Program Information

All the academic programs within the College are designed to help you meet your goals. Northampton offers programs that will transfer to four-year colleges and universities, as well as those that prepare you to step right into today's competitive work force.

At Northampton, all curricula have a general education component that serves as a solid base for your education. In addition, in each academic program, you will find that the majority of courses give you specific skills and training designed to prepare you to meet your transfer or career objectives.

The College's faculty are specialists who make teaching their first priority. You'll gain knowledge in your chosen subject area from a combination of classroom lectures, group projects, and hands-on laboratory work. You will also benefit from the expertise of members of our advisory committees, composed of successful individuals from the region who advise the College about particular changes in the workplace.

General Education Core Curriculum

The General Education Core Curriculum is an essential component of all degree programs. Courses in the Core fall into two broad categories: Knowledge of Arts, Cultures and the Natural World, and Intellectual and Practical Skills. Students are exposed to a broad range of academic disciplines and fields of study in order to provide a strong foundation of content knowledge and intellectual skills. Certificate programs usually require six credits of general education courses.

Transfer Education

Many of Northampton's courses are designed to transfer to four-year institutions; that is, they contain roughly the same material as similar courses at those institutions. Students who intend to continue their education after Northampton should take as many transferable courses as possible within A.A. or A.S. degree programs. The receiving institution ultimately determines the transferability of courses. It is advisable that students consult early with the Admissions Office of the institution to which they plan to transfer.

Technical Education

Technical education or career education describes a category of courses designed to develop highly skilled graduates prepared for entry-level positions in a particular occupation or group of occupations. Northampton's career education programs, which prepare students for employment immediately upon graduation, usually contain a strong complement of technical education courses. These courses carry credit toward the associate in applied science and associate in general education degrees. They are not designed for transfer.

Developmental Education

Developmental education helps students learn the skills needed for success in college-level courses. These skills include the essentials of reading, writing, and mathematics, and proven strategies for achieving their academic goals.

Developmental education services are provided through these means:

  • Placement testing in math, reading, and English determines the eligibility of students for developmental courses.
  • Some courses numbered below 100 (0XX) are designed to allow students to remedy specific deficiencies in mathematics, reading, and writing. Among them are PreAlgebra, Elementary Algebra, Intermediate Algebra, Reading Fundamentals, Critical Reading, Basic English, and Chemical Calculations. NOTE: While courses below 100 each carry credit for determining student load and for financial aid, those credits may not be applied to any degree or certificate granted by the College.
  • The Learning Center provides tutoring, workshops, and study skills support to promote the academic success of developmental students. Tutoring options include study groups, classroom tutors, Supplemental Instruction, individual appointments, walk-in hours, and online hours.

English as a Second Language

The College supports English language learners by offering courses for college credit through the English as a Second Language (ESL) Department. Students work toward proficiency in reading, writing, and speaking skills. Course work ranges from the beginner level through the advanced level and prepares students to succeed in other college courses or in communities of their choice. Students are supported with tutoring services, a computerized language lab, and academic advising, all with a special attention to the needs of English language learners. Higher levels of ESL can be taken at the same time as other college courses upon the recommendation of an ESL advisor. Students take an ESL placement test to assist with proper placement into classes.

Special Studies and Special Topics Courses

In some semesters the College offers special studies courses, of one to four credits, that are designed to give variety to the present curriculum and reflect current interests. Special studies courses are offered by almost all of the College's academic departments. The specific topic to be covered is announced at the time a special studies course is scheduled, along with any applicable enrollment requirements or prerequisites. Up to 12 credits of special studies courses may be applied to a student's program, insofar as they fit into the program requirements. (A special studies course may be repeated if a different specific topic is offered.) Special studies courses that are later approved as on-going courses in substantially the same form will not be counted toward the 12-credit limit.