(Illustrated by: Traece Craig)
(Illustrated by: Traece Craig)

Talks of PCC offering bachelor’s degrees by way of state law SB 850—the law passed by the State Senate and signed by Governor Jerry Brown last May that would allow community colleges to offer four year degrees in certain fields—have resumed over the past week, and a proposal for such a degree at PCC was recently sent to the Chancellor’s Office, a school official said.

“Good fortune has smiled upon us,” said Associate Vice President of Strategic Planning & Innovation Ryan Cornner to the Academic Senate on April 6, in reference to the fact that the college would have another opportunity to offer BA degrees.

Cornner, Dr. Julie Kiotas, Robert Randal, and Bakhtawar Bhadha have been developing a curriculum for PCC to off a degree in Applied Research and Data Analytics.

“A Bachelor’s degree in Applied Research and Data Analytics will equip students for careers in managing research in a variety of fields including business, healthcare, marketing, education and social science fields,” Kiotas wrote in an email.

There is a growing need in the business and industry sectors for well-qualified employees that use data and research to make informed business decisions, Cornner said.

There are 30,306 jobs in Los Angeles within the fields of social science research, survey research, and market research analysis, most of which require a BA degree, according to EMSI occupation employment data. They pay an average of $29.86 per hour and there is an expected 23 percent increase in these jobs over the next 10 years,

Kiotas said that it seems unlikely that the state Chancellor’s Office will approve the proposal, but if it is in fact approved they will immediately get to work planning courses and recruiting students to participate in the program.

Originally, a nursing degree seemed like the right choice for PCC.

In March of 2014, Dean Barbara Freund and PCC’s nursing faculty began developing a curriculum for SB 850.

Progress was halted when changes to the bill made it so that community colleges could not offer such classes if these programs were taught at a Cal State. CSU Los Angeles offers nursing degrees, which means PCC cannot, Dr. Robert Bell explained in a previous interview.

One Reply to “Whispers of four year degrees resume”

  1. This is a really exciting opportunity and would be a nice feather in PCC’s cap.

    Any word on why Kiotas thinks it’s unlikely to pass?

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