CA Community Colleges Launch New Bachelor’s Programs

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California Community Colleges (CCC) will soon offer six new bachelor’s degree programs, an initiative aimed at expanding the accessibility and affordability of four-year degrees.

The system, which consists of 116 colleges with a variety of additional campus centers and classrooms scattered across the state, announced the news Tuesday. It is the largest system of higher education in the country, serving 1.9 million students each year.

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

“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,” said Aisha Lowe, executive vice chancellor of the Equitable Student Learning, Experience, and Impact Office, in a news release.

The buildout of available bachelor programs connects with the system’s strategic plan, known as Vision 2030, which includes equitable baccalaureate attainment as a strategic goal. Leaders point to a report by the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Civil Rights Project, which finds that CCC has the potential to close education equity gaps with baccalaureate degree programs. 

More than 50% of CCC bachelor program graduates reported they wouldn’t have pursued the bachelor’s degree if it had not been offered at their community college, according to a study by Wheelhouse: The Center for Community College Leadership and Research.