Community colleges are doing the right thing and offering four-year degrees at a two-year school price.
Hesitations lie with what a four-year degree from a community college will mean on resumes but should be dismissed as speculative at best.
PCC was not on the list of 15 colleges approved by the Community College Board of Governors to begin offering the new programs as early as this fall but the school has expressed interest in offering them.
Making college more affordable will indirectly put a damper on the ballooning student debt which now tops $1 trillion dollars, exceeding both credit card and auto loan debt, according to the New York Federal Reserve Bank.
“Students will have a range of programs from which to choose to earn high quality, affordable and in-demand degrees,” said California Community Colleges Chancellor Brice W. Harris in a press release.
“California employers win too, as they will have improved access to highly qualified candidates,” added Harris.
The degrees in question are all technical based disciplines and are not offered at a nearby public university so that junior colleges will not be competing directly with universities.
Shelling out extra cash for a degree from a more prestigious school might not make a difference in majors like dental hygiene and mortuary science, which are now possibilities.
Leaders in junior colleges are confident that companies will adjust to the new four-year degrees and not stigmatize them.
As reported in the Los Angeles Times, Pamela Luster, San Diego Mesa College’s president, met with local businesses to gauge their interest in graduates with bachelor’s degrees from a community college and “it was not an issue at all,” Luster said. “They said there’s a huge need for people in the [health information] field.”
Along with Obama’s vision to make community college as free and accessible as high school, the start of bachelor degrees being offered at more than universities signals an overdue renaissance in higher education that has been plagued by rising tuition costs.