The Academic Senate will write a letter to the California Community College Chancellor’s Office supporting the implementation of a new baccalaureate degree program at PCC.

Dr. Dianne S. Moore, Director of Nursing, said if California Senate Bill SB850 passes in the Assembly, community colleges could participate in an 8-year pilot project to offer one baccalaureate degree in one in-demand major.

“Community colleges can provide a quality baccalaureate education with lower costs to their students than a traditional four-year university, enabling place-bound local students the opportunity to earn the baccalaureate degree needed for new job opportunities and promotion,” the bill states.

Senator Kaitzer Puglia said community colleges in 21 other states already offer bachelor’s degrees.

“New York was one of the first states allowing community colleges to offer degrees as early as 1970,”she said.

Being the Director of Nursing at PCC, Moore hopes that if the legislation passes and PCC participates in the program, a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN) would be the program chosen by PCC.

“(PCC) just lost a clinical contract with Methodist Hospital because we do not offer a BSN,” Moore said. “Our (nursing) students are increasingly having difficulty with gaining employment in some of the acute care facilities because they are missing bachelor’s degrees.”

Moore added that the Cal States and UCs are unable to meet the demands for nursing students.

“The four-year colleges simply cannot produce BSNs fast enough,” Moore said. “That is one of the reasons why the legislation is going through and why they are pushing for the BSNs.”

The Institute of Medicine recommends that the proportion of nurses with a baccalaureate degree increase to 80 percent by 2020.

Moore said PCC students will have better clinical opportunities, job placement, and have the ability to move on to masters and doctoral programs by obtaining a BSN.

Facilities will have to be upgraded, administrative support added, and faculty with doctorates hired for some upper division classes.

“The money will come from this legislation, the grant and the Chancellor’s office,” Moore said. “It will not come from any funds that are currently here. It will add money to the operations for Pasadena.”

She added that community colleges might change the tuition for upper division classes, but it won’t be anywhere near the $330 per unit that state schools charge.

According to LegiScan, the bill is currently in the Senate Education Committee.

“If all (the legislation and approvals) are fast-tracked through, like we all pray it would, we may be able to admit by Spring/Fall 2015,” Moore said.

http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml;jsessionid=f2b020040113340e9f694004394f?bill_id=201320140SB850

http://www.iom.edu/Reports/2010/The-Future-of-Nursing-Leading-Change-Advancing-Health/Recommendations.aspx?page=3

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