California CCs Could Start Offering 4-Year Degrees

December 21, 2009 by Emsi Burning Glass

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Many cash-strapped California universities are at full capacity and unable to accept the usual number of applicants, which has prompted a few state leaders to propose allowing community college to offer four-year degrees.

The topic is covered in this Contra Costa Times article, which quotes Kenneth Walker — president of Edison State College and the Community College Baccalaureate Association — as saying, “The population needs to get access to baccalaureate degrees at a price they can afford. It avoids all the problems associated with transfer, and it doesn’t hurt the universities because they have more students than they can take anyway.”

This would be a dramatic shift for California’s higher education system — but it’s not unheard of in other parts of the country. Florida and Washington are two of 17 states that allow CCs to hand out four-year degrees. You can read about how EMSI clients have used data and analysis to make the case for these programs in case studies here and here.