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What to know about bachelor’s degrees at California Community Colleges | Quick Guide

What to know about bachelor’s degrees at California Community Colleges | Quick Guide


Michael Burke
July 27, 2023
In California, students seeking a bachelor’s degree are no longer restricted to pursuing one at the University of California, California State University or any other four-year university.
That’s because an increasing number of the state’s community colleges are now offering or will soon offer those degrees. From San Diego City College in the south to Shasta in the far northern part of the state, a total of 31 baccalaureate programs across 27 colleges are either currently available to students or have been approved and will soon be offered.
Those numbers are likely to continue to grow. Under a 2021 law, the state can approve up to 30 community college bachelor’s degrees annually, across two cycles each year. And demand is high: In the latest cycle, with 15 slots available, the community college chancellor’s office received applications for 29 programs from 26 colleges.
Why are these new community college programs necessary?
UC, CSU and California’s private colleges already offer many bachelor’s degrees. Allowing community colleges to also offer baccalaureate degrees carries several benefits, including that they are more affordable and accessible to students, proponents say. The programs are also designed to place students in high-demand careers like dental hygiene and biomanufacturing.
The state’s first community college bachelor’s degrees were established in 2015 as part of a pilot program. Through that pilot, 15 programs were created. In a survey conducted by the participating colleges, 51% of students in the programs said they would not have pursued a bachelor’s degree if the program at their community college hadn’t been offered, according to the state’s Legislative Analyst’s Office.
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