California Community Colleges Adds 6 New Bachelor’s Degrees

The new programs expand the number of bachelor's degrees the California Community Colleges system offers to 39.
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Published on April 1, 2024
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  • The California Community Colleges system will offer six more bachelor's degree programs.
  • The programs include respiratory care, paramedicine, and paralegal studies.
  • The newest offerings bring the total number of bachelor's degrees the system offers to 39.

Six new bachelor's degree programs have been approved to be offered by the California Community Colleges (CCC) system.

The latest approved degrees include:

The new programs join the 33 bachelor's degrees the CCC already offers.

We are excited to announce the approval of six new programs in high-demand career fields, Aisha Lowe, executive vice chancellor for the Equitable Student Learning, Experience and Impact Office, said in a press release.

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.

The CCC introduced the pilot Baccalaureate Degree Program at 15 community colleges in 2014. By 2021, the program was permanently expanded to include up to 30 baccalaureate degree programs across two application cycles per academic year, according to the CCC.

Thirty-two of the 116 community colleges in the CCC offer bachelor's degrees, with programs ranging from respiratory care and dental hygiene to automotive technology, and biomanufacturing.

All four-year degrees the CCC offers are unique to the system, meaning they cannot replicate California State University (CSU) or University of California (UC) programs.

In May 2023, seven bachelor's degree programs were approved.

However, in July, the CSU raised concerns that the seven programs were too similar to existing programs offered at a nearby CSU campus.

A duplication allegation doesn't automatically eliminate the proposed program from consideration. When a university raises a duplication concern, the CCC Board of Governors negotiates with the university to reach an agreement.

Two of the programs, biomanufacturing at Los Angeles Mission College and public safety management at San Diego Miramar College, were later approved in October. The remaining five are still pending review.

In 2022, the CSU flagged three out of the 10 proposed CCC programs. Though all of them were eventually approved, one program required getting California legislators involved.

Legislators have also proposed a bill that would allow certain community colleges to start offering bachelor's degrees in nursing.

As of April 2019, there were 77 registered nursing programs across the CCC. According to a 2022 report, CCC nursing programs account for more than half of the total nursing schools in the state, graduate about half of the state's nurses, and satisfy just over 20% of the state's demand for nurses.