A close friend of mine is investigating Associate Degrees in Mathematics with the goal of assessing the plausibility of offering an online A.A.S. at a US institution. I'm curious if anyone here has any experience with such a degree and/or ideas about how to best set-up such a degree. My knee-jerk reaction to the question is that such a 2-year degree would mainly be intended as a transitional degree with the aim of entering a 4-year program in:

  • engineering
  • actuarial
  • mathematics
  • finance

With these goals in mind I would expect Calculus I, II and possibly III should be required as well as an entry-level linear algebra course. Probably Calculus-based statistics and discrete math would be wise as well. I would also want differential equations. It might be the A.A.S. should allow several varieties depending on the targeted transition.

Again, thoughts on how to set-up an A.A.S in Math or experience you have in dealing with such a program would be quite helpful to my friend. Thanks!

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    $\begingroup$ @JoelReyesNoche Associate in Applied Science or American Astronomy Society etc. Probably the first one though. Often this is a degree earned by technicians in engineering fields of various flavors. $\endgroup$ – James S. Cook Apr 14 '18 at 13:57

Yes, the A.S. in Mathematics at my community college is pretty much exactly as you expect (I'm the head of assessment for this particular academic degree; CUNY/Kingsborough in NYC, USA). See requirements here (must click through to PDF; apologies for it not being HTML).

One corrected observation: The number of students taking such a degree is miniscule (maybe the smallest single major at our college?). This means that we can't support any course with only math majors as the clientele; every course must be a support course with mostly engineering and computer science majors, etc. There isn't any flexibility for offering different varieties of the major (which would instantly resolve as one-per-individual-student). There is no calculus-based statistics at our community college, or others with which I'm familiar.

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    $\begingroup$ Thanks Daniel. This is helpful. I suppose it makes more sense for such students to take a higher level stats sequence when they continue their education. There is just not that wide an audience for calculus-based statistics. I forget that calculus is a "higher" math course for most folks... I must admit, it is disappointing, when I was younger I had this idea of university as something to look up to that only some people could hack. How wrong I was. $\endgroup$ – James S. Cook Apr 16 '18 at 3:25

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