2023-2024 Olympic College Catalog 
    May 26, 2024  
2023-2024 Olympic College Catalog

Degrees and Certificates - General Information

Pathways to Educational Goals

This section describes the degrees, certificates and other options available for students to fulfill their educational paths at OC.

Associate Degrees

The college offers several transfer associate degrees of 90 or more credits. Each degree has specific graduation requirements. These degrees offer several areas of study and are for students who are interested in pursuing a bachelor degree at a college or university.

Usual Time to Complete

Full-time students generally enroll in 12-18 credits per quarter. An associate degree will normally require at least six quarters to complete, and may take longer if prerequisites and course sequences are required.

Associate in Arts - Direct Transfer Agreement (AA-DTA)

  • General
  • Business
  • Pre-Nursing

Associate of Science - Transfer (AS-T)

Track 1: Biological Sciences, Environmental/Resource Sciences, Chemistry, Geology, and Earth Sciences

Track 2: Engineering, Physics, Computer Science, and Atmospheric Science

Engineering students: Use this for transferring to an engineering school outside the State of Washington.

Track 2: Engineering MRP (Major Related Program):

- Biological and Chemical Engineering
- Computer and Electrical Engineering
- Mechanical, Civil, Aeronautical, Industrial, Materials Science Engineering

Associate in Applied Science - Transfer (AAS-T)

The AAS-T combines technical courses for job preparation and transferable support courses. It transfers to a limited number of institutions with which OC has articulation agreements.

OC offers the following AAS-T degrees:

  • Filmmaking
  • Early Childhood Education transferring to Washington State University
  • Homeland Security/Emergency Management (with Pierce College)
  • Information Technology degrees transferring to The Evergreen State College and Western Governors University-Washington
  • Information Technology-Security transferring to Western Washington University
  • Leadership and Occupational Studies
  • Medical Assisting transferring to The Evergreen State College
  • Organizational Leadership/Resource Management transferring to Brandman University and The Evergreen State College Associate in Applied Science (AAS)
  • Engineering Technology
  • Physical Therapist Assistant

Associate in Technical Arts (ATA)

Professional-Technical degrees are designed to provide entry into a technical or semi-professional occupation or additional training for those already working in a field but desiring advancement. Associate degrees diff er from certificate programs by combining specific job skills with a breadth component.

One of these degrees may be the right choice if you want to earn a 90 or more credit credential in a specific career field.

  • Accounting Technology
  • Administrative Office Support
  • Business Management
  • Cosmetology
  • Culinary Arts Institute-Sous Chef
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Industrial Trades Technician
  • Nursing (RN or LPN-RN)
  • Substance Use Disorder Professional Counseling
  • Technical Design
  • Welding Technology

Associate in General Studies (AGS)

This flexible degree awards academic recognition for completion of the student’s chosen area of study. It is not a direct transfer degree. Transfer courses may be selected, but colleges and universities will evaluate whether courses will be accepted in transfer. Students with a previous
associate degree are not eligible for an Associate in General Studies.

Professional-Technical Certificates

These certificates are designed to provide entry into a technical or semi-professional occupation or additional training for those already working in a field but desiring advancement.

Certificate of Specialization (CS)

Provides training in a focused program in a specific occupational field and requires completing 61 to 89 credits (normally 4-6 quarters).

Certificate of Proficiency (CP)

Provides dedicated training and requires 45 to 60 credits of specific courses (normally 3-4 quarters).

Certificate of Completion (CC)

Provides focused training and requires 20 to 44 credits (normally 2-3 quarters).

Certificate of Recognition (CR)

Provides training and requires 10 to 19 credits (normally 1-2 quarters).

Other Program Options

High School Completion 

You may enroll in pre-college and/or college-level courses to meet Washington State requirements depending on graduation year. Any courses you enroll in will be shown on the Olympic College transcript. Courses that are 100 and higher may be applied to an associate degree. Students must have a release from their high school to attend classes at Olympic College if they are under the age of 18, or if their graduating class has not yet graduated. The first step is to apply to the college and get all official high school or college transcripts. Next, you will want to make an appointment with an Olympic College Counselor who will explain the process and assess transcripts to determine what requirements are met. Full tuition is applied to all courses. There is not a tuition reduction until age 19 and it is applied only to the first ten (10) units per term.

