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History of the Associate in Arts Program

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50 Years of Educational Excellence at Unparalleled Value

Female students smiling in cap and gown at UD commencement

​​​​​​​​​​​

Five decades ago, the Delaware legislature asked the University of Delaware to establish a program in Southern Delaware that would offer the citizens of Sussex County access to a four-year degree without having to go to Newark. In 1966, the University and the State of Delaware established a partnership in the form of the University of Delaware Parallel Program.

This program, housed on the Owens Campus of Delaware Technical Community College but administered by the University of Delaware and staffed exclusively by UD faculty, opened its doors in 1967. The Parallel Program gave students in southern Delaware the opportunity to take their first two years of college in Georgetown at a substantially reduced tuition rate, after which they could relocate to the Newark campus to complete a four-year degree.

By 1971, the Parallel Program had expanded to the DTCC campus in Wilmington, and in 1985, the program was established at DTCC's Terry Campus in Dover. The Wilmington campus expanded to offer classes at the UD Downtown Center in addition to its location with Wilmington's DTCC campus. In 2021, the Wilmington campus moved to the 8th and 9th floors of the Community Education Building, located in the heart of Wilmington's business district.​

In 2005, the Parallel Program became the UD Associate in Arts Program (AAP). Although it is similar to the Parallel Program in many ways, the AAP provides additional key benefits and opportunities: Like the Parallel Program, the AAP offers UD courses, taught exclusively by UD faculty, in small classes at the Community Education Building in Wilmington and on DTCC campuses in Georgetown and Dover. However, students in the AAP earn an associate's degree after earning 60 credits in the core courses that are required of all UD undergrads. The AAP also offers a pathway for future teachers in the Elementary Teacher Education (ETE) Program at our Georgetown and Wilmington campuses. Students interested in nursing can take advantage of our dual-admissions partnership with Beebe Healthcare's Margaret H. Rollins School of Nursing, a program available at our Georgetown campus.​

The AAP continues to grow, making a quality University of Delaware education more accessible than ever​​ to students in Kent, Sussex, and New Castle counties. The faculty and staff of the AAP are proud to continue this tradition of educational excellence for students across the state.​


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