A new bill allows some community colleges to offer up to five different four-year baccalaureate programs.
Affordability and proximity to home opens the door for more people to earn a bachelor’s degree.
The new law will remove two big hurdles for those who want to earn a bachelor’s degree by offering certain degrees at low tuition fees, where students can still live at home, which is a big saving for families.
A bill passed in 2017 already allowed some community colleges to offer four-year degrees, but they were limited to three programs.
The bill passed this year allows community colleges to expand to five degrees.
Collin College already has 40 graduates of its four-year nursing program and is working on a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity and another in construction management.
Now the school will form a team to explore the two additional programs it should offer.
But Dr Abe Johnson, vice-president of Collin College, stressed that the school did not want to stray from its main mission.
“It’s going to stay like a few selective degrees, I don’t think a community college would want to go into offering four-year degrees like universities do,” he explained.
Dr Johnson said that’s because the mission of community colleges is to bring people back into the workforce with associate’s degrees, or to help students move on to four-year universities afterwards.
Johnson said his next degree programs will need to meet the standard of preparing students for the high-demand, high-paying jobs the economy needs.
Collin College expects its four-year Construction Management Program to be operational in the spring of 2022.