Students who are age 21 and over do not need to complete any non-credit requirements (i.e., High School and Beyond Plan, state testing, and graduation pathway requirements), regardless of whether they are earning a diploma from a traditional high school or through a community college. Please email CounselingServices@olympic.edu for more information or to make an appointment.

High School+ 

High School + (HS+) is a competency-based diploma program for adult learners 18 and older who do not have a high school diploma or equivalency who demonstrate competency in reading, writing, and math in the context of science, history, government, art, health, occupational studies, and digital literacy. 

All students under the age of 18 must complete all graduation requirements including non-credit requirements (i.e., High School and Beyond Plan, state testing, and graduation pathway requirements), regardless of whether they are earning a diploma from a traditional high school or through a community college. Please email transitionalstudies@olympic.edu for more information and to schedule an appointment.

GED® test

The GED® test is made up of 4 subjects, broken into separate exams. You don’t have to take all 4 tests at once - you can space them out however it suits you and go at your own pace. Students can earn their high school equivalency diploma by taking the four tests online with Olympic College Testing Center.

The Transitional Studies office offers non-credit courses intended to prepare students to take the GED® test. Please email transitionalstudies@olympic.edu for more information and to schedule an appointment.

Request A High School Diploma with a Degree

In accordance with Washington state law (SHB 1758, effective July 2009), individuals who enroll at Olympic College and complete an associate degree (two-year diploma) of any type may also submit a written request and be awarded a high school diploma from Olympic College. The law is retroactive and is valid before and after the law went into effect. For more information, email Successcoaches@olympic.edu.

Continuing Education

Continuing Education offers a wide array of opportunities for the lifelong learner. Classes are designed to meet the needs of working professionals, retirees, and casual learners seeking personal enrichment. As practitioners in their respective fields, instructors bring valuable experience and expertise to the classroom.

To review the latest class descriptions and fees, visit the Continuing Education website.

AAS: Associate in Applied Science = 90+ cr AAST: Associate in Applied Science - Transfer = 90+ cr ATA: Associate in Technical Arts = 90+ cr
CR: Certificate of Recognition = 10-19 cr CC: Certificate of Completion = 20-44 cr CP: Certificate of Proficiency = 45-60 cr CS: Certificate of Specialization = 61+ cr

Core Abilities

In addition to completing General Education Requirements (GER) for specific degrees, OC has developed a set of core abilities that each student should develop before graduation. In keeping with our institutional mission and vision, the Olympic College faculty promotes the development of five core abilities: Communication, Thinking, Information Literacy and Technology, Lifelong Learning, and Global Perspective. These core abilities address the broad-based general education requirements that will prepare a student to pursue her/his chosen profession or field of study and to develop themselves as individuals and as citizens. These essential core abilities are taught across programs and disciplines so that each Olympic College student can expect to work towards improving and applying these core abilities regardless of their program or area of concentration. Specific outcomes and competencies within Olympic College courses support the development of these five core abilities.

Information Literacy & Technology

  1. Graduates use strategies to search for information that enhance the acquisition of knowledge.
  2. Graduates evaluate and appraise sources.
  3. Graduates access and use information and/or technology ethically, legally and/or responsibly.
  4. Graduates use various inquiry tools and different formats of information e.g. media.
  5. Graduates use technology and information appropriate to field or discipline, synthesizing information to formulate insights and create knowledge.

