses taken at Lower Columbia College will be used in figuring the cumulative grade point average for honors.

Second Associate Degree

Administrative Policy 305.5

Students may earn a second associate degree by completing an additional 45 quarter credits beyond those earned for the first degree. All degree requirements apply.

Waiver of Graduation Requirements

Administrative Policy 305.6

Petitions to have any graduation requirements waived shall be considered by the Academic Standards Committee on their individual merits.


Students may petition to have a graduation requirement waived.  Permission to waive a course may be granted on the basis of documentation provided, written support from a faculty member, or on the basis of the student’s prior educational or work experience.

Eligibility for Waiver of Last Quarter Enrolled

  1. Student who has completed at least 71 credits of the required 90 credits to graduate at this college and intends to complete course work at another accredited institution.
  2. Student who has completed at least 71 credits of the required 90 credits to graduate at this college and has completed the course work to fulfill the degree requirements at another institution whose accreditation is accepted by LCC.

Course Requirements

  1. Course[s] must meet our college equivalency requirements.
  2. Upon approval of the request, the course[s] to be or already taken at another accredited institution must meet our program and graduation equivalency requirements.
  3. Student must attain the required passing grade.
  4. Student has one year from the quarter in which the request is approved to complete the approved classes.
  5. Failure to complete the course[s] in the given time requires an additional request for waiver.

Registration Office Procedure

  1. The Registration Office notifies the student in writing of eligibility.
  2. The following information will be included in the letter to the student:

You have until [one year from quarter applying for waiver] in which to complete your course work. Upon completion of the required courses you are responsible for mailing to the Registration Office an official transcript of the completed courses. You must meet all Lower Columbia College graduation requirements.  Upon completion of your course work you will have to reapply for graduation.”

Certification - Official Transcript

Upon completion of the course[s] at another college or university the student is responsible for seeing that an official transcript from the school where course[s] taken is sent to our Registration Office.

Graduation Application

  1. Student must reapply for graduation to the Registration Office using the appropriate Graduation Application form to verify requirements for graduation have been met.
  2. Student who applies for acceptance of credits completed at another college or university should apply for graduation at the same time that he or she requests a waiver of his or her last enrolled quarter.


  1. The committee authorizes the Registration Office to handle requests for waiver of last quarter enrolled provided the student meets the requirements stated above.
  2. The committee handles all requests for waiver of last quarter enrollment that do not meet the above requirements.

Distribution Requirements: Humanities, Natural Science, Social Science - From Another Institution


  1. Student may request completed courses transferred from another college that are considered equivalent to our distribution requirement courses be used to meet Lower Columbia College requirements.
  2. Student must provide written proof that the course[s] listed as a comparable distribution requirement at the institution where the course[s] was completed meets our requirements.
  3. Each course requested for consideration must meet all other course acceptance requirements of Lower Columbia College.


The committee delegates to the Registration Office the authority to accept courses taken at other institutions as meeting either Humanities, Social Sciences, and/or Natural Sciences distribution requirements.

Humanities Distribution - Foreign Language

  1. Student who has taken a college level foreign language not offered by Lower Columbia College may have the credits accepted as a Humanities distribution credit.
  2. A maximum of five credits may be applied to the distribution requirement.


The committee delegates to the Registration Office authority to accept foreign language courses as meeting a Humanities distribution requirement.

Prerequisites - College courses

  1. Any course having a prerequisite may have that prerequisite waived by the instructor of the course providing the student is qualified to take the higher-level class.
  2. The student meets with the instructor of the course being waived to determine applicability.
  3. Student must provide documentation.
  4. Instructor fills out and follows Prerequisite Waiver form.

Graduation Requirement - Student Request

  1. Student with a valid reason to request that a course required for the degree be waived in order for the student to graduate presents written request using Academic Standards Committee Petition form.
  2. Student must include documentation to support the request.
  3. The request goes to the committee for action.
  4. If approved, the waiver allows the student to receive the requested degree from this college.
  5. There is no record of the waiver and no grade is recorded on the student’s transcript.

 Impact on Students Transferring to Another Institution

  1. It is possible that the institution to which the student transfers after receiving the degree waiver or substitution may not accept the waiver or substitution as meeting the requirements of the degree.
  2. This may mean that the student does not have junior standing, is not considered a DTA graduate and may be required to take an equivalent class at that institution to fulfill the requirements.
  3. If a waiver or substitution for a course for graduation is approved the following is included in the letter sent by the ASC Secretary to the student:

The committee has approved the waiver or substitution of the requested course.  This may allow you to receive your degree from Lower Columbia College. If you apply to another college it may happen that the institution will not accept the waiver or substitution as meeting your graduation requirement. If so, you may be denied junior class status and be required to take an equivalent course from that institution to meet this requirement or you may be denied entry as a community college transfer graduate.”

Applications for Degrees

Administrative Policy 305.7

Candidates for associate degrees must complete and submit the degree application forms provided by the College within published deadlines.

  • Reviewed by the Cabinet and Leadership Team November 2008
  • Campus Review: February 1-22, 2009
  • Adopted 2/23/09 (Replaces policies 405-405.3 approved 7/89 and 3/97)

Certificate Programs

See current College Catalog.

The College President is authorized to develop vocational training programs of less than two years in length and to award a certificate to any student who completes such a program.

Standards for learning in certificate programs shall be equal to those in other programs in the College. Certificate programs shall include certificates of completion of a required curriculum and certificates of proficiency where standards of competencies are appropriate.

  1. (COP) - Certificate of Proficiency
  2. (COC) – Certificate of Completion

High School Diploma

Administrative Policy 307

Lower Columbia College may issue the high school diploma under the authority of RCW 28B.50.535 and in compliance with Chapter 180-51 WAC.



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