Associate in Occupational and Life Skills (OLS)

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Program Updated: The requirements for this program have been updated for 2017 – 2018.
Please review the changes and consult with your adviser or program manager if you have questions.

Associate Degree
Occupational and Life Skills

Unlike any other program in the nation, Occupational & Life Skills (OLS) is a part-time, 90 credit associate degree program for adults with learning disabilities. Students identify and develop a career pathway, grow interpersonal skills, and gain marketable, workplace ready skills interning with local businesses aligned to their career goals. In the last eight years, 85% of our graduates are employed and 30% enjoy upward career mobility.

OLS creates a guided career pathway for graduating students to become gainfully employed, contributing citizens. The program is specific to their self-identified skills, strengths, and passions, and prepares them for the workforce through courses such as Workplace Readiness, Computer Application in the Workplace, Customer Service, Communication and Career Exploration. In the fourth year, an internship of 200 hours related to that career pathway is completed. Some internships translate into jobs and most students are gainfully employed within three months of graduation. Our goal is to help students attain marketable skills for a successful work life.

During our program, students grow interpersonal skills and take steps toward greater autonomy. Courses in Personal Finance, Cultural Awareness, Nutrition, and Social Change in America help make that possible. The confidence they gain at OLS, both onsite and in the community, help students self-advocate and mature so they can become productive community members.

OLS students are eligible for state and federal financial aid. Students with the greatest financial need may attend with minimal financial contribution.

Completion Worksheet

Download the completion worksheet for this degree [PDF]

Program Requirements

Core Coursework

Course # Course Name Credit Hrs.
OLS 100 Nutrition Health & Fitness I 2
OLS 101 Nutrition Health & Fitness II 2
OLS 102 Human Sexuality 2
OLS 104 Disability Awareness 2
OLS 105 Introduction to Communication 2
OLS 106 Communication in the Workplace 2
OLS 107 Healthy Relationships 2
OLS 110 Learning Strategies 2
OLS 111 Learning Strategies in the College Environment 2
OLS 112 News and Daily Living 3
OLS 113 Critical Thinking through Writing 2
OLS 114 Critical Thinking through Media 2
OLS 120 Personal Finance I 2
OLS 121 Personal Finance II 2
OLS 122 Personal Finance III 2
OLS 123 Environment and Our Community I 2
OLS 124 Environment and Our Community II 2
OLS 125 Environment and Our Community III 2
OLS 126 Cultural Awareness 2
OLS 130 Critical Thinking through Science 2
OLS 134 Social Change in America 2
OLS 136 Citizenship 2
OLS 140 Introduction to Computers 2
OLS 141 Computer Fundamentals 2
OLS 142 Computer Applications in the Workplace 3
OLS 143 Career Portfolio 2
OLS 144 Office Procedures and Customer Service 2
OLS 170 Self Determination 2
OLS 171 Self Determination in the Workplace 2
OLS 172 Workplace Problem Solving 2
OLS 174 Career Exploration 3
OLS 175 Field Experience I 6
OLS 176 Field Experience II 6
OLS 177 Workplace Readiness 2
OLS 179 Controversial Issues in the Workplace 2
OLS 180 Individual Study 2
Choose 3 credits from the following PE electives: 3
OLS 150 Strength and Fitness (1 Cr)
OLS 151 Self Defense for Mind and Body (1 Cr)
OLS 152 Tai Chi for Mind and Body (1 Cr)
OLS 153 Qigong for Mind and Body (1 Cr)
OLS 154 Martial Arts for Mind and Body (1 Cr)
OLS 155 Yoga for Life Balance (1 Cr)
Choose 4 credits from the following electives: 4
OLS 158 Introduction to Theatre (2 Cr)
OLS 159 Introduction to Acting (2 Cr)
OLS 160 Visual Thinking I (2 Cr)
OLS 161 Visual Thinking II (2 Cr)
OLS 162 Radio Theatre (2 Cr)
OLS 163 Critical Thinking through Film (2 Cr)
OLS 164 Historical Analysis through Film (2 Cr)
OLS 165 World Culture Analysis through Film (2 Cr)
OLS 166 Music Appreciation (2 Cr)

Course Information

Occupational & Life Skills (OLS) is a part-time, 90 credit associate degree program for adults with learning disabilities. Course descriptions and sequences.

Admissions to the Program

The Occupational and Life Skills Associate in Arts degree is a selective-admissions program. To be considered for acceptance into the program, students must follow specific admission guidelines. Current information can be found online at Admissions Process.


The internship experience at OLS is designed to provide a safe and practical environment for students to develop a deeper understanding of the occupational and interpersonal skills they have learned.
Current information about OLS Internship Information can be found at Internships & Employment.

Program Contact Information

If you’re ready to learn more about OLS at Bellevue College, the first step is attending an Information Session. These informative meetings are held for potential students, families, counselors, service providers, and special educators so they can find out more about the OLS experience.

To find out more or to register:

Professional or technical program offerings and course requirements listed in this website may be altered by the college to reflect the needs of industry, student interests and availability of resources.

This website is designed as a tool to assist in making degree selection decisions, but may not be up-to-date in all instances. Please review worksheets with an advisor to ensure that you receive the most up-to-date information.

Gainful Employment information for many programs is available on the Public Disclosure website.

Last Updated June 26, 2017