Center for Continuing Studies - Innovative Leadership for Lifelong Learning

Center for Continuing Studies - Innovative Leadership for Lifelong Learning - St. Cloud State University

Degree options


The Pathways Program for Incarcerated Students offers two degree options:

  • The Associate in Arts degree is intended to provide a broad liberal arts and sciences background. AA programs require completion of the general education program and additional credits to total at least 60 semester credit hours. The AA program may serve as the foundation for a bachelor's degree.
  • The Associate in Science degree program provides students an opportunity to design their own two year programs of study. It requires a minimum of 30 general education credits selected from at least six of the ten goal areas of the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum and the completion of 30 additional credits, excluding credits in courses numbered below 100. The AS Degree is not intended to be a transfer degree, and students wishing to us it as a basis for an Associate of Arts or Bachelor's degree may be required to complete additional general education courses and other university requirements

Credits earned from other accredited colleges and universities may, upon approval, be applied toward the student’s SCSU degree program.


What Can I do with an Associate Degree?
An associate degree is an academic degree awarded by many community colleges, junior colleges, and some bachelor degree seeking institutions. It is roughly the equivalent of the first two years of a four-year program. An Associate of Arts degree is specifically intended to transfer to a four-year college, where students then declare a major in their area of interest and work toward a bachelor's degree.

According to a study done by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, the national rate of recidivism for inmates is 60%. This rate dropped to 13.7% for associate degree holders, 5.6% for bachelor degree holders, and 0% for those with a master's degree.

The degrees offered through the Pathways Program for Incarcerated Students can be used as a stepping stone to further education or solely as a means for personal growth and development.

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