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Authorizing Community Colleges to Award Baccalaureate Degrees Is One of Several Options to Expand Access to Higher Education, Report No. 05-20, April 2005
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The Legislature has authorized community colleges to offer baccalaureate degrees in fields that meet local workforce needs. As of February 2005, four community colleges offer baccalaureate degrees and two are applying to do so. In addition, nearly all community colleges partner with public and private colleges to provide access to baccalaureate degrees on their campuses.

Authorizing community colleges to offer baccalaureate degrees improves the state’s ability to meet workforce needs and gives students more choice. However, if not carefully implemented, this step could produce unanticipated consequences including higher expenditures per student and weaker community college dedication to their traditional students. To limit these problems, the Legislature should consider several options:

  • strengthening the process for reviewing proposals for new community college degree programs;
  • empowering community colleges to provide baccalaureate degrees that meet workforce needs on their campuses by the most efficient means, which could include providing incentives for partnerships with public and private institutions;
  • limiting community colleges’ ability to offer baccalaureate degree programs; 
  • slowly transforming some community colleges into four-year colleges that focus on teaching rather than research; and
  • establishing a process to coordinate degree requirements for Bachelor of Applied Science programs. 

Which Government Program Summaries contain related information?

Community Colleges
Public Schools (K-12 Education)
State University System
Board of Governors

What other OPPAGA-related materials are available?

  • Report No. 07-26 Progress Report: Many Options Implemented for Baccalaureate Degrees at Florida’s Community Colleges, published in April 2007.
  • Report No. 05-09 Florida Can Use Several Strategies to Encourage Students to Enroll in Areas of Critical Need, published in February 2005.

Copies of this report in print or alternate accessible format may be obtained by telephone (850/488-0021), by FAX (850/487-9213), in person, or by mail (OPPAGA Report Production, Claude Pepper Building, Room 312, 111 W. Madison St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-1475).
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