February 21, 2023
Contact: Melissa Villarin
Office: 916-327-5365
Office E-mail: MVillarin@CCCCO.edu

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California Community Colleges Board of Governors has completed a round of approvals for bachelor’s degree programs in a high-demand career fields, bringing to 24 the number of bachelor’s degree programs that are now offered or will soon be available within the California Community Colleges

Today, the final go-ahead for Feather River College to launch a bachelor of science degree program in ecosystem restoration and applied fire management was given. Last month, two other programs were approved: Moorpark Community College will launch a bachelor of science degree program in biomanufacturing and San Diego City College will launch a bachelor’s degree program in cyber defense and analysis.

“These new bachelor’s degrees assist many of our community college students who are place-bound by providing a quality degree near where they live,” said Board of Governors President Amy M. Costa. “Our local districts developed superb bachelor’s degree programs that match California’s workforce needs.”

Fifty-six percent of students graduating from a California Community Colleges baccalaureate program said they would not have pursued a bachelor’s degree had it not been offered at their community college, according to a recent study by the UC Davis Wheelhouse Center for Community College Leadership and Research. The study also found two-thirds of community college baccalaureate program students are students of color.

“These new degrees will be critical in meeting ambitious college credential attainment goals established by the governor and Legislature,” said Interim Chancellor Daisy Gonzales, PhD. “They are also good for students and their families. Graduates of community college bachelor degree programs earn twice as much as they did before obtaining their degree, with nearly 98% of students reporting their employment in the same field of study as their degree.”, as outlined in the UC Davis Benefits and Opportunities report.

Legislation signed last year expanded the California Community Colleges’ authority to offer more bachelor’s degrees in industry sectors that lead to better wages and social mobility. This builds on the successful community college baccalaureate pilot program started in 2014 that established 15 career-specific bachelor’s degrees to help meet workforce needs in more areas of the state.

“Feather River College expresses gratitude to the support of statewide leaders and industry employers in approving this essential degree,” said Feather River College Superintendent/President Dr. Kevin Trutna. “Given the catastrophic destruction from recent mega-fires like the Camp Fire and Dixie Fire, the Sierra-Nevada region is in desperate need of technically trained employees to help restore the damaged watershed and protect remaining forests from future wildfires. The FRC bachelor’s degree in Ecosystem Restoration and Applied Fire Management will help fill the regional critical skilled workforce demand and protect the high Sierra ecosystem.”

“Moorpark College aims to provide our community with educational opportunities that lead to careers that help them build wealth — not just a living wage — and salaries that lift students out of poverty into solid middle-class professional jobs.” said Moorpark College President Dr. Julius Sokenu.

“The bachelor’s degree program in Cyber Defense and Analysis will provide a pipeline that not only leads to an above-livable wage career in an industry that is clearly in demand but will also help diversify the cyber security workforce by allowing more women, military veterans, and people of color to find good jobs,” said San Diego City College President Ricky Shabazz.

“As the official, recognized voice of California’s 1.8 million community college students, the Student Senate for California Community Colleges (SSCCC) is grateful that the Bachelor of Science program in Ecosystem Restoration and Applied Fire Management at Feather River College is moving forward,” said SSCCC President Clemaus Tervalon. “Students in this fire-vulnerable community, who have lost their homes and businesses to devastating wildfires, have been seeking a program like this for years. This fire management program is vital to the future of Northern California and communities like Quincy. We appreciate the partnership with the Board of Governors and the Chancellor’s Office to ensure that workforce-focused baccalaureate degrees can be offered throughout the community college system to meet the unique needs of our communities and diverse students.”

The new law authorizes the Board of Governors to establish up to 30 baccalaureate programs annually and led to the approval last year of six new programs: a respiratory care program at El Camino College; an automotive technology management program at De Anza College; a research laboratory technology program at Bakersfield College; respiratory care programs at Crafton Hills and Foothill colleges; and a histotechnology program at Mt. San Antonio College.

The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation, composed of 73 districts and 116 colleges serving 1.8 million students per year. California community colleges provide career education and workforce training; guaranteed transfer to four-year universities; and degree and certificate pathways. As the state’s engine for social and economic mobility, the California Community Colleges supports the Vision for Success, a strategic plan designed to improve student success outcomes, increase transfer rates and eliminate achievement gaps. For more information, please visit the California Community Colleges website or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.