AA Degree in the high school through YVC and ZHS

ZHS is proud to announce that students can earn an AA degree from Yakima Valley College while in high school – AND – by taking all but THREE classes directly on the ZHS campus! 

Known as a “Direct-Transfer AA Degree”, this degree is for students who intend to then transfer to a 4-year university with all general education requirements completed and with “Junior” class standing.
While a Running Start AA option is well established, this is different. This program allows students to take the vast majority of their classes at ZHS and still earn an AA.
Here is how it works:

An Associate of Arts Degree (AA Degree) from Yakima Valley College requires 90 college credits, 30 of which must be earned through YVC. The remaining 60 credits can be transfer credits from other colleges. In addition, the credits must be in certain disciplines.

ZHS has created several partnerships to help students earn the needed credits. 

First is a program called College in the High School. These courses are earned through either Central Washington University or Eastern Washington University. The courses are taught on our campus by our teachers. ZHS students can apply 60 of these credits towards the AA Degree in the appropriate categories. Whatever grade the student earns in the class is the grade they receive on their college transcript. There are no costs to students or families for College in the High School courses!

Second is a partnership with Yakima Valley College to offer CTE Dual Credit classes. These classes are also taught on our campus by our teachers. However, students must earn a “B” or better in these courses to receive college credit. Up to 10 credits can be applied to the AA Degree. There are no costs to students or families for CTE Dual Credit courses!

With 60 credits from College in the High School and 10 credits from CTE Dual Credit, that leaves 20 credits remaining.

ZHS students can then take advantage of the Running Start program to take the remaining classes directly from YVC – either online or in-person on the YVC campus. Running Start courses do have a small fee: $67.50 per 5-credit class, plus books (and potentially transportation if taking the class on YVC’s campus).

That means an AA Degree from YVC for a ZHS student could cost less than $500! (Assuming four classes at $67.50 = $270, plus books).
Please watch this video for more details about the program:

Please also see the links below for documents referenced in the video