Background: I was born and raised in the United Kingdom and have a number of GCSEs and A-Levels. I am now living in the United States (by marriage/green card), and am looking to apply for jobs. Some of the jobs that have just caught my eye was Tutoring either Writing or Study Skills, at a community college. One job has the following requirement:
Documented two-year degree from a regionally accredited institution or its equivalent (junior level status at a college or university)
So, I am wondering, could my A-levels could be considered the equivalent of a US Associates degree?. I realise this is somewhat ambitious (especially as I only have two A-levels and a one-year BTEC roughly equivalent to an AS; but I do have other educational work experience)
I am aware there is no official rulebook for equivalency, the US Department of Education states it (source), but I am hoping there may be some unofficial but persuasive equivalency out there – like an agreement made by all the Russell Group universities or their US equivalent, or a court case, or something else quite decisive.
A summary of my reasoning and research so far is as follows:
Arguments For A-Level = Associates
- The University of Michigan will accept Freshmen who only have 5 GCSE’s (source), putting the beginning of A-levels on par with beginning a Bachelor’s as a Freshman. (However they add that “IF A-levels are being taken”, give predicted grades…)
Arguments For A-Level = High School
- A-Levels are completed at 18 years old, the same as the US High School Diploma
Arguments For A-Level = Something In Between High School and Associate’s
UCAS in 2013 listed the US High School Diploma as being equivalent to GCSEs, but gives UCAS points for US Advanced Placement Tests anywhere between 20 and 120 points (on the old UCAs system, 120 was one A-level at A grade, source), without giving points for Associate Degrees (presumably because they are too high?) (source from University of the Arts, London)
Various students have stated that their institutes have treated A-Levels as being equivalent to US Advanced Placement courses (anecdotal sources)
Chavagnes Private School (UK) states without source that UCAS treat AP as A-level; and also mention that a student with A-levels could expect to find themselves discounted for some of the first year’s work of a ‘university’. (source)
A US Associate’s Degree is listed as being equivalent to a UK HNC, that is, equivalent to the first year of a UK Bachelor’s Degree. (source from an e-learning provider) That is, above A-levels, but not by much.
I have asked my American wife, who completed two AP’s while in high school, what the different grades and groups for the Advanced Placements, given in the UCAS document, actually mean, and she doesn’t know.
If there is any more evidence I can use in addition to the above fragments, especially statements by a university like my one from Michigan, I would be very grateful for them to be provided.