As the demand for college graduates grows, many states are turning to their two-year schools for help - and California might do the same, allowing community colleges to offer four-year degrees that aren't readily available at nearby public universities.
"Now is the time to look at what innovations might be good for the state, and what might actually save us money in the long run," said state Sen. Marty Block, D-San Diego, whose Senate Bill 850 would authorize the change.
The startup would be small scale - just one program per campus for a select few college districts.
The argument goes like this: Two-year associate degrees are becoming insufficient for some fields, such as nursing and respiratory therapy, but bachelor's degree programs in those areas are scarce. Expanding community college programs would help students complete a bachelor's degree quickly, without the hassle, the expense of transferring to another school and the dreaded delays.