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.

Proficiency in English as a Second Language Specialized Diploma  

Policy:  In order to earn the Proficiency in English as a Second Language Specialized Diploma, students must pass the following courses with a B- (80%) or better in each course:

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 may be established for 1, 2, 3 or 4 credits and will have a course designation of 19X or 29X.
  • The courses are entitled “Special Studies in (Departmental Name)”.  On the schedule and the transcript, the name of the specific topic would be included after the course title, e.g. Special Studies in Economics – Econometrics.
  • Students may apply a maximum of 12 credit hours of Special Studies toward a degree.  Special Studies topics which are later approved as separate courses in substantially the same form shall not be counted toward this limit.
  • A Special Studies course may be offered once, or upon the approval of the Dean, twice.   A Special Studies course may not compete with an existing college course of equal description or another Special Studies course.
  • In departments that do not already have Special Studies courses, the provision for such courses may be established within each department by means of a Curriculum Committee proposal submitted through normal channels. 
  • To propose a specific Special Studies course, follow the procedures listed below:  The steps must be completed before the publication deadline for the schedule for the semester in which the course is to be offered.
  • A faculty member wishing to offer a Special Studies course must submit a completed course outline to the Division Dean
  • After approval by the Dean, the course outline is considered by the appropriate cluster. 
  • The Cluster will decide the appropriateness of the offering and recommend to the Dean the semester of offering.
  • The recommendations of the Cluster are forwarded by the Division Dean to the curriculum committee for approval.