California Community Colleges a Step Closer to Offering More Baccalaureates

by on September 14, 2021 · 3 comments

in California, Education

California lawmakers have passed a bill to expand and make permanent a program that allows a select group of community colleges to offer baccalaureates in specific programs. The measure now heads to the governor.

Currently, 15 community colleges in the state offer bachelor’s degrees in workforce fields with high demand and unmet needs. However, the pilot program is set to expire in 2026. Assembly Bill 927 would make the program permanent and allow up to 30 community colleges to offer similar bachelor’s degree programs.

Assemblymember Jose Medina, a sponsor of the bill who heads the Assembly’s higher education committee, stated:

“Community colleges are the founding pillars of higher education; offering critical baccalaureate degree programs will create greater accessibility to higher education. The baccalaureate degree program will play a pivotal role in building back our State’s economy.”

Constance Carroll, who retired this summer as chancellor of the San Diego Community College District, was a strong advocate for the program and for making it permanent. She said it is urgently needed to address the state’s workforce demands:

“Twenty-five states in the nation authorize their community colleges to offer bachelor’s degrees in workforce fields recognizing that many employers and fields now require baccalaureate-level education rather than associate degrees. This legislation addresses that in a manner that provides for local access, high quality, and affordability, without duplicating programs at public universities. We hope that the governor will sign it to benefit our local communities and students.”

AB 927 would require the California Community Colleges chancellor to consult with and seek feedback from the California State University and University of California systems on proposed baccalaureates. It also would require individual districts seeking approval to provide evidence of unmet workforce needs.

The current pilot program was established in 2014. It was set to expire in 2023, but lawmakers extended it until July 2026.

AB 927 passed both the California State Assembly and Senate and is now on Governor Newsom’s desk to sign.  A great equalizer.  Over 20 states already have such degrees.

 

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Sam September 14, 2021 at 9:42 am

This is a garbage policy and will only lessen the value of a bachelor’s degree. The faculty at these community colleges are not on par with those at accredited universities. Further, there are absolutely no standards for acceptance in community colleges, other than a GED, further weakening the learning environment. There is nothing wrong with getting an associates and then transferring to another institution for a bachelor’s degree. I just don’t get it.

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Frank Gormlie September 15, 2021 at 10:53 am

Sam, that’s freeakkking rough, dude! That’s the whole point to allow people to get bachelors without having to transfer!

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Sam September 15, 2021 at 12:23 pm

I get it, but the community college system is just not equipped to handle that. Transferring to a Cal State school is the best way to go here. They are really not that expensive, approximately $7,000 per year, and the education will be far superior to the alternative, and I might add that college is not for everyone, and that’s OK. We have a massive shortage of tradespeople in this country and these are good paying jobs that don’t require a degree. Every contractor, plumber or carpenter I’ve ever met is doing just fine.

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