students working in class

Associate in a year

Your College. Your Way.

Earn your associate in art degree in one year! Choose to take classes in person, online, or hybrid; it’s up to you! Enroll each year in the spring or fall.

The Associate in Arts in a Year Program is an affordable, customized, and efficient opportunity to earn your AA degree in one year. The price of the program is normally capped at $1,500, with no cost for textbooks. This year, we are offering financial support for your tuition, books & fees and you will attend for free! All materials are online. Classes are pre-selected and offer a flexible schedule that meets the needs of people from all different backgrounds, from students fresh out of high school to full-time professionals.

Classes in AA in a Year are paired to highlight common themes and ideas between subjects. Collaboration between the faculty offer creative and extraordinary learning experiences that enforce engagement and reveal surprising lessons. For example, you can learn about storytelling in Spanish culture while taking Storytelling and Elementary Spanish II.

AA in a Year is also a learning community. Students in the program take a year of classes together, which allows them to support each other and form meaningful bonds. Group members lift each other up, and thereby lift themselves up. The community model in AA in a Year embodies the famous quote from Booker T. Washington: “If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.”

The Associate in Arts in a Year Program offers an accessible, unique, and enriching college experience that gets you on the fast-track to achieving your future goals and dreams.

View the program director on the Charlotte Today Show:

Miranda_AAYI chose the AAY program because I knew it was an incredible new program that would help me achieve my future goals. Even though at the time, I wasn’t sure what those goals were. I was in a place where I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, and my educational career and current career plan were put on hold.

I knew I didn’t want to give up on my goals, but I also knew I didn’t want to be stagnant. When I heard about the opportunity to earn an Associate in Arts degree in just a year, I was very intrigued. I figured I would give it a shot. Perhaps I could earn this degree and transfer it to get a 4-year degree in a totally different field than I had anticipated. If nothing else, it would add to my educational repertoire.

I didn’t know if I would be able to manage this program, but I am so glad I made the decision to continue my educational path! I’m not sure where this program will take me, but I am glad that I am taking advantage of it. Not only is this an incredible opportunity time wise, but financially this program is unlike any other. This program has really helped me develop my time management skills, and I feel so accomplished every time I finish an accelerated course. I am very excited knowing I am getting closer and closer to earning my Associates degree. I know this program is opening many doors for my future!


Fall 21 Enrollment IS CURRENTLY OPEN

  • Tuition, books, and fees are free through SPCC’s financial support.*
  • Students must complete FAFSA and apply all available financial aid first.
  • Priority deadline for enrollment – May 11.
  • Final deadline to enroll has been extended to August 9.
*NC residents only; all other students pay out-of-state tuition.

Get on the fast track

Finish your AA in one year!

Free Tuition

The year, we are offering financial support for your tuition, books, and fees. That's right, you will attend for free!

Online or seated

Choose the way you learn!

AAY Handbook

Find details about the AA in a Year accelerated degree program here.

about the Courses

  • Blended delivery, online and seated
  • No textbook costs
  • Class meeting times are T, Th 6-8:50pm and Saturday 9-11:50am
  • Most courses are 5 weeks long
  • Students take no more than two courses at a time
  • Only experienced professors invited to teach courses (Keep scrolling to read about them)
  • View a sample program plan
  • View a sample course *This is a sample program – specific courses are subject to change depending on instructor availability.
  • Learn more about transfer opportunities


The program is open to recent high school graduates, as well as adult learners, who meet certain academic requirements:

  • Earned a minimum 2.8 unweighted high school grade point average (GPA). Students who have a high school equivalency should inquire for eligibility requirements
  • Have not earned an associate degree or higher. Students may apply a maximum of 9 college credits towards the degree
  • Students applying for the program will be required to complete a virtual interview with the Director of AA in a Year

