What is a double major or a dual objective:

  • A double major is a student enrolling in 2 degrees at the same time and at the same school.  For example a BS in Criminal Justice with a BS in Forensic Science
  • A dual objective is a student enrolling in and pursuing a degree and an Non College Degree NCD (certificate or diploma) at the same time and at the same school.  For example an AAS in Criminal Justice and a certificate in Forensic Science.

When is a double major or dual objective allowed:

  • The school allows double majors and/or dual objectives per their school policy.
  • Both programs are approved at your school by the NC SAA.
  • Both programs can reasonably be said to lead to the same career field.
    • NOTE: VA has now stated that If a student is in a general AA or AS program it can be used as a double major with most other programs as they can reasonably relate to any career field.  Two AAS degrees would still need to reasonably relate to the same career field however.

And in addition for dual objectives only:

  • No further action by the SAA is needed before certifying the dual objective to VA If the dual objective is specifically listed in a school’s catalog as a program offered and the catalog and program is approved by NC SAA.
  • No further action by the SAA is needed before certifying the dual objective to VA If the school’s catalog doesn’t specifically list the dual objective program but the following conditions are met:
    • The NC SAA approved catalog has a provision for dual objectives and
    • The procedure to follow to get institutional approval for the dual objective is clearly specified and
    • The student followed the requirements to pursue the dual objective
  • If there is no provision for dual objectives in the catalog but your school allows it then the SAA would have to approve the dual objective on an individual basis.  In such a case you will need to reach out to your SAA Program Specialist for approval before certifying the dual objective to VA.  Keep the approval for the dual objective from the SAA in the student’s file.
 

How VA’s policy that all programs must be in WEAMS affects these programs: 

In the past you were instructed to create a program name in VA Once that encompassed both Degree names for a double majors or the degree name and certificate/diploma name in VA Once when certifying dual objectives.  You should now do the following:
  • For a double major or dual objective that is specifically listed in a school’s catalog as a program offered make sure to provide that information to the SAA with your catalog reapproval and I will add those double majors or dual objectives to WEAMS as I would any other program.
    •  Under this scenario create a name under your Standard Programs in VA Once that encompasses both names.  For example an AAS in Criminal Justice and an AAS in Forensic Science might be added as AAS Crim Just/AAS Forensic Sci.  Try to abbreviate as little as the character limitations allow.
  • For a double major that is not specifically listed in your catalog as a program offered by your school but that meets the criteria for certification above, you do not need to provide anything to the SAA but only certify the student under one of the degree names in VA Once.
  • For a dual objective that is not specifically listed in your catalog as a program offered by your school but that meets the criteria for certification and the degree is approved under the same type of hours as the NCD (ie both are approved in quarters or both are approved in semesters) certify only the degree program name in VA Once.
    • NOTE: You must ensure that you do not certify the NCD program for more hours than the SAA has approved.  NCD length is checked on compliance surveys and you will be cited and debts will be created if an NCD program is certified for more hours than approved.
  • For a dual objective that is not specifically listed in your catalog as a program offered by your school but it meets the criteria for certification and where the degree is not approved under the same type of hours as the NCD (ie the degree is approved in semesters or quarters but the NCD is approved in clock hours) both names must be certified to VA or there will be issues if the student has terms where they are only enrolled in the clock hour NCD.
    • Create a name under your Standard Programs in VA Once that encompasses both names.  For example an AAS in Criminal Justice and a certificate in Forensic Science might be added as AAS Crim Just/Forensic Sci cert.  Try to abbreviate as little as the character limitations allow.
    • I would also suggest adding a remark such as  “student is pursuing the dual objective of an AAS in Criminal Justice and a certificate in Forensic Science.”
    • Email me the name of the dual objective as you entered it into VA Once so that I can add it to WEAMS.
  • Ensure that the degree plan, course outline etc for all programs the student is enrolled in are in the student’s file for compliance survey purposes.

Graduating Students in VA Once: 

When a person is officially pursuing a double major those two degrees then becomes one single program of education.  So the school reports graduation when the student has graduated from the program of education, i.e., once both degrees are earned.  So if the student earns one degree before the other, the school does not report graduation until the student receives the second degree.
 
The same would hold true for dual objectives.  The school will graduate the student once both the degree and the certificate/diploma have been completed.