Tennessee should study four-year options at community colleges

Lynn Russo Whylly's picture
Thursday, May 16, 2013

Should Tennessee's community colleges be able to offer four-year bachelor's degrees?

Yes, says Jim Catanzaro, president of Chattanooga State Technical Community College. He has made such a proposal to the state Board of Regents seeking to place five applied science degrees in the school's curriculum.

At this point, Catanzaro appears to have an uphill battle. Education officials in Tennessee and Gov. Bill Haslam reject the possibility for a variety of reasons.

Nevertheless, more than a dozen states – including Georgia – have adopted the idea. Tennessee education and political leaders claim to favor education reform, so for the sake of consistency, they should at least study the issue.

The degrees that Catanzaro wants to offer are courses and programs not provided in traditional state universities.

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