How to Apply

  1. Apply to SPCC. Select “AA” as the program of study.  Enrollment is open.
  2. Submit official high school and previous college transcripts. See our admission page for submission information.
  3. Apply for financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  4. Complete the interest form below on this site.
  5. Submit a 250-word essay explaining how an accelerated degree would help you achieve your educational and career goals. Submit completed essay to Ryan Brown, Program Director, at rbrown@spcc.edu.is
Contact Us

Taught by experienced professors

ansley adamsAnsley Adams is the Director of the Fine Arts program at South Piedmont Community College. There, she teaches a variety of subjects including Art History, Art Appreciation, and Studio Art. Ansley Adams received her MFA in Studio Art with an emphasis in Painting and Drawing from The University of South Carolina. She received her BA in Art Education from Wingate University.

In addition to being an art educator, Ansley Adams is also a professional artist, showing and selling her work internationally and nationally. In 2018 she was awarded a grant from the Arts Council of York County and has recently had solo exhibitions at Tapp’s Art Center (2018) and Winthrop University (2020). She has had work published in several publications including Studio Visit MagazineJasper Magazine, and Carolina Arts Magazine.  ​In her work, Ansley Adams seeks to embrace a positive awareness of self through honest exploration and expression.

Carl BishopCarl Bishop is an experienced teacher who puts students first.

Throughout his career, Carl has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in speech, intercultural communication, the rhetoric of war, political communication, research methods, journalism, public relations, corporate governance, and assessment in higher education.

In a 24 year teaching career, Carl directed speech programs and has written speech communication textbooks and supplements that have been used at colleges and universities across the country.

According to Carl, “Public speaking is a real fear for most people. I love helping students find their voices. We all have important things to say.  I am proud to help folks find ways to say them.”

Ryan BrownRyan Brown is originally from Chicago, Illinois, but he has lived in North Carolina for the past twenty-seven years. He is a former student of South Piedmont Community College. He graduated with his Associates in Arts degree from South Piedmont in 2008. He then went on to pursue a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, which he earned in 2011. Ryan continued his education at UNCC and earned a master’s degree in English in 2013. After graduating, he started teaching at SPCC in Fall 2013. In addition to teaching, he serves as an advisor to the Poetry Club, Film Club, and Gaming Club. Ryan is also the director of the First Year Experience program.

Fredrea Crawford-SmithFredrea Crawford-Smith graduated from the University of Missouri Kansas City (BS, Business Education and Secretarial Science, 1984), and then worked with the volunteer Income Tax Assistance (IRS). She provided free tax assistance to persons who could not afford professional tax help and assisted lower income, elderly, non-English speaking, and handicapped individuals.

As the Director of Financial Aid, at Watterson College, (1984-1987), Crawford-Smith supervised five employees, verified loans and Pell applications, collected over due accounts, and developed a program for student loan and deferment plans.

After graduation from Lindenwood College, St. Louis, MO (MBA, Masters in Finance and Management, 1990), she relocated to Charlotte, NC with American Express/First Data Corp/HBO & CO/McDonald Douglas Health System Group.

Crawford-Smith has served South Piedmont Community College for the last 21 years.  She is well-versed in a variety of course offerings and prides her self on preparing students, not only for class but for life.

William DickWilliam K. Dick  is a native of Albemarle, NC, and a graduate of Pfeiffer University (Class of 1983);  he also has an M.A. from UNC Greensboro.  He has taught at SPCC for twenty-seven years; he has also served as an adjunct at Pfeiffer University, Wingate University, Randolph Community College, and Montgomery Community College.  While his primary teaching duties are in American History and World Civilization “survey” courses, he has also taught courses in African-American History, North Carolina History, and The Second World War.    In his spare time, he sings with the Anson Singers in Wadesboro, and he also enjoys reading history books from his extensive personal library.  His areas of interest include military history, aviation history, naval history, and music history.  As the senior faculty member at SPCC, he serves as the Grand Marshal at the college’s  graduation ceremonies.  He has also served in the United States Coast Guard.

