The Associate in Arts Degree

The Associate in Arts (AA) degree is a two-year transfer liberal arts degree consisting of at least 60 semester credits at the 100- and 200-levels.

To earn an AA degree, Windward Community College students must complete 60 credits in courses numbered 100 or above with a grade point average of at least 2.0.  Students who are awarded an AA degree from a UH Community College must have a community college cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher for all course work taken in fulfillment of AA degree requirements.

At least 12 of the credits for the AA degree must be earned at Windward Community College. No more than 12 credits in any combination of independent study or cooperative education may apply to the degree requirements. Credits must be earned in the required areas.

Program Learning Outcomes

Global and Cultural Awareness

Develop the ability to perceive how people interact with their cultural and natural environments, through their own worldview and through the worldviews of others, in order to analyze how individuals and groups function in local and global contexts. Specific outcomes in Global and Cultural Awareness may include:

  • Analyze and empathize with the attitudes and beliefs of other cultures
  • Identify instances where cultural norms affect cross­-cultural communication
  • Explore how various factors shape a culture’s development and values and one’s sense of place
  • Take an active role in the community (work, service, co-curricular activities)

Critical Thinking and Creativity

Make judgments, solve problems, and reach decisions using analytical, critical, and creative thinking skills. Specific outcomes in Critical Thinking and Creativity may include:

  • Identify challenges and problems and find solutions through creative exploration, scientific and quantitative reasoning, and other forms of inquiry
  • Analyze complex ideas to arrive at reasoned conclusions
  • Use creative processes to discover potential and to express ideas and beliefs


Use written, visual, and oral communication to discover, develop, and communicate meaning, and to respond respectfully to the ideas of others in multiple environments.  Specific outcomes in Communication may include:

  • Listen to, comprehend, interpret, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate ideas
  • Present ideas in a variety of formats, including written, oral, and visual
  • Convey ideas and facts to a variety of audiences in various contexts

Information Literacy

Identify information needed in a variety of situations, and access, evaluate, and use relevant information effectively and responsibly.  Specific outcomes in information Literacy may include:

  • Determine the nature and extent of information needed in order to accomplish a goal
  • Use appropriate resources and methods to access and acquire relevant information
  • Critically evaluate information and its sources
  • Organize, synthesize, and communicate information to achieve a specific purpose
  • Apply ethical, legal, and social standards when using information and information technology

General Education Core Requirements

Written and Oral Communications

Individuals need various modes of expression. These areas provide for the development of clear and effective written and oral communication skills.

REQUIREMENT: Three (3) credits in English 100 and three (3) credits selected from SP 151, 181, 231, 251, 253 or THEA 222.

Quantitative Reasoning

Effective Fall 2018, Quantitative Reasoning (FQ) replaces Symbolic Reasoning (FS) as a General Education Core requirement. To ensure there is adequate time for students who entered the UH System prior to Fall 2018 to complete their FS requirements, FS and FS-FQ courses will be offered through 2020 at UH community colleges.

The primary goal of FQ courses is to develop mathematical reasoning skills at the college level. Students apply mathematical concepts to the interpretation and analysis of quantifiable information in order to solve a wide range of problems arising in pure and applied research in specific disciplines, professional settings, and/or daily life.

Students entering the UH System in Fall 2018 and beyond may select courses from either the FS-FQ or FQ categories. Students who entered the UH System prior to Fall 2018 and have been continuously enrolled should refer to their original catalog year requirements. Students should contact their designated School/College academic or faculty advisor for more information.

REQUIREMENT: Three (3) credits from FQ designated courses

Global and Multicultural Perspectives

Global and multicultural perspectives courses provide thematic treatments of global processes and cross-cultural interactions from a variety of perspectives. Students will gain a sense of human development from prehistory to modern times through consideration of narratives and artifacts of and from diverse cultures. At least one component of each of these courses will involve the indigenous cultures of Hawai‘i, the Pacific, or Asia.

REQUIREMENT: Six (6) credits must come from two of three Global & Multicultural Perspectives groups: FGA, FGB, or FGC

Arts and Humanities

Through study of artistic, literary, and philosophical masterworks and by examining the development of significant civilizations, cultures, and the nature of human communication, students should gain an appreciation of history and achievements. This experience should enable the student to approach future studies of a more specific character with a broadened perspective.

REQUIREMENT: A total of six (6) credits selected from two of three groups: Arts, Humanities, or Literature

Natural Sciences

A scientifically literate person should know what science is, how scientific investigation is conducted, and that the activity of a scientist is a blend of creativity and rigorous thinking. Experimental investigations in the laboratory provide the student with first-hand experience with the scientific method and research.

REQUIREMENT: Minimum of six (6) credits. Must include a biological science course, a physical science course, and a laboratory/field trip course

Social Sciences

Every educated person should have some appreciation of the role of culture and social institutions in the shaping of individual personality and the creation of social identities. Students should also develop an understanding of the extent to which scientific inquiry is appropriate to the creation of social knowledge and of the alternative ways of organizing human institutions and interpreting social reality.

REQUIREMENT: A total of six (6) credits made up of two or more courses from two different subject areas

Writing Intensive Courses

Writing Intensive (WI) Courses are part of a University of Hawai‘i systemwide movement to incorporate more writing in courses from all disciplines. A WI course is a discipline-specific course in which writing plays a major integrated role. Students in course sections designated as a “WI” (preceding the course title in the Schedule of Classes) learn to understand course content through writing and to write in ways appropriate to that discipline.  English 100 is a prerequisite before students take the two required WI courses for the Associate in Arts degree. Students transferring to some bachelor’s degree campuses in the UH system may bring two or three WI courses with them to count for the bachelor’s degree. The hallmarks of a writing intensive course are:

  • Writing promotes learning of course content
  • Writing is considered to be a process in which multiple drafts are encouraged
  • Writing contributes significantly to each student’s course grade
  • Students do a substantial amount of writing, a minimum of 4,000 words. Depending on the types of writing appropriate to the discipline, students may write critical essays or reviews, journal entries, lab reports, research reports or reaction papers

To allow for meaningful teacher-student interaction on each student’s writing, the class is restricted to 20 students.

REQUIREMENT: Two Writing Intensive (WI) courses are required