Governor Jerry Brown today signed into law a historic measure that for the first time enables a limited number of California community colleges to offer four-year degrees.
Senate Bill (SB) 850, authored by State Senator Marty Block (D-San Diego), drew overwhelming bipartisan and business support because it addresses a growing need for the state to become more competitive in areas of high workforce demand.
The pilot program authorized under SB 850 allows up to 15 different community college districts to offer one baccalaureate degree each in select workforce majors starting on Jan. 1, 2015 and ending on July 1, 2023.
SB 850 stipulates that the four-year programs offered may not duplicate any currently available at the University of California (UC) or California State University (CSU). Regardless, the bill represents one of the most significant changes in the California Master Plan for Higher Education since its adoption in 1960. Until now, only the University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) systems could offer public, four-year degrees.
San Diego Community College District Chancellor Constance M. Carroll served on the state’s baccalaureate study group and has chaired the statewide coalition that provided advocacy for the passage of SB 850.
“Our entire coalition of supporters is delighted by this good news,” said Carroll. “It is imperative for community colleges to ensure that students are well prepared and competitive for the many jobs and careers that now require bachelor’s degrees as entry-level preparation. Education for the workforce is one of the top community college missions and, thanks to Senator Block and Governor Brown, we have an important new pathway for that mission.”
Chancellor Carroll says programs which might be offered include…
Featured Photo: California Governor Jerry Brown