Calif. community colleges vie for ability to offer bachelor’s degree programs

In September, Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 850. The bill is a pilot program that will allow 15 community colleges in California to offer one four-year degree program on their campus. California will be the 22nd state to offer bachelor’s degree programs at community colleges. Students taking advantage of the bachelor’s degree programs at the community colleges will be pay much less for their education than students at other California colleges, including California State University campuses. Students at California community colleges could receive a bachelor’s degree for approximately $10,000.

The law stated community colleges would not duplicate courses offered at the University of California or California State University. Instead, the program would fulfill the need of current unmet workforce needs in the local community or region. Once the bill was passed, community colleges districts were invited to submit program proposals and applications to be selected as one of the fifteen colleges. Thirty-four community colleges submitted completed applications, including seven Bay Area colleges.

Below is the list of colleges who have submitted applications and the degree program that have been proposed:

  • Allan Hancock College (Santa Maria) – Applied Technology in Viticulture
  • Antelope Valley College (Lancaster) – Airframe Manufacturing Technology
  • Bakersfield College (Bakersfield) – Industrial Automation
  • College of the Canyons (Santa Clarita) – Network Information Technology
  • Crafton Hills College (Yucaipa) – Emergency Services & Allied Health Systems
  • Cuyamaca College (El Cajon) – Workplace Safety and Environmental Management
  • Cypress College (Cypress) – Mortuary Science
  • Evergreen Valley College (San Jose) – Automotive Technology and Management
  • Feather River College (Quincy) – Equine Industry
  • Foothill College (Los Altos Hills) – Dental Hygiene
  • Fresno City College (Fresno) – Dental Hygiene
  • Glendale College (Glendale) – Real Estate Appraisal
  • Golden West College (Huntington Beach) – Community Corrections
  • Hartnell College (Salinas) – Agricultural Food Safety-Fresh Produce
  • Lake Tahoe College (South Lake Tahoe) – Public Safety Administration
  • Laney College (Oakland) – Sustainable Facilities Management and Operations
  • Merced College (Merced) – Diagnostic Medical Sonography
  • MiraCosta College (Oceanside) – Biomanufacturing
  • Modesto Junior College (Modesto) – Respiratory Care
  • Napa Valley College (Napa) – Respiratory Therapy
  • Ohlone College (Fremont) – Respiratory Care
  • Rio Hondo College (Whittier) – Automotive Technology
  • Saddleback College (Mission Viejo) – Sustainable Environmental Design/Sustainable Human Habitat
  • San Diego Mesa College (San Diego) – Health Information Management
  • San Joaquin Delta College (Stockton) – Electron Microscopy
  • Santa Ana College (Santa Ana) – Occupational Studies
  • Santa Monica College (Santa Monica) – Interaction Design
  • Shasta College (Redding) – Health Information Management
  • Skyline College (San Bruno) – Respiratory Therapy
  • Solano Community College (Fairfield) – Biomanufacturing
  • Southwestern College (Chula Vista) – Allied Health Educator
  • Ventura College (Ventura) – Technical Supervision and Management
  • West Los Angeles College (Culver City) – Dental Hygiene
  • Yuba College (Marysville) – Manufacturing Processing & Design

A team has been formed by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office to review the applications. The team will include Chancellor’s Office staff, a member of the business workforce community, and representatives from CSU, UC and community colleges that did not apply to host a program. The team will consider geographic distribution, diversity of programs, ability of the district to establish a rigorous program in the field, and that the program will meet an unmet workforce need in the community or region. The team will make their recommendations to the Chancellor, Brice Harris, who will decide what applications are submitted to the Board of Governors. The Board of Governors is scheduled to meet and make their decision on Jan. 21. The programs selected would be required to launch by the 2017-2018 academic year, but could start as soon as this fall.

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