15 California Community Colleges Poised to Offer 4-Year Bachelor’s Degrees

21 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

15 Calif. Community Colleges Being Selected To Offer 4-Year Degrees.

SANTA MONICA (CBSLA.com) — Several Southland community colleges will likely be among those to be picked Tuesday for a pilot program that would allow them to offer 4-year degrees.The California Community Colleges Board of Governors announced today their selection of 15 colleges to participate in a four-year bachelor’s pilot program — Fresno City’s proposed dental hygiene program was not among the chosen. Jerry Brown, the system’s governing board on Tuesday tentatively approved four-year degree programs at 15 community college campuses that will be introduced over the next three academic years. The campus was among 34 community colleges who applied to be part of the pilot program offering baccalaureate degrees in a field of study not offered by the California State University (CSU) or University of California (UC) systems.

Marty Block, as many as 15 colleges statewide could offer degrees in fields such as health information management, dental hygiene and biomanufacturing. Advocates of community college bachelor’s degrees, which already are in place in 21 other states, have pushed for their introduction in California to close a potential 1 million degree shortage in the state workforce by 2025. Among the selected programs were Bakersfield College’s proposal for an industrial automation program and a bid from Modesto Junior College and Skyline College for a respiratory care program. Despite the financial benefits of pursuing a degree from community college – which is frequently far less expensive than a traditional four-year school – some students at Santa Monica College were skeptical of the proposal. “It’s a big risk because I don’t know how people are going to react getting a community college stamp on their degree, there’s a like a social type of thing there,” said one student. “But I think if it’s cheaper, a lot of people are gonna go for it.”

Students who graduate the program can go on to become funeral service practitioners, licensed embalmers, funeral directors and crematory managers, among other endeavors. Marty Block, D-San Diego, who authored SB 850, said at a press conference following the vote. “California should never be behind the curve, and now we are no longer behind the curve.” A committee selected the 15 college programs from among “34 tremendously-done proposals,” Harris said, considering labor market needs and the ability of colleges to deliver on their applications, as well as geographic, institutional and subject diversity.

The degree will help students find employment in the manufacturing sector of the biotechnology industry, which includes biotherapeutics, diagnostics, supplies and services, and industrial products. Grande said there will be a need to hire additional faculty that are qualified to teach upper division. “I am so excited to share this information with our current students, and primarily with our alumni,” Grande said. “It allows them to finish their studies in funeral service education at a baccalaureate level without leaving the state of California.”

The pilot programs are required to be up and running by at least the 2017-2018 academic year and participating districts can start their programs as early as the fall 2015 semester. The colleges were required to articulate a description of the program, evaluate student interest and community support, research labor market and labor demand, have conversations with CSU and UC campuses to demonstrate collaboration, and research and avoid duplications with UC and CSU majors. It’s just a remarkable opportunity for us, our students and our community.” In San Diego County, Cuyamaca Community College in the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District had applied to offer a four-year degree in environmental health and safety management, and Southwestern Community College had applied to offer a four-year degree in allied health. Board member Thomas Epstein praised the rapid turnaround on applications that were first solicited in November: “It’s rare that something this important gets done this quickly by government.” It’s about preparing students for the workforce.” Mesa College already offers a two-year program in health information technology, and Luster said that program will serve as the first half of the four-year program.

Technology related programs included Airframe Manufacturing Technology at Antelope Valley College in Lancaster, Industrial Automation at Bakersfield College, Biomanufacturing at MiraCosta College in Oceanside, and Automotive Technology at Rio Hondo College in Whittier.

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