Victoria EfirdVictoria Efird is a full-time faculty member and Professor of English in the Humanities and Social Sciences Department at South Piedmont Community College. She earned degrees from East Carolina University and Appalachian State University and teaches Writing and Inquiry, Writing and Inquiry Support, and Transition English. Efird was promoted to full professor in 2016 and regards active learning and student engagement as essential for student success. She has served on many teams and committees including Faculty of the Year Committee, Core Skills Written Communication, Curriculum Educational Programs, and Chair of the Faculty Promotion and Rank team. She is co-author of “Ready to Read” educational reading software, published by Interactive Knowledge, Inc. and “Time to Read”, a reading video series published by Time Warner, Inc., and has edited three SPCC textbooks and instructional manuals. In addition, she has taught collegiate prep English courses. Her expertise in the areas of English and integrated reading and writing has afforded her opportunities to make presentations at regional, state, and national conferences. Her interests outside of the college include home decor, travel, music, and reading.

Tammy FraillyTammy Frailly graduated from Mitchell Community College in 1990 with an Associate in Arts degree. At Mitchell, she realized that she wanted to teach college writing and literature.

 In 1992, she earned a B.A. in English at UNC Charlotte and started a Master’s degree. While at UNCC, she worked as a graduate assistant in the English Department by tutoring in their Writing Center and teaching composition. After completing an M.A. in English, she taught composition and literature for UNCC, Mitchell Community College, Rowan Cabarrus Community College, Central Piedmont Community College, Wake Technical Community College, and in 2000, South Piedmont Community College, where she has worked as full-time English instructor, Program Coordinator for the Associate in Arts program, English Department Chair, Director of the Communication Center, and Director of Academic Enrichment Programs including ePortfolio, Honors, Global Scholars of Distinction, and Service Learning.

She has taught freshman composition, creative writing, technical writing, American, British, and World Literature, developmental English, English labs, college transfer success, and humanities courses.

As a member of the High Impact Educational Practices team, she works with Dr. Diane Paige, Ryan Brown, and Stephen Silvoy to provide our students with access to engaging learning experiences that prepare them for the future.

Her mission as an educator is to connect with students and create experiences that challenge them as thinkers and learners.

Jim McAlhaneyOriginally from Charleston, South Carolina, Jim presently lives in Indian Trail, North Carolina. Jim earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Montreat College in Montreat, NC. Since then, he has earned an M.S. degree in Guidance & Counseling (with additional graduate studies in Psychology) from the University of West Alabama and a M.A. in Religion from Reformed Theological Seminary. Jim worked in higher education as a guidance/admissions counselor for over 13 years and has been with SPCC since 2008 (full time since 2014). Prior to teaching with SPCC full time, Jim taught Psychology and Religion with the University of Phoenix for over 10 years and Psychology at Montreat College in Charlotte for a year. He is a current member of the North Carolina Community College Sociology and Psychology Association. In addition to teaching Psychology and Religion at SPCC, Jim has also served as a Master Advisor and each year leads Mindfulness Meditation seminars and a weekly meditation meeting on campus. Jim has also written on the subject of Mindfulness Meditation for the Positive Psychology Program online. Interestingly, his wife, Kristen is a teacher in the COMPASS Ed program at SPCC and his 28 year old daughter, Molly Olson is an adjunct Psychology instructor with SPCC. Teaching at South Piedmont is definitely a family affair for Jim.

angela mcneillAngela McNeill has taught at SPCC since fall 2017- but has been teaching math since 1995.  She taught secondary math at Scotland High School in Laurinburg, NC from 1995 until 2010.  She became an adjunct instructor at Robeson Community College in 2002 and then became a full time instructor there in the fall of 2010.  At Robeson Community College, she taught math and served as the Instructional Specialist at the Learning Center of RCC.  Before coming to SPCC, she worked at Northeastern Technical College in SC, from 2014 until the fall of 2017.  With every passing year it has become more important for her to be able to make even the smallest connection in a student’s knowledge and to meet them where they are as learners and usher them forward as far as they are willing to go. 

