Start your undergraduate journey with an on-campus or online associate’s degree from Mid-America Christian University (MACU) in Oklahoma City. At MACU, we are committed to helping students complete accredited, affordable degree programs in a supportive learning environment.
- Our Accredited On-Campus and Online Associate Degrees
Combine bachelor’s and master’s degree coursework to complete both in just five years.
Learn about financial aid, scholarships, and flexible pathways to efficient degree completion.
Eligible students can earn up 30 credit hours for prior learning and life experience.
What is an associate’s degree?
Typically, an associate’s degree requires the completion of 60 credit hours of general education courses and specialized coursework in a chosen field. The degree usually can be accomplished in approximately two years of full-time study and serves as a foundation for further education or as a pathway to enter the workforce in various fields.
The three main types of associate’s degrees include:
- Associate of Arts (AA) – This degree usually focuses on liberal arts, humanities, and social sciences. It is often pursued by students who plan to transfer to a four-year college or university to complete a bachelor’s degree in these fields.
- Associate of Science (AS) – This degree emphasizes science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) subjects. It is commonly pursued by students who plan to transfer to a four-year college or university to complete a bachelor’s degree in a related field.
- Associate of Applied Science (AAS) – This degree is designed to provide students with specific skills and practical knowledge for direct entry into the workforce. It is less focused on transferring to a four-year institution and more on preparing graduates for immediate employment in various fields, such as healthcare, technology, or business.
How do I find a reputable online associate’s degree program?
Choosing a reputable online associate’s degree program involves considering several factors to ensure the program meets your needs, provides quality education, and is recognized by potential employers. Here are some things to research:
Ensure the program is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, which ensures the institution meets established standards of quality. Accreditation is crucial for credit transfers, financial aid, and ensuring your degree is recognized by employers. In the United States, regional accreditation is considered the gold standard. At MACU, all online associate’s degrees are accredited through the Higher Learning Commission.
Research the school’s reputation, including its track record of successful graduates, faculty credentials, and the overall standing of the institution. Learn more about MACU, our history, and our instructors.
Review the program’s curriculum and course offerings to ensure they align with your career goals and interests. Look for programs that provide a balance of theoretical knowledge and practical skills relevant to your desired field. Every degree program page on MACU’s site also provides a complete list of classes and course descriptions.
Consider the flexibility of the program, including scheduling options, course delivery formats, and the ability to study part-time. This is particularly important if you need to balance your education with work or family commitments. At MACU, our online associate’s degrees were designed for busy adults. Our online students finish faster and save money through:
- Taking just one class at a time in consecutive order
- Earning up to 30 credits for life experience
- Veteran and military friendly options
- Minimal upfront fees
Investigate the support services available for online students, such as academic advising, tutoring, career services, and technical support. Reputable programs like the ones offered at MACU provide comprehensive support for their online students to ensure their success.
If you plan to continue your education and pursue a bachelor’s degree, verify that the credits earned in the online associate’s degree program will transfer to your chosen four-year college or university. MACU makes this process as simple as possible for our students.
Explore the financial aid options available, including scholarships, grants, and loans, to help fund your education. A reputable program like MACU’s offers a range of financial aid opportunities to eligible students.
Although you’re studying online, consider programs that provide opportunities to connect with fellow students, faculty, and professionals in your field. At MACU, we are committed to helping all students establish these critical networks, which will prove valuable when seeking employment or advancement.
What are the benefits of earning an associate’s degree?
Earning an associate’s degree offers several benefits, which can vary depending on your goals and circumstances. Some of the key benefits include:
- Better career opportunities: Graduates with an associate’s degree can more easily access a range of entry-level jobs in various industries, such as healthcare, technology, business, and more. These jobs often have better prospects and higher salaries compared to those available to high school diploma holders.
- Lower time investment: Whether you choose to take classes online or on campus, an associate’s degree will help you enter the workforce faster than a four-year bachelor’s degree program.
- Flexibility: At MACU, all our associate’s degrees are available online, making it easier for you to balance your education with work, family, and other commitments. If you decide to go on for a bachelor’s degree, you can easily continue at MACU. Many of our four-year programs are also available online.
- Smaller class sizes: At MACU, you’ll benefit from smaller class sizes and more personalized attention and support from our instructors. This applies to both our on-campus associate degrees and our online associate degrees.
- Networking opportunities: We are committed to helping all MACU students establish connections with classmates, instructors, and professionals in their industry, which will prove valuable when seeking employment or advancement.
- Personal growth: As a faith-based university, MACU instructors provide many opportunities for students to grow in their faith and in their critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills. This is valuable in both professional and personal contexts.
- Access to resources: MACU’s on-campus and online associate degree programs include personal and academic support services, including tutoring, career counseling, library access, and more.
What is the comparative earning potential of an associate’s degree?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2020 the median weekly earnings for someone with an associate’s degree were $887, compared to $746 for someone with a high school diploma and $1,248 for someone with a bachelor’s degree. Over a lifetime, the difference in earnings can be significant.
It’s important to note that earning potential varies by the specific field of study and occupation. Some associate’s degree holders in high-demand fields, such as healthcare or technology, may earn more than bachelor’s degree holders in lower-paying fields.
How do employers view associate’s degrees in the job market?
Employers’ perceptions of associate’s degrees in the job market can vary depending on the industry, the specific job, and the individual employer. However, many employers view associate’s degrees positively and recognize their value for certain roles and industries. As the job market evolves and the demand for skilled professionals grows, associate’s degrees can become increasingly valuable for both job seekers and employers. Some of the key considerations are:
Relevance to the Job
Employers are likely to view an associate’s degree favorably if it is directly relevant to the job and provides the necessary skills and knowledge for the position. For instance, an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in a specialized field, such as nursing or computer technology, can make candidates well-qualified for specific roles.
Skills and Knowledge
Associate’s degrees can equip graduates with specialized skills and practical knowledge that are valued by employers, particularly in industries with a demand for trained professionals.
Pathway to Further Education
In some cases, employers may view an associate’s degree as a stepping stone to further education, such as a bachelor’s degree. If an employee plans to continue their education while working, some employers may even offer tuition assistance or other support.
Will employers view an online associate’s degree differently than a traditional degree?
In recent years, the perception of online degrees has improved significantly, and many employers now recognize and accept online degrees as equivalent to traditional degrees. Reports from Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, and Inside Higher Ed support this.
Here are a few factors that can impact how employers view online associate’s degrees:
- Accreditation of the program
- Reputation of the institution
- Program quality and rigor
- Industry norms in your field of interest
While the perception of online degrees has improved, it’s essential to research your specific industry and potential employers to understand how your online associate’s degree will be viewed. Choosing an accredited, reputable program with a strong curriculum like MACU’s can help ensure that your degree is well-received by employers.