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CA Assembly Committee Passes Bill Authorizing 4-Year Degrees at Community Colleges

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Courtesy: tahoeoo.com Courtesy: tahoeoo.com
From Lake Tahoe Community College:

The likelihood of four-year degrees coming to Lake Tahoe Community College just got a major boost. A bill authorizing California’s Community College System to launch a limited baccalaureate degree pilot program was just approved by the State Assembly Committee on Higher Education. Senate Bill 850 (SB 850) allows 15 California community colleges to offer one 4-year degree as early as January 1, 2015, and starting no later than the 2017-18 academic year. The bill already passed through the state Senate back in May by a 34-0 vote.

After news of the bill’s approval broke, California Community Colleges Chancellor Brice W. Harris said, “I applaud the Committee for approving this bill designed to address unmet workforce needs where career entry requirements have progressed beyond the associate degree level.  The legislation would expand educational access and job training opportunities for thousands of Californians. ”


For a variety of reasons, Lake Tahoe Community College is potentially in a good position to be one of the chosen 15 colleges. “We believe LTCC is uniquely positioned because we are two hours away from a CSU or a UC school, we have a very highly qualified faculty that could easily teach at a four-year college or university, we are in a world-class environment, and we are on the quarter system,” says LTCC Superintendent/President Kindred Murillo. “We are also reaffirmed as accredited, have the capacity, and our community is backing us,” she added.

A steering committee made up of faculty, staff, administrators and Board members at LTCC will convene in Fall 2014 to discuss the possibility of being one of the pilot schools, and explore which degree LTCC might offer in that program. “Our hope is that when the California State Chancellor’s Office begins working with colleges to determine who will be approved to run the baccalaureate programs, that the Chancellor’s Office will consider a variety of different types of colleges, to include large multi-college districts, medium colleges, and small colleges like ours. During our visioning session last fall, our community told us they want to see four-year education in South Lake Tahoe, and we are trying to make sure the LTCC 2020 Vision becomes a reality. This is a big step towards making that happen.”

The community college Board of Governors and chancellor, working with the CSU and UC systems, will select which 15 districts will be allowed to participate in the pilot program. The bachelor’s degrees being offered must not be available at the state’s public four-year schools, and the college districts must document the unmet workforce needs that the degree would help fill.

The UC system has not yet taken a position on SB 850. However, the CSU system has publicly given its support to SB 850, which requires that students not be charged fees higher than the mandatory system-wide fees charged at CSU schools.

From Lake Tahoe Community College

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