The U.S Department of Education recently approved the Associate of Arts Degree (AA-T) for Transfers in Theatre Arts to Los Medanos College. “Took us quite a long time to get this degree so we’re really, really happy,” said Drama Department Chair Nick Garcia. “To be able to offer our students a major in the field they’re wanting to pursue and to be able to have a degree for the time and the work they’ve put in.”
The AA-T prepares students to transfer into the CSU system to complete a bachelor’s degree in Theatre Arts or similar major. Successful completion of the transfer degree in Theatre Arts guarantees students acceptance to a California State University.
According to losmedanos.edu over the past 13 years LMC Drama has emerged as a creative and dynamic playground for emerging artists to develop their artistic potential.
The Drama department had to wait about three years for approval from the state.
According to Garcia it was tried before but the process was really hard and long.
The first time Garcia said the state hadn’t figured out what they wanted for their requirements of the AA-T’s since it’s a new degree.
“And since they were still trying to figure it out they sent it back and we had to wait for them to decide, and we made sure we met all the requirements.” The Drama department then had to resubmit it and it took the state about three months to get to it and approve it. “It took a really long time,” said Garcia.
According to the approval letter for a program to be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges/Western Association of Schools and Colleges must approve the program as a substantive change. Once a program is approved by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, colleges must follow the steps outlined in the ACCJC Manual.
To obtain the AA-T students must: complete all the major requirements with grades of C or better, complete a minimum of 60 CSU-transferable units with a grade point average of 2.0 or better and complete either the California Sate University General Educational (CSU GE), or the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC).
“I was happy that it changed because it was always so complicated and could make me give up at times and get discouraged,” said LMC student Tierra Chatman, who is pursuing a career in acting. “It’s better for us now because we won’t be spending extra money and we don’t have to repeat similar courses that didn’t meet the requirements.”
According to Garcia the AA in acting it’s about making a well-rounded performer and giving students the strongest foundation possible so they can move on into getting a degree in acting
“It’s a huge accomplishment,” said Garcia. “I’m really proud to be able to say that we have a degree that we can offer and that we can offer at a very streamline pathway.”