Planning Your Education

Planning Your Education

Make Educational Choices to Support Your Goals

Why Are You Attending Ventura College?

We all have unique interests and goals. You may be attending Ventura College for any number of reasons. Ventura College offers courses in an array of disciplines that can prepare you for skilled trades, specialized careers, job advancement, and transfer to a four-year college or university to further your education. Your goals should have a direct influence on the courses and programs you choose to complete while at Ventura College. It is important to keep your goals in mind at all times when selecting classes and programs and to remain informed about requirements specific to your goals.

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Planning is Critical

You may already know what you want to accomplish while enrolled at Ventura College, or you may be unaware of your options and what is necessary to reach your goals. Counselors at Ventura College are available to help you identify your goals and to create an educational plan that will help you achieve those goals. The counselors also assist undecided students in clarifying what their goals are. It is to the student’s advantage to develop an Educational Plan as soon as possible. Schedule a counseling appointment to start exploring the possibilities.

What Do You Want to Accomplish at Ventura College?

  • Prepare to transfer to a four-year college or university while earning an Associate Degree for Transfer, obtaining general education certification, and/or fulfilling UC Transfer Pathways requirements.
  • Earn an Associate Degree in a specific major or in General Studies with an area of emphasis.
  • Gain skills for improved employability or job placement/advancement through a Certificate of Achievement, Proficiency Award, or Certificate of Completion.
  • Prepare for credit coursework by earning a Certificate of Competency.

Proof of Your Success

Ventura College offers six distinct types of awards to demonstrate educational achievement. If you are hoping to apply skills and knowledge to the job market once you have completed your studies at Ventura College, having proof of your accomplishments can be an asset.

  • Associate Degrees for Transfer (ADT) are Associate in Arts for Transfer (AA-T) or Associate in Science for Transfer (AS-T) degrees that are awarded to students who successfully complete 60 semester units of required general education (either the CSU GE-Breadth, CSU GE-Breadth for STEM, IGETC for CSU, or IGETC for STEM pattern) and a specified sequence of lower-division major preparation coursework. Students with an ADT are guaranteed admission into the CSU in a program deemed similar to that of the transfer degree and will have the opportunity to complete their bachelor’s degree upon completion of an additional 60 units of upper-division study.
  • Associate in Science for University of California (UC) Transfer Pathways (AS-UCTP) degrees are awarded to students who successfully complete a UC Transfer Agreement Guarantee (TAG) along with the required major and general education requirements. Schedule an appointment with a college counselor for more information on these AS-UCTP degrees. Note that Ventura College does not currently offer this type of degree but is in the process of creating AS-UCTP degrees in Physics and Chemistry; however, there is no assurance that these will become available during the next two years. Students may nevertheless use Ventura College courses to satisfy UC transfer requirements; see a counselor for details.
  • Associate Degrees are traditional Associate in Arts (AA) or Associate in Science (AS) degrees. These awards are broader in scope than Certificates of Achievement because they require coursework in an array of disciplines to
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    broaden the student's learning experience and strengthen their critical thinking skills. An AA or AS degree requires the completion of 60 degree-applicable units, including courses in general education plus courses in a chosen major. Students should see a Ventura College counselor to assist them in determining which study pattern they should follow.
  • Certificates of Achievement (COA) require concentrated study in a specific skill or knowledge area. Certificates require more units and generally provide more in-depth study than a Proficiency Award. Completion of a Certificate of Achievement makes a student eligible to participate in the spring graduation ceremony and is recorded on the student’s transcript.
  • Proficiency Awards show that the student has successfully completed one or more courses in a targeted career or skills area. These awards are not recorded on student transcripts, and students earning only a Proficiency Award are not eligible to participate in the annual graduation ceremony.
  • Certificates of Competency are noncredit awards that demonstrate achievement in a set of competencies that prepares students to progress in a career path or to enroll in credit courses. Students completing a Certificate of Competency will receive a document that includes the name of the certificate, the date it was awarded, a standardized code number and discipline name identifying the area of study, and a list of the relevant competencies that the student has achieved. Some or all of this information may also be recorded on a special noncredit transcript.
  • Certificates of Completion are noncredit awards that are designed to improve employability or job opportunities upon completion of a designated sequence of noncredit courses. Students completing a Certificate of Completion will receive a document that includes the name of the certificate, the date it was awarded, a standardized code number and discipline name identifying the area of study, a statement of the goal of the program, and a list of courses completed by the student. Some or all of this information may also be recorded on a special noncredit transcript.