A program that enables students to pursue specific bachelor’s degrees at their neighborhood community college is quickly spreading in California.
A bachelor degree in career-oriented subjects with high demand in the Golden State is currently offered by 27 colleges or will be in the near future. Up to 30 new degree programs may be approved by the state each year under a law that was passed two years ago.
Constance Carroll, president and chief executive officer of the California Community College Baccalaureate Association, provided some justification for why more degrees should be offered in more places.
Carroll noted that the majority of students who attend community institutions are “place-bound.” They frequently serve as the family head while employed. They are unable to leave their homes to pursue their education elsewhere.
The programs are really economical. Baccalaureate education costs roughly $10,500 for four years, and many students save money by living at home. A list of institutions and programs can be found on the California Community Colleges website.
Hayden Lampe attended Feather River College in rural Quincy and graduated with an associate’s degree. She intends to go back to get her bachelor’s degree in ecosystem restoration and applied fire management.
“The approval of this program allows me to stay in this community that I love,” highlighted Lampe. Not to mention that the degree will be significantly less expensive than one from a typical university. Therefore, if this degree hadn’t been offered, I probably wouldn’t have continued my studies.
Accessibility, according to Aisha Lowe, executive vice chancellor of the California Community Colleges, is essential.
According to Lowe, the majority of the pupils at our school are low-income, first-generation, and students of color. “Having those opportunities for an affordable pathway and a local pathway to a baccalaureate degree that directly leads into a workforce outcome is so essential.”
Currently, state law forbids baccalaureate degrees from community colleges from competing with those awarded by the University of California or Cal State institutions. However, supporters would like to see exemptions established for professions like teaching or nursing that are experiencing a severe labor shortage.