Catalog  –  2013 - 2014


Certificates and Degrees Offered at Porterville College

Students have many different goals in mind when they enroll at Porterville College. Some plan to earn a certificate to enhance their job skills while others want to earn a two-year degree and/or transfer to a four-year university. Porterville College offers the following certificate and degree programs:

  • Associate in Arts for Transfer and Associate in Science for Transfer degrees is intended for students who plan to complete a bachelor’s degree in a similar major at a CSU campus. Students completing these degrees are guaranteed admission to the CSU system, but not a particular campus or major.
  • Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degrees can be used to obtain necessary skills for a range of possible careers or they may be used to transfer to a four-year institution.
  • Certificates of Achievement are awarded to students who complete formal instructional programs of at least 18 units designed to prepare them for a specific field or endeavor.
  • Job Skills Certificates are awarded upon the satisfactory completion of coursework (less than 18 units) in a specific area of study. Job Skill Certificates are not included on transcripts.

Associate Degrees for Transfer

California Community Colleges are now offering associate degrees for transfer to the CSU. These may include Associate in Arts (AA-T) or Associate in Science (AS-T) degrees. These degrees are designed to provide a clear pathway to a CSU major and baccalaureate degree. California Community College students who are awarded an AA-T or AS-T degree are guaranteed admission with junior standing somewhere in the CSU system and given priority admission consideration to their local CSU campus or to a program that is deemed similar to their community college major. This priority does not guarantee admission to specific majors or campuses.

Students who have been awarded an AA-T or AS-T are able to complete their remaining requirements for the 120-unit baccalaureate degree within 60 semester or 90 quarter units.

To view the most current list of Porterville College Associate Degrees for Transfer and to find out which CSU campuses accept each degree, please see a counselor. Current and prospective community college students are encouraged to meet with a counselor to review their options for transfer and to develop an educational plan that best meets their goals and needs.

Applying for Graduation

Students must complete a “Degree Evaluation Petition” to begin the formal process of applying for graduation. These petitions are available online at Although the filing periods change from term to term, the deadline for applying to graduate is generally around the middle of the term prior to the term in which you plan to complete your degree. You should see a counselor regarding the application deadlines and degree evaluation process or check online under commencement for further information on graduating. Admissions will contact students regarding “Degree Evaluation Petitions” using the students Gmail account.

Commencement Ceremony

Commencement ceremony is held only once a year in May. In order to participate in commencement, students must have completed and/or be enrolled into all of the requirements that will complete their degree.

Philosophy of General Education for the Associate Degree

The faculty and administration at Porterville College recognize that the associate degree is a valuable and unique college degree which includes courses and requirements that may be different from or are not available at upper division institutions. Therefore, the general education component of the associate degree requirements emphasizes the special needs of the students of this community who may be terminating formal education for a time with the associate degree.

In keeping with the general philosophy of Porterville College, general education for the associate degree stresses the educational process to enhance the intellectual potential and personal worth of all students. Each student is assisted in developing the skills necessary to achieve personal goals and acquire the knowledge and attitudes essential for a self-fulfilling, satisfying life. It reflects the conviction that those individuals who qualify for an associate degree must have an awareness of certain basic principles and concepts shared by various disciplines.

A core program of essential skills is required of all students completing the general education requirements for the associate degree. These skills, required of a productive and educated member of society, include: being able to read, write and speak clearly and correctly and use mathematics effectively.

In addition to the core skills, certain other knowledge is essential to an informed member of society. This knowledge includes: the methods of scientific inquiry and evaluation of the physical and biological environment; an understanding of the political structure of government required of a citizen; methods of inquiry and critical thinking; an ability to fully appreciate and constructively use artistic expression, cultural activities and aesthetic values; to be computer literate; and to be a wise consumer; to acknowledge the value of diversity in other cultures and societies; to achieve good physical and mental health; and to be aware of ethical and moral constraints placed on society and the individual.

Finally, there is the need for the student to integrate this core of knowledge to improve self-understanding, to think logically, weigh evidence, evaluate facts and ideas critically, and to comprehend the difficulty of finding simple answers to complex problems.