Why Four Year Community College Degrees May Be Great for California

There’s a change coming in California.
 
Recently, a measure passed that allows community colleges in California to offer 4 year degrees. Until now such offerings have been the sole province of other institutions. Now, the game has changed.
 
On September 28, 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 850 (Block) authorizing up to 15 California community college districts to offer a single Baccalaureate degree on a pilot basis. Ultimately, the goal of the bill is to create one million bachelor’s-degree jobs by 2025.
 
California Community Colleges Four Year 2
 
A Better College System
 
Former California State Senator Dean Florez says this measure is a powerful move in the right direction. “Allowing California Community colleges to offer four year skill-based degrees has grown from a long simmering recognition—from students, employers and government leaders—that skills matter more today than how and where they were acquired. This new four-year program offers students a more accessible and shorter education pathway with a recognized skill-based credential.” 
 
“Students benefit with a tailored personalized degree program directed in part by employers, blending their career needs with an affordable degree.  It is also very cost effective, given the planned BA degrees will be under $10,000 dollars, which is nearly one-half the cost of California State's four year schools and one-eighth the cost of a traditional University of California four-year degree.  Most community college students can't afford to give up four or five years of income while accumulating six-figure debt, so this degree
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Twenty-five thousand men and women work as air traffic controllers in the United States. Every year between 400 and 500 new air traffic control positions become available. Working in aviation as an air traffic controller is a lucrative career with a median salary of over $100,000 per year.
 
In order to become an air traffic controller, one must earn a two or four year degree in aviation control or a closely related field, pass a medical exam, a security investigation, have related work experience and pass the Federal Aviation Administration’s pre-employment tests. The first test, the bio-data assessment, assesses a worker’s experience, general education, and work habits. The second test, the AT-SAT is an eight-hour computer-based test that assesses an applicant’s knowledge directly related to air traffic control.
 
Two-year air traffic control degree programs are developed specifically to help applicants acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to pass the AT-SAT exam. They are intended to supplement a student’s prior experience in aviation and serve as a pathway to a qualifying to become an air traffic controller. Students with no prior aviation experience can also prepare for the FAA Academy via an accredited two-year program.
 
 The Air Traffic Collegiate Training Initiative is a partnership between the FAA and thirty different colleges and universities designed to make high quality Air Traffic Control education available to students around the country. While earning a degree from a college or university within the program does not guarantee that an applicant will get a job in aviation, it
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Working adults have long struggled with the challenges of balancing their careers, their families, and their educational goals. Community colleges offer traditional and non-traditional students the opportunity to work toward their educational goals without the lifestyle changes that come with a traditional four-year college experience. But, even with the flexibility of early morning, evening, and even Saturday classes, adult students can find it difficult to attend even local college campuses.
 
Convenient, Expensive, Private On-line Universities
 
Private online universities, sometimes called for-profit universities, actively market the convenience of attending college courses online, anytime, from anywhere. While online universities offer a convenient option for working students, they are typically far more expensive than public community colleges. For example, the total cost of a two-year degree at the online University of Phoenix is approximately $22,000, while the same two-year degree from a community college in New York would cost an in-state resident about $9,000. Community Colleges Respond to a Need for Convenience
 
Community college administrators understand that students often choose much more expensive college options because of convenience. As a result, they are taking steps to make community college more accessible to all students by introducing new modalities for online learning, including:
 
  • Blended courses
  • Online asynchronous courses
  • MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses)
  • Blended Courses
 
Sometimes called hybrid classes, blended classes combine traditional on-campus classroom instruction with online components, such as project groups, discussion boards, or recorded lectures. Students still attend scheduled on-campus classes, but not as frequently as they would with traditional classes. There are many advantages for
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As much of the country expands funding for community colleges, and with that funding, improved course offerings and increased access to higher education, Arizona has taken the unusual step of taking funding away from some of its community college systems.  In fact, according to data just released by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Arizona continues its legacy in 2015 as it did in 2014: leading America in slashes to funding – and in tuition increases.   
 
Most impacted are two of the state’s largest community college districts – Maricopa County Community College system and Pima Community College. For several years, budget cuts for higher education spending have been the norm. However, what makes these proposed cuts significant is that it removes state funding altogether. Rather than getting a few million dollars, both the Maricopa and Pima community college systems would receive zero dollars in the next fiscal year as part of the state’s new budget.   What does this mean for students? 
 
Uproar from Higher Ed
 
Understandably, higher education officials in Arizona are not pleased with this outcome. Arizona currently ranks first in terms of higher education funding cuts. This is due in part to drastic moves by the state during the Great Recession to remain solvent. However, although the Great Recession has ended, spending is still being cut in Arizona as the state faces a $1.5 billion budget shortfall.
 
 
In fact, the latest round of proposed cuts is just one in
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Most college students want to spend their winter, spring, and summer breaks relaxing and having fun with their friends and family. The grind of going to class, doing homework, and studying for tests can take its toll as the semester goes on. However, for students who wish to get ahead, for those that need to make up some credits because of a bad grade here and there, or for students that have work or family obligations, taking courses during these breaks is a smart choice.
 
Many community colleges recognize the appeal of taking courses while regular classes are not in session. Summer courses are obviously the most popular, with many community colleges offering just as many courses during the summer session as they do during the regular school year. In fact, some community colleges have seen double-digit increases in summer enrollment over the last few years, fueling an ongoing expansion of course schedules to accommodate increasing demand. But many colleges are also offering courses during shorter breaks, particularly those that occur during the spring and winter. 
 
In recent years, colleges across the country have begun to offer alternative options for earning college credit as well. Some schools have opened pathways for students to receive credit for experiences they’ve had at work or in life in general. Other institutions allow students to test out of certain courses in favor of enrolling in higher-level courses instead. Still other colleges offer college credit to students that perform community service or who
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Why Four Year Community College Degrees May Be Great for California
Why Four Year Community College Degrees May Be Great for California
Recently, a measure passed that allows community colleges in California to offer 4 year degrees. Until now such offerings have been the sole province of other institutions. Now, the game has changed.
Community College Pathways to a Career in Air Traffic Control
Air traffic controllers enjoy secure, interesting work. Earning a degree in ATC at a community college is an excellent first step to securing a job.
Community Colleges Offer Online Options
Community colleges have responded to the needs of working adults with online options.