Diane PageDr. Diane Paige’s primary musical training was as a trumpeter and she earned a bachelor’s degree in music education.  After college, she performed semi-professionally but soon realized that her true passion lay in the classroom, not on the stage.   As a doctoral student in musicology, she specialized in the music of the Czech lands and lived abroad in the Czech Republic working on her dissertation, a study that focused the operas of the composer Leoš Janáček.  After graduate school, Dr. Paige moved to upstate New York, where she taught music history and world music for 20 years to both music majors and non-majors.  She recently joined South Piedmont in January 2020.

Dr. Paige believes that students learn best by doing and, to that end, she led music courses abroad to Ghana, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Italy, and Anguilla – British West Indies.  In order to engage students in the course material, she uses play in the form of role-playing, historical simulations, and games. Despite what they tell you, music history is anything but boring!      

She currently serves as the Dean of Arts & Sciences, the school under which the AA in a Year program is housed. 

Stephen Silvoy

Stephen Silvoy is an instructor for the Humanities and Social Sciences department and the Coordinator of Undergraduate and Faculty Research. He grew up in Gastonia, NC, and attended Ashbrook High School before attending ECU (BA in English) and then UNC-Charlotte (MA-English). While in graduate school at UNC-Charlotte, Stephen worked in academic support for the Athletic Department, the Writing Resource Center, and as a graduate assistant for the Campus Activities Board and English Department. He also attended the Shakespeare-in-Performance Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. He remained at UNCC and continued working with student-athletes and academic writers while also teaching English courses as an Adjunct Instructor. During the summer, Stephen worked for the Children’s Theater of Charlotte and Lindamood Bell Learning Processes before moving away from higher-ed to work exclusively as a Learning Specialist for students with learning differences. Stephen returned to higher education in 2018 and joined the faculty at SPCC in the Fall of 2019. Stephen lives in Charlotte, where he plays golf and tennis and cheers for his favorite sports teams: the ECU Pirates, Carolina Panthers, and NY Yankees. 

steven smithOriginally from Chicago, IL, Steven Smith earned a Bachelor’s degree from Eastern Illinois University in Health Studies, a Master’s degree from DePaul University in Public Administration, and a Master’s Degree from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville with a concentration in sociology and sports studies, he is currently working on an Ed.D. at UNCC with a concentration in Education. While pursuing his degrees, he has worked as a personal fitness trainer, semi-professional basketball coach, manager, and as an instructor at the community college and university levels where he has taught online and in traditional class settings.

His research interests and expertise lie within the realm of education administration, political economy and policy, and sports. In his spare time, he likes to attend academic conferences that focus on social sciences or health issues, traveling to all fifty states (38 down – many to go), and exercising. His main goal is to get my students to be able to apply the things they learn in sociology courses to their jobs or majors in a way where it can enhance their workplace performance and personal lives.

For 12 years, Smith has been married to Anjella Tabor-Smith, who is also an instructor at SPCC; together they have a cute baby girl.

Anjella Tabor-SmithAnjella Tabor-Smith has taught Spanish at South Piedmont Community College since 2013. During that time she has advised, mentored and helped many students deepen their understanding and interest in the Spanish language and its cultures. For many years, she has spearheaded our campus’ multicultural events. She also lead our students on the College’s first study abroad trip to Spain and France in 2017. Students praise Tabor-Smith for her engaging activities that promote not only a love of language, but a love of service. Many of her courses include a service learning component that has allowed students to author and create children’s books in Spanish for local elementary schools, to participate in bilingual story time, or create their own Spanish magazine. According to Tabor-Smith, she desires to instill a “healthy curiosity” in her students and encourage them to use what they’ve learned in class to be of service to others. Tabor-Smith first began taking Spanish courses through the continuing education department at Wilbur Wright Community College, while her mother worked on her associate’s degree. She was eight years old. She earned her bachelor’s degree from DePaul University and her master’s from the University of Knoxville.

Ryan Brown
Program Director
(704) 272-5446