October 16, 2023
Contact: Melissa Villarin
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California Community Colleges have approved two new bachelor’s degree programs in an effort to make earning a four-year degree more attainable for all Californians. This brings to the total number of bachelor’s degrees that are now offered or will soon be offered at a community college to 33.
The new programs are biomanufacturing at Los Angeles Mission College (LAMC) and public safety management at San Diego Miramar College. Five additional bachelor’s degree program proposals are in the current evaluation cycle and are pending review.
“The addition of these two programs complements our new strategic plan, Vision 2030,” said Amy M. Costa, president of California Community Colleges Board of Governors. “Increasing baccalaureate attainment for every Californian is a top priority. To ensure degree attainment equity, we must continue community college baccalaureate offerings which provide place-bound students access to a quality degree in their own backyards.”
The Baccalaureate Degree Program, which began in 2014, became permanent in 2021 when Gov. Gavin Newsom signed AB 927. The bill allows for an expansion of up to 30 new bachelor’s degree programs at community colleges each year. California is one of 24 states that authorize community colleges to offer baccalaureate programs.
“With these two new programs we’re continuing our work to bring college to our communities and working collaboratively with CSU to fulfill the intent of AB 927,” said Chancellor Sonya Christian. “A baccalaureate degree is a powerful predictor of higher wages. All Californians must have a viable path to completing a bachelor’s degree if they choose to do so.”
According to a UC Davis Benefits and Opportunities report 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. And a recent report by the UCLA Civil Rights Project shows that the California Community Colleges bachelor’s degree program has the potential to address higher education equity gaps.
“LAMC is excited to receive full approval from the State Chancellor's Office to offer a bachelor’s degree in biomanufacturing,” said LAMC President Armida Ornelas. “The demand for skilled professionals in biomanufacturing continues to rise, and this program will transform lives by providing students with the skills and expertise needed to compete for high-paying jobs in a growing industry.”
“Since 1969, Miramar College has been home to the San Diego Regional Public Safety Institute, which has provided training to most of the region’s first responders. This bachelor’s degree will not only strengthen the community’s trust in us that we offer best-in-class instruction for those in public safety, but it will allow for first responders to be in line for promotions and salary advancements that come with obtaining a 4-year degree,” said Dr. Wes Lundburg, president of San Diego Miramar College.
All California community college bachelor’s degree options are exclusive to the system and do not duplicate degrees offered at California State University (CSU) or University of California (UC) campuses.
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.