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PJC reduces degree hours, maintains content

Published or Revised October 22, 2014

Reducing the number of hours required for an associate’s degree at Paris Junior College will not mean a reduction in content or skills learned, the PJC Board of Regents learned Monday evening.

As PJC meets the requirement from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to approve degrees of 60 hours, both Dean of Math and Sciences Ed McCraw and Dean of Workforce Education John Spradling explained that the restructured degrees still convey the same amount of knowledge.

The core curriculum was revised during the past year, according to McCraw, and this led to the Associate of Sciences degree being divided between those pursuing a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) degree and those who were not. The STEM path has more math, science and lab requirements. The Associates of Arts degree is non-STEM as well. Most of the academic transfer degrees had been slightly more than 60 hours.

Associate of Applied Science degrees had ranged from 65 to 72 credit hours, according to Spradling, and though many four-hour credit courses were converted to three, the numbers of actual hours of learning to gain a necessary skill set were not reduced.

The main affect to the College will be a financial loss, since the amount of tuition and fees charged is based on the number of credit hours taken. Four-year universities are being required to make their degrees 120 hours.

In other business, the Regents:

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