Associate of Arts
The Associate of Arts--available only to those enrolled in the College of Adult Scholars--may be awarded when a student completes nearly half of the requirements for the Bachelor of Arts degree, or a total of 61 credit hours.

Two-thirds of the credits will be in General Education; remaining credits must come from courses making up a concentration in one of three areas:
  1. Culture and Humanities
  2. Social and Behavioral Science
  3. Communication and Expressive Arts
  4. Education Foundations

All matriculated College of Adult Scholar students who plan to obtain a BA are encouraged to earn the AA. Since nontraditional students often must complete their degrees in stages, and at times need seven or eight years (or more of study), the Associate of Arts will provide a halfway point of recognition and will denote the significant progress that has been made. General education credits for the Associate of Arts degree cannot be used to fulfill the concentration, but all coursework for the Associate of Arts degree could be applied to the Bachelor of Arts degree.

Course Requirements

General Education
39-40 credits
CORE 110
5 cr
CORE 115
5 cr
THEO 200
3 cr
Cultural Diversity (which includes)
11 cr
  Foreign Language (one): 8 cr
Cultural Diversity course: 3 cr
 
Humanities (choose two of the following)
6 cr
 

Fine & Performing Arts: 3 cr
Literature Course Numbered 200 from English,
Foreign Languages, or Theatre: 3 cr
History Course: 3 cr
Philosophy Course (not 150): 3 cr

 
Social Sciences (from two different subject areas)
6 cr
Natural Science (with lab)
3-4 cr
NOTE: As stated on page 107 of the Undergraduate Catalog, College of Adult Scholars students who have completed Level II of a foreign language in high school but have not studied that language for at least 6 full years may be allowed to count credit earned for level 101 toward the foreign language requirement. Students opting for a different language from their high school experience begin with course 101 in the new language.
Concentration  21 credits
Beyond completing the general education requirements, students elect one of the following concentrations.  Coursework used to meet general education requirements for the Associate of Arts degree may not be used to meet concentration requirements.
Culture and Humanities
Courses from at least two of the following subjects: English, History, Philosophy, Theology, or Classical Civilization.
 21 credits
Social and Behavioral Science
Courses from at least two of the following subjects: Economics, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology and approved courses in Geography (GEO 101, 102, 200, 210, 274, 301, and approved 490).
 21 credits
Communication and Expressive Arts
Courses from at least two of the following subjects: Art, Foreign Languages and Literatures, Communication, Music, Theatre.
21 credits
NOTE: From these concentrations, a student may construct the equivalent of an academic minor, or with additional coursework, an academic major that may be applied toward the degree requirements for the Bachelor of Arts.
Electives 0-3 credits
0-3 credits of electives, depending on whether the diversity requirement was fulfilled by another course.

Additional Requirements
Along with passing appropriate courses, students must also satisfy these requirements:

  • Students must achieve a minimum grade point average of 2.0 both cumulatively in all work at Valparaiso University and in their selected concentraiton.
  • At least 6 credits in the concentration must be taken at the 200 level or above.
  • Thirty of the last 34 credits for the degree must be completed in residence.
  • Valparaiso University students must complete 45 credits as a student in the College of Adult Scholars program.
  • At least half of the concentration requirements must be completed in residence and as a student in the College of Adult Scholars program.
  • Enrollment in any course requires that the student meet the appropriate prerequisites.

It is the student's responsibility to keep track of progress toward the degree. (A check list and an adviser are available from the Office of Continuing Education to assist.) Application for the degree must be made during the semester before the degree is to be awarded. Deadlines and further details may be found in the current general catalog.

Financial Considerations
Students may be surprised to discover the affordable part-time tuition rate at Valparaiso University. Tuition is currently $480 (2011-2012 Academic Year) per credit hour for the College of Adult Scholars program, highly competitive for a private institution of recognized national quality. Financial aid is also available through student loans. A majority of students are employed part-time or full-time in the surrounding community as well as attending coursework at VU.