Global Perspective

  1. Graduates demonstrate an understanding of their own cultures and the framework upon which their society has been built.
  2. Graduates demonstrate an understanding of how cultural differences (e.g. beliefs, traditions, communication, norms) shape human interactions and perceptions of others.
  3. Graduates demonstrate that they are aware of, and understand world events (e.g. religious, historical, environmental, political, economic) and the role of human decisions and physical conditions shaping these events and their outcomes.
  4. Graduates demonstrate an understanding of their own region/bioregion and recognize that other parts of the world are different in both physical and human attributes.
  5. Graduates demonstrate an understanding of universal processes involving both distribution and circulation of resources and their byproducts; e.g. wealth, food, water, oil, gases, energy, and pollutants


  1. Graduates understand and produce effective oral communication.
  2. Graduates understand and produce effective written communication.
  3. Graduates understand and use effective non-verbal communication skills.


  1. Graduates engage in critical analysis.
  2. Graduates engage in creative problem solving.
  3. Graduates engage in quantitative reasoning.

Lifelong Learning

  1. Graduates demonstrate self-monitoring and self-advocacy skills to affect positive life changes.
  2. Graduates demonstrate the ability to recognize, understand, and accept ownership for their own learning and behavior in varied and changing environments.
  3. Graduates demonstrate the ability to adapt to technological innovations and to understand their implications.

Assessment of Student Learning

  1. To determine whether the curriculum at Olympic College helps students achieve these core abilities, faculty members identify which courses address the core abilities and a team of faculty use explicit criteria to score student work solicited from professors in courses where these learning outcomes are taught or utilized.
  2. Scores based on explicit criteria for a core ability, as well as other course and program level assessments, help to create a continuous process that improves learning and ensures the quality of education at OC.

Diversity and Social Justice (DSJ) Requirement

Olympic College recognizes that in an increasingly diverse and interconnected world, the critical examination of difference, power, and equity is an essential part of any education. The Diversity and Social Justice (DSJ) requirement at Olympic College provides such an opportunity through a range of coursework that prepares students to lead responsibly with critical tools and skills for examining topics including but not limited to race, class, gender, sexuality, ability, and sustainability.

Beginning Fall 2021, all newly admitted students are required to complete at least five credits in DSJ-approved coursework. These credits may also fulfill OC’s distribution requirements. Students in prof-tech, bachelor’s, and certificate programs are not required to meet the DSJ requirement at this time.

Specific outcomes and competencies within Olympic College’s DSJ-approved courses prepare students to lead with Knowledge, Consciousness, Collaboration, and Action.


Graduates will produce and demonstrate knowledge about the systems of power and social hierarchies that shape diverse life experiences, challenges, and ideologies.


Graduates will become lifelong learners through the development of a critical consciousness that connects the personal, individual life story with the sociohistorical, socioeconomic, sociopolitical, and/or natural and cultural environments.


Graduates will be better equipped to foster an effective record of collaboration and conflict resolution across social and cultural differences.


Graduates will challenge inequities, become effective change agents for social justice, and/or advocate on behalf of the strengths of cultural and social differences through various forms of action and engagement.

Assessment of Student Learning

  1. To determine whether DSJ requirement at Olympic College helps students lead with knowledge, consciousness, collaboration, and action, faculty members align course outcomes with DSJ outcomes, and faculty members use criteria to score student work in courses where these DSJ learning outcomes are taught or utilized.
  2. Scores based on explicit criteria for a DSJ outcome, as well as other course and program level assessments, help to create a continuous process that improves learning and ensures the quality of education at Olympic College.

General Policies

Catalog Expiration

Students may graduate under the current catalog or any of the past seven years’ catalogs, if they were enrolled during the time the catalog was in effect, except that when a professional-technical program is discontinued, students must complete the program within three years.

Continuing Education

Credits may not be used in degrees or certificates.

Course Substitutions

Not allowed in Associate in Arts or Associate of Science degrees. in other degrees, substitutions must be approved by faculty in the professional-technical program, faculty in the subject for which the substitution is being made, and the responsible dean. No course numbered under 100 may be substituted for a course at the 100 level or higher. The Dean of Enrollment Services reviews substitution for procedure and policy requirements.


College level OC grade point average must be at least 2.0 for associate degrees and certificates. Cumulative OC grade point average must be at least 2.0 for certificates. (Courses transferred from another college do not count in GPA.) If planning to transfer, note that receiving institutions may require a higher GPA.

