What is Degree Matters?

Degree Matters is a partnership of Arkansas Community Colleges and its 22 member colleges across the state. The goal is to increase the number of Arkansans with college-level education that leads to meaningful, well-paying careers.

Why should I attend a community college?

First thing’s first: You will save a lot of money. Community college tuition is less than half the cost of university tuition. And with rising student loan debt all over the news, saving money and staying close to home just makes sense.

Community college has more to offer than you think. Yes, you can take general education courses that transfer to a university. You can also pursue career specific training such as nursing, business, technology, and much more. This training is college-level work that will add to your transcript, and much of it can be completed in fewer than two years. That gets you to a well-paying career faster AND cheaper.

Other benefits include online degree options, smaller class sizes, extra-curricular activities, and faculty and staff that care about your success.

What is an Associate degree?

There are several types of Associate degrees. An Associate of Arts is equal to completing the first two years of general education courses at ANY public Arkansas college or university. In other words, it doesn’t matter where you get it – it’s the same thing. Other Associate degrees are available to help you prepare for a specific career field, but they may or may not transfer to a university.

What is short-term training?

Short-term training for specific career fields can be completed in fewer than two years. A Technical Certificate takes at least one year, and a Certificate of Proficiency takes less than a year. Both certificates are college-level credentials that add to your transcript. Many community college credentials are stackable, meaning that completing a Certificate is the first step to completing an Associate Degree. That’s perfect for getting that higher-paying job WHILE you continue working on your degree.

Ok, sounds good. How do I get started?

Taking that first step can be scary, but community college personnel are there for you every step of the way. The first thing you need to do is complete an application for admission to the college of your choice. After that, you can talk to an advisor about your interests and develop a plan to get you to that dream career you’ve always wanted.

See our “map” page for community college contact information.