Cypress College picked among 15 campuses to offer 4-year degrees

21 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

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

SACRAMENTO (CBS / AP) — California school officials are set to select as many as 15 community colleges for a pilot program that would allow them to offer 4-year degrees. 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. MiraCosta in Oceanside will offer a degree in bio-manufacturing, while Mesa will offer a degree in health information management at its Kearny Mesa campus. “There is a robust labor market need for medical records managers,” Mesa College President Pamela Luster said. “We have tremendous student demand, superior faculty, and overwhelming support from our healthcare industry partners who stand ready to employ our graduates.” The pilot program for offering bachelor’s degrees at community colleges was started to keep higher education accessible and affordable, while helping to keep the state economically competitive, said Sen.

Changing technology and educational expectations have driven employers in fields such as dental hygiene, respiratory therapy and automotive technology – which once required only two-year associate degrees – to seek workers with a baccalaureate. Marty Block, D-San Diego, who authored the bill that provides for the change. “SB 850 students will really get a bang for their buck and will represent the diverse population of California’s community colleges, including returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan,” Block said. “All are needed to keep California competitive.” The schools were selected by the California Community College Board of Governors and Community Colleges Chancellor Brice Harris. 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. Senate Bill 850 allowed for up to 15 pilot degrees in majors not offered by the University of California or California State University, with the aim of meeting demand for highly-trained workers in technical fields. 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.”

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. 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.”

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