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Bachelor's Degrees Coming To Community Colleges

Rennett Stowe, flickr

Antelope Valley College is one of 15 selected in California to begin offering a bachelor's degree under a new pilot program.

Rennett Stowe, flickr

Californians looking to earn bachelor’s degrees will soon have another option at community college.

A pilot program was approved Tuesday.

The pilot program will allow 15 community colleges in California to begin offering bachelor's degrees. The programs will range from respiratory care to dental hygiene to airframe manufacturing.

Democratic Senator Marty Block authored the bill the authorized the degrees. He says these programs will help meet the growing demand for skilled workers in California

"We know our community colleges can produce, they have produced, and they will be the answer to this need for a better trained workforce," Block says.

It is estimated California will need one million more college graduates by 2025.

Community Colleges Chancellor Brice W. Harris says the schools were selected based on labor market demand, student interest and the colleges’ capacity to put the programs together in a reasonable time.

"Because this is a pilot and the legislature and the governor really do want to see how it works up and down the state, diversity of geography and institution type and program type was also an important criterion," he says.

There will be one program at each of the 15 colleges. The degrees are expected to cost about $10,000 and take four years. The programs must be underway by the 2017-2018 school year, but can start as early as next fall.     

Recommended Pilot Programs by Capital Public Radio