Monday, 15 July 2024

Six new bachelor's degree programs approved in the California Community Colleges

As part of a continued effort to enhance accessibility to four-year degrees, California Community Colleges will soon offer six new bachelor's degrees programs, bringing the total number of bachelor’s degree programs that are now offered or will soon be available within the system to 39.

The new programs are respiratory care at Antelope Valley College, paramedicine at College of the Siskiyous, dental hygiene at Cypress College and Oxnard College, paralegal studies at Santa Ana College and respiratory care therapist at Victor Valley College.

“We are excited to announce the approval of six new programs in high-demand career fields,” said Aisha Lowe, executive vice chancellor for Equitable Student Learning, Experience and Impact Office. “Through the Baccalaureate Degree Program we are broadening the reach of higher education and skill development to a greater number of students by offering affordable and quality opportunities close to home.”

This expansion of the Baccalaureate Degree Program is directly tied to the California Community Colleges strategic plan, Vision 2030. Equitable baccalaureate attainment is one of three strategic directions that will help achieve the plan’s goals of equity in success, equity in access and equity in support.

The program is already on the right path, according to a report by the UCLA Civil Rights Project which found that the California Community Colleges bachelor’s degree program has the potential to address higher education equity gaps.

In addition to that, graduates of community college bachelor’s degree programs earn twice as much as they did before obtaining their degree, according to a UC Davis Benefits and Opportunities report. And more than half of graduates reported that they would not have pursued a bachelor's degree had it not been offered at their community colleges.

The Baccalaureate Degree Program began in 2014 and became permanent in 2021. All California community college bachelor’s degree options are exclusive to the system and do not duplicate degrees offered at California State University or University of California campuses.

The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation, composed of 73 districts and 116 colleges serving nearly 2 million students per year. California community colleges provide career education and workforce training; guaranteed transfer to four-year universities; and degree and certificate pathways.

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