Community colleges graduate to 4-year programs

Lauren Williams's picture

Eastern Florida adopted its new name and logo July 1. Why? A core mission change: The institution now confers four-year degrees in health care management and general business management, which Leto is pursuing. Eight more baccalaureate programs will debut next August.

This reflects a national trend. Florida is one of 21 states across the USA where community colleges are expanding into the baccalaureate world, according to the Community College Baccalaureate Association.

Executive Director Beth Hagan said three primary factors are pushing the USA's two-year schools to expand: increasing demand for nursing students with four-year degrees; a lack of qualified teachers; and workforce needs.

In December, Michigan legislators authorized a quartet of technical bachelor's degrees — culinary arts, energy production, concrete technology and maritime technology — for the state's 28 community colleges.

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