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ERIC Number: EJ1159447
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1067-1803
Four-Year Itch
Pierce, Dennis
Community College Journal, v88 n2 p22-27 Oct-Nov 2017
Ohio's decision to let community colleges award four-year degrees is part of a growing national trend. When this article went to press, more than 90 community colleges across 19 states offered active four-year degree programs. Counting New York's Fashion Institute of Technology, which technically is a community college, but offers degrees as high as doctorates, then at least one community college has had the authority to confer four-year degrees since the mid-70s. It wasn't until the 1990s, however, when campus leaders began to recognize a growing need for applied baccalaureates in their communities, that the practice really took off. Some two decades later, the idea that community colleges should be able to confer four-year degrees is still controversial. Many of the objections that people have are rooted in misunderstandings about what this practice means. These are not liberal arts degrees; they are applied baccalaureate degree programs that meet a key workforce need. One compelling reason for a community college to offer a four-year degree program is because there is nowhere else for students to earn that credential within the area. Another is that local universities cannot produce enough graduates to meet employers' demands by themselves, as might be the case with programs such as nursing or IT. With their focus on local workforce development, their ability to adapt quickly to changing workplace needs, and their close relationship with employers, community colleges are a natural fit to fill the void in applied bachelor's degrees.
American Association of Community Colleges. One Dupont Circle NW Suite 410, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-728-0200; Fax: 202-833-2467; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ohio; Texas; Washington
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A