Associate of Arts Degree

Associate of Arts Degree

The Associate of Arts degree offers students an opportunity to explore a variety of disciplines, focus on specific interests, or take specialized courses required in their anticipated baccalaureate programs. The program incorporates the history, values, traditions and knowledge systems of the Iñupiat to enhance student learning.

The AA degree is usually considered a transfer degree and can serve as the freshman and sophomore years at four-year colleges and universities students may wish to attend after completing their work at Ilisagvik. Students wishing to transfer are strongly urged to meet with their academic advisors early in their freshman year. The AA Degree is also an excellent preparation for many career fields.

The general education portion of the Associate of Arts degree consists of core courses providing a base of knowledge in several domains.

Program Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the Associate of Arts degree, graduates will be able to:

  1. Identify and ask focused questions; apply scientific methodology including observation, hypothesis formulation and testing, and evaluation of evidence in laboratory, academic, and everyday situations.
  2. Perform mathematical calculations involving counting, arithmetical operations, algebra, and the evaluation of functions.
  3. Construct and analyze graphs and tables and translate from one form to another.
  4. Critically evaluate complex communication in literary, social, cultural and/or scientific documents.
  5. Communicate complex ideas clearly both in written and spoken English.
  6. Demonstrate an understanding of Iñupiaq world view through history, language, performing and/or fine arts traditions.
  7. Demonstrate an understanding of the history, values, arts, traditions and knowledge systems of world cultures including indigenous peoples.
  8. Retrieve information using electronic methods and traditional library methods. Evaluate the validity of research sources, analyze primary and secondary resources, and organize a research essay and/or oral presentation demonstrating the appropriate research and documentation process.
  9. Demonstrate basic computer literacy including Internet access, electronic communications (email and attachments), and basic software applications including word processing.
  10. Integrate and practice Iñupiaq knowledge, culture, and values in classroom and other interpersonal settings.

Program Entry and Timing

The AA program is designed to accommodate full and part-time students. Students may begin at any point and may take classes for which they meet the prerequisites.

Course Requirements

The following matrix (page 44) is designed to assist in program planning and may be modified by the student in order to meet specific requirements of the intended four-year program at a university. Each student is urged to consult with an academic advisor early in his/her freshman year to plan a program of study with reference to a specific four-year program at a university.


  1. All credits must be at the 100 level or above with at least 20 credits at the 200 level.
  2. Two semester-length courses in a non-English language (e.g. Iñupiaq) may substitute for one (3 credit hours) of the required Humanities and Social Science courses.
  3. A student who achieves the IT competency rating through testing at admission will add equivalent General Electives Credit requirements so that in all cases an AA degree will require 60 credit hours.