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What Will I Learn?

By successfully completing an associate degree with emphasis in astronomy you will have the ability to:

  • Transfer your skills to a four-year bachelor's degree-granting astronomy program.
  • Interpret and apply basic principles and laws governing the natural world.
  • Perform experiments using common laboratory techniques and analyze their results.
  • Creatively apply mathematics to solve science based problems.
  • Critically evaluate and analyze information.
  • Communicate scientific ideas and solutions effectively both in writing and verbally.

What Is The Occupational Outlook?

People with degrees in astronomy are usually employed as researchers or technicians by a wide variety of industries including government, higher education, telecommunication, and industrial manufacturing. The current outlook is that the demand for people with degrees in astronomy will grow more slowly than average. For more detailed information, including salary ranges, go to the U.S. Department of Labor Web site. 1

What Are My Options?

The associate degree with emphasis in astronomy is designed for students planning to complete the first two years of study leading to a baccalaureate degree and major in astronomy at a four-year college or university.

Courses completed in the associate in science degree at Heartland may be transferred to a four-year bachelor's degree granting institution to pursue an astronomy degree. Starting your course work at Heartland Community College has several advantages that include:

  • Small class sizes: Small classes allow for more interaction between students and the instructor. At a large university, lecture sections can be as large as 500 students.
  • More access to a dedicated, highly qualified instructor: Most large universities employ graduate students as teaching assistants who have little or no experience teaching.
  • Lower costs: Tuition and fees are considerably less at Heartland Community College.
  • Being prepared for junior and senior level work: The course content in Heartland's astronomy courses is identical to that at any four-year institution. After transferring, community college students perform slightly better than native students at their respective institutions, based on GPA data.

  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Physicists and Astronomers, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos052.htm