Multiple degrees

Students may simultaneously earn multiple degrees or certificates in different curricular programs at OC. Requirements for each degree or certificate must be met and the student must apply for each degree separately and pay for each separate degree application.

Pass/No Credit

No more than 30 credits may be applied toward a degree. No more than one third of total credits in certificates may be pass/no credit. (Courses offered only as “Pass/ No Credit” are not included in this limit.) If planning to transfer, note that receiving institutions may have much lower limits.


At least 20 credits applied toward an associate degree must be earned at OC. For certificates, at least 20 percent of the certificate’s credits must be earned at OC.

Advising Notes and Recommendations

Not all courses listed are offered every quarter. See an appropriate advisor for course sequence and schedule details.

For all program-specific degrees and certificates, a faculty advisor must approve the program for degree/certificate completion.

Direct Transfer Agreement

Olympic College subscribes to the Washington State Intercollege Relations Commission (ICRC) Direct Transfer Agreement (DTA). Under this agreement, most Washington baccalaureate institutions accept a DTA degree to fulfill lower division general education requirements. Students transferring to an ICRC member college with a DTA will generally be admitted as juniors. This does not mean that all courses will transfer. The transfer institution will evaluate each course according to its own policies, such as minimum grade. In addition, students will have to meet admission requirements of their university, college, and department, such as world language.

Transfer Rights and Responsibilities

Student Rights and Responsibilities

  1. Students have the right to clear, accurate, and current information about their transfer admission requirements, transfer admission deadlines, degree requirements, and transfer policies that include course equivalencies.
  2. Transfer and freshman-entry students have the right to expect comparable standards for regular admission to programs and comparable program requirements.
  3. Students have the right to seek clarification regarding their transfer evaluation and may request the reconsideration of any aspect of that evaluation. in response, the college will follow established practices and processes for reviewing its transfer credit decisions.
  4. Students who encounter other transfer difficulties have the right to seek resolution. Each institution will have a defined process for resolution that is published and readily available to students.
  5. Students have the responsibility to complete all materials required for admission and to submit the application on or before the published deadlines.
  6. Students have the responsibility to plan their courses of study by referring to the specific published degree requirements of the college or academic program in which they intend to earn a bachelor’s degree.
  7. When a student changes a major or degree program, the student assumes full responsibility for meeting the new requirements.
  8. Students who complete the general education requirements at any public four-year institution of higher education in Washington, when admitted to another public four-year institution, will have met the lower division general education requirements of the institution to which they transfer.

College and University Rights and Responsibilities

  1. Colleges and universities have the right and authority to determine program requirements and course offerings in accordance with their institutional missions.
  2. Colleges and universities have the responsibility to communicate and publish their requirements and course offerings to students and the public, including information about student transfer rights and responsibilities.
  3. Colleges and universities have the responsibility to communicate their admission and transfer related decisions to students in writing (electronic or paper).

General Education Requirements (GER)

All Olympic College degrees require study of a broad array of subjects. This breadth helps students to explore the world, and develop themselves as individuals and citizens. All fully accredited colleges have some breadth requirements.

For transfer degrees, GER conform to Intercollege Relations Commission (ICRC) guidelines. Following these guidelines assures that the transfer degree will satisfy lower division general education requirements at most Washington colleges and universities. Students must complete a minimum of 60 credits of GER. Transfer GER include quantitative reasoning, communication, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences. World language is not required at OC but some baccalaureate institutions require it. You should determine early whether you will need to complete a world language requirement for your bachelor’s degree.

GER for professional-technical degrees provide the quantitative, communication, and human relations skills needed in the workforce. GER are not required in all shorter certificates. However, they are in all degrees and certificates normally requiring a year or more to complete.


Professional Licensure Disclosure

According to Federal Regulations at 34 §CFR 668.43, Olympic College is required to disclose student educational requirements of programs leading to licensure that may not meet the licensing standards for students who have indicated residency in a state other than the state in which enrolled. NC-SARA provides some additional information and resources for students regarding licensure on their webpage under professional licensure.

OC Programs with Professional Licensure: