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Program Details
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Program Details

Associate in Applied Science Degree in Water/Wastewater

Associate of Applied Science
Mountain Empire Community College

The Water/Wastewater Major student will take course work from a wide array of natural resource offerings. These courses stress the practical application of scientific principles to the treatment of water for human consumption and for protection of water resources.


Upon successful completion, students will be able to:
1. Possess the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in an entry-level position in a water/wastewater treatment facility.
2. Become knowledgeable about processes and equipment used in water treatment, water distribution, wastewater collection and wastewater treatment.
3. Demonstrate knowledge of the procedures related to water and wastewater treatment processes.
4. Demonstrate basic knowledge of microbiology and chemistry applicable to water and wastewater treatment.
5. Demonstrate knowledge of the principles of hydraulic systems as related to water and wastewater systems.
6. Analyze and solve operational problems and perform mathematical calculations related to water and wastewater treatment processes.
7. Describe major concepts, theories, and classic research studies in environmental science.
8. Operate a treatment plant in a respectable and ethical manner as dictated by state and federal regulations.

Program Credit Requirements
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Program Overview & Guidance
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Program Web Page
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Delivery Mode
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Program Guidance Element What You Need to Know
Is This Degree Right For Me? The Water/Wastewater Major student will take course work from a wide array of natural resource offerings.  These courses stress the practical application of scientific principles to the treatment of water for human consumption and for protection of water resources.
Program Requirement Notes
Program Requirement Notes

Students should have English and Mathematics skills assessed. Deficiencies in these areas may be corrected by completing the appropriate developmental studies courses.

What Should I Consider When Selecting Courses

An academic advisor will review your preparation in Mathematics and English with you. You’ll be guided to appropriate preliminary coursework to give you the greatest chance of success in this program.

  • Create a schedule for all required courses, pay attention to prerequisites and when courses are offered, complete your first math and English courses in your first year
  • Connect with an advisor at your community college and Mountain Empire Community College within your first year via College Connect
Are there other program requirements beyond specific courses? The entire Water/Wastewater Program can be completed through distance education courses. All technical courses are available through at All support courses are available through web based instruction. Students may receive college credit for verified on-the-job experience.
Do More With Your Degree The Associate of Applied Science degree program in Environmental Science is designed to prepare students for employment in municipal and industrial treatment facilities and laboratories. State agencies and private companies also employ MECC Environmental Science graduates. As environmental concerns continue to make news headlines, the job market continues to expand.
Program Successes & Highlights Coursework in the Water/Wastewater major prepares students for the state certification exam required for a water or wastewater operator’s license. This license is essential for career advancement. Students will also be able to keep abreast of technological advances in the field of environmental science, thus furthering career opportunities in this and related fields.
What If I Have An Associate Degree Or Credit For Prior Learning?
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Transfer Guidance Element What You Need to Know
Associate Transfer Degree Completion The transfer education program, which includes freshman and sophomore courses in arts and sciences and pre-professional education, allows students to transfer into baccalaureate degree programs and four-year colleges and universities.

Completion of Associate Degree Concurrent with High School
Credit for Prior Learning VCCS Policy
Did You Know That...
  • Completing your Associate transfer degree post-high school satisfies all lower division general education requirements and increases the chance of completing your bachelor's degree?
  • Exceeding 3 years or 90 credits at your community college means you may have exhausted your financial aid at that college and have limited your future financial aid at: Mountain Empire Community College
College Level Information
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Transfer Admission Application
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College Fit Guidance What You Need to Know
Is This College Right For Me? Mountain Empire Community College's mission is to provide our region with accessible, quality higher education, workforce training, and community programs to ensure an educated population and globally competitive workforce. Mountain Empire Community College's mission is fulfilled through the following avenues: General Education, Career-Technical Education, Transfer Education, Developmental Studies, Dual Enrollment, Distance Education, Student Services, Workforce Development, and Community Services.
Transfer Student Catalog Year
First Year Student Catalog Year The catalog year is based on the admission term that the student applies for.
Applying for Guaranteed Admissions
Where Can This Degree Transfer
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This section displays degrees most closely related to this program and to which you may be able to transfer. Please click the degree name to visit that program page.
Institution Title Degree Award Name Award Level
Virginia Western Community CollegeAssociate of Science Degree in Integrated Environmental StudiesAssociateAssociate of Science2-Year
Germanna Community CollegeScience - Environmental Science Associate of Arts & Sciences DegreeAssociateAssociate of Arts and Sciences2-Year
Careers Where This Degree Applies
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O*Net Code Name Description Parent
19-1031.00Conservation ScientistsManage, improve, and protect natural resources to maximize their use without damaging the environment. May conduct soil surveys and develop plans to eliminate soil erosion or to protect rangelands. May instruct farmers, agricultural production managers, or ranchers in best ways to use crop rotation, contour plowing, or terracing to conserve soil and water; in the number and kind of livestock and forage plants best suited to particular ranges; and in range and farm improvements, such as fencing and reservoirs for stock watering.Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations
19-4071.00Forest and Conservation TechniciansProvide technical assistance regarding the conservation of soil, water, forests, or related natural resources. May compile data pertaining to size, content, condition, and other characteristics of forest tracts under the direction of foresters, or train and lead forest workers in forest propagation and fire prevention and suppression. May assist conservation scientists in managing, improving, and protecting rangelands and wildlife habitats.Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations
19-1032.00ForestersManage public and private forested lands for economic, recreational, and conservation purposes. May inventory the type, amount, and location of standing timber, appraise the timber's worth, negotiate the purchase, and draw up contracts for procurement. May determine how to conserve wildlife habitats, creek beds, water quality, and soil stability, and how best to comply with environmental regulations. May devise plans for planting and growing new trees, monitor trees for healthy growth, and determine optimal harvesting schedules.Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations
25-1043.00Forestry and Conservation Science Teachers, PostsecondaryTeach courses in forestry and conservation science. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.Educational Instruction and Library Occupations
19-1031.03Park NaturalistsPlan, develop, and conduct programs to inform public of historical, natural, and scientific features of national, state, or local park.Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations
19-1031.02Range ManagersResearch or study range land management practices to provide sustained production of forage, livestock, and wildlife.Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations