Catalog 2022-2023

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Academic Programs

Academic Program Opportunities

An academic program is a collection or series of courses that lead to a degree, certificate, or transfer to another institution of higher education. West Valley College provides academic programs that assist students in fulfilling appropriate requirements for students to meet their transfer or career goals. West Valley College offers two curricular programs for students: (1) transfer programs for senior colleges and universities and (2) Associate Degree programs. West Valley College also offers career programs that prepare students for employment.

Career programs offer two options: (1) associate degrees and (2) certificates. AA/AS major degree and certificate requirements are listed in the “Associate Degree, Certificate, and Selected Transfer Programs” section in this catalog.

The following information is general in nature. Students interested in transferring to a university are advised to consult a counselor and/or the Transfer Center and the catalog of the Institution to which they intend to apply. West Valley College provides extensive coursework for transfer to UC’s, CSU’s and private colleges and universities throughout the United States.

Associate Degrees Opportunities

The associate degree may be sought as either a final educational goal or a major step toward a baccalaureate degree elsewhere. West Valley College currently offers the following associate degrees.

  • Associate Degree in Arts (A.A.)
  • Associate Degree in Science (A.S.)
  • Associate Degree in Arts for Transfer (AA-T)
  • Associate Degree in Science for Transfer (AS-T)
  • Associate in Science for UC Transfer (UCTP)

Associate in Arts and Science Requirements

Students whose goal is to complete an A.A. or A.S. degree must satisfy the following requirements:

  • Completion of a major program requirements as specified by the department.
  • Completion of West Valley College (local), CSU-Breadth (CSU-B), or Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) general education pattern.
  • A minimum of 60 semester units of degree applicable courses.
  • Earn a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0, including a grade of C or higher in each course taken towards the Major Requirement.
  • Complete a minimum of 12 semester units in residence at West Valley College.
  • Demonstrate the Graduation Proficiency Requirements in reading, writing, and mathematics.
    • Reading and Writing – English 001A
    • Math 104, 106, 106R, or higher with a grade of “C” or better; or completion of two semesters of high school Algebra 2, Integrated Math 3, Common Core Math 3, or higher with a grade of “C-” or better in both semesters

Associate Degree for Transfer

Students whose goal is to complete an Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT), either an AA-T or AS-T, earn a guaranteed admission to a California State University (CSU) campus with junior standing. Students must complete a minimum of 18 semester or 27 quarter units in a major or area of emphasis and an approved set of general-education requirements (CSU GE-Breadth or IGETC). CSU transferable elective units may be needed for students to obtain the minimum of 60 units required for the degree. Additional information can be found in the Transfer section of the catalog.

Associate Degrees for UC Transfer

Students whose goal is to complete a University of California Transfer Pathway (UCTP) Associate’s Degree, must meet or exceed the campus-based GPA, earn guaranteed admission to a University of California campus with junior standing. Student must complete all major requirements and the IGETC general education pattern. UC transferable elective units may be needed for students to obtain the minimum of 60 units required for the degree. Additional information can be found in the Transfer section of the catalog.

Earning Additional Associate Degrees

A student who has already earned an Associate Degree from West Valley College or Mission College may apply for additional Associate Degrees once all requirements for the second major (minimum of 18 units, per Title 5 55063) have been complete.

  • Continuing students, the general education and major requirements for the second degree are those listed in the College catalog for the academic year in which the student first takes courses for the first degree or any subsequent catalog thereafter.
  • Returning students, the requirements are those listed in the College catalog for the year in which the student returns or any subsequent catalog thereafter.

Double Major

Multiple majors may be earned at the same time provided that the following provisions are met:

  1. Completion all requirements for the second major. Where the two majors include the same core and elective requirements, the courses may be double-counted for both majors.
  2. Completion of General Education and Competency Requirements.
  3. Completion of 12 units in residence at West Valley College.

Certificate Programs

Credit Certificates

A Certificate of Achievement is a sequence of courses consisting of 8 or more units of degree-applicable coursework and are approved by the State Chancellor’s Office. Students who successfully petition for a Certificate of Achievement will have the name of the certificate appear on their transcript. 20% of the required course work for the certificate must be completed in residence at West Valley College. Students must pass all letter-graded certificate-applicable courses with a C or better and all P/NP certificate applicable courses with a P. Credit that students earn in a certificate curriculum may also be used toward satisfaction of the requirements for graduation from the College with an associate degree. Certificate programs do not have general education requirements.

Noncredit Certificates

West Valley College offers two types of noncredit certificates, Certificate of Completion and Certificate of Competency, which prepare students for entrylevel employment or further study. A Certificate of Completion is a sequence of courses designed to prepare students to progress in a career path or to undertake degree-applicable or non-degree applicable credit courses. A Certificate of Competency is a sequence of courses preparing students to demonstrate achievement in a set of competencies that prepares the student to progress in a career path or to undertake degree-applicable or non-degree applicable credit courses. Students must pass all letter-graded certificateapplicable courses with a C or better and all P/NP certificate applicable courses with a P. Noncredit certificate programs do not have general education requirements.

Catalog Rights for Degree or Certificate Consideration

Students who maintain continuous enrollment, meaning they attended at least one semester or intersession (summer/winter) during the academic year, may choose to graduate under the catalog in effect at the time they first enrolled at West Valley College or any catalog up to the time of graduation. Students who are considered returning students, meaning those who did not attend for a year or more before returning to college, must follow the catalog requirements in effect at the time of re-enrollment. Documented military, not exceeding two years, will not be considered an interruption of continuous enrollment. For the purpose of catalog rights, the academic year begins each fall and ends with the subsequent summer session.

Associate Degree Reciprocity

The West Valley-Mission Community College District has entered into a mutual agreement with seven other community colleges to accept the General Education of these colleges as completed.

The participating colleges are West Valley College (Saratoga), Gavilan College (Gilroy), San Jose City College (San Jose), Evergreen Valley College (San Jose), De Anza College (Cupertino), Foothill College (Los Altos Hills), Chabot College (Hayward) and Las Positas College (Livermore), Ohlone College (Fremont).

Students who obtain a “certification of completion of Associate Degree General Education” or complete an Associate Degree at any one of the participating colleges will have both their General Education course work and graduation proficiencies accepted as completed at any of the participating campuses. No additional course work will be required if the certification is officially presented. Students will still be required to complete all courses or prerequisites needed for a major. The agreement also means that the other colleges will accept the General Education pattern of West Valley College if a certification is presented to the member colleges. The agreement will be reviewed periodically.

The process for obtaining a certification of West Valley General Education is as follows:

  1. The student presents a request for “certification of completion of General Education Reciprocity” to the West Valley College Records Office by the published deadline each semester. Forms can be obtained in Admissions.
  2. If transcripts are to be used from other colleges, official copies must be on file with the Records Office.
  3. A copy of the certification will be given to the student.
  4. West Valley College will honor the certification presented from the participating colleges only if it is transmitted in the same manner as an official transcript. Student copies will not be honored.

Please note that only the community colleges listed above participate in the agreement.

Last Updated 10/13/22