State legislation that would expand and extend a pilot program allowing a limited
number of California community colleges to offer a bachelor’s degree passed a key
test Wednesday when the California State Senate endorsed the bill on a 38-2 vote.
SB 769, authored by state Senator Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo), now goes before the California
The legislation seeks to expand the number of community college baccalaureate programs
from 15 to 25 while also extending the pilot program – which is due to expire in 2023
– to July 1, 2028.
“Employers tell us they need well-trained students with degrees in these workforce
fields,” said San Diego Community College District (SDCCD) Chancellor Constance Carroll,
who is co-chairing the statewide campaign in support of SB 769 and who testified earlier
this year in support of the bill. “Senate Bill 769 is necessary to ensure that students
in these pilot programs have every opportunity to complete their degrees and successfully
transition to the workforce.”
SB 769 was recently amended to remove a provision that would have allowed community
colleges in the state’s baccalaureate pilot program to offer the same bachelor’s degree
as those offered by the California State University or University of California systems.
That provision would have only applied to community colleges located more than 100
miles from a CSU or UC campus with a similar degree.
California’s baccalaureate pilot program was authorized through SB 850, authored by
former state Senator Marty Block in 2014. SB 850 gave the California Community Colleges
system approval to offer 15 bachelor’s degrees in a limited number of workforce-preparation
skills. Fifteen community colleges – including San Diego Mesa College – are participating
in the program.
Mesa College offers a bachelor’s degree in Health Information Management. Launched
in 2015, Mesa’s degree program prepares students to work at a management level in
a variety of healthcare settings and with salaries of up to $144,000 annually. The
college’s first class of upper division students will be awarded bachelor’s degrees
in May 2018.
As the second-largest of California’s 72 community college districts, the San Diego
Community College District serves approximately 100,000 students annually through
three two-year colleges and San Diego Continuing Education. The three colleges, San
Diego City College, San Diego Mesa College, and San Diego Miramar College, offer associate
degrees and certificates in occupational programs that prepare students for transfer
to four-year colleges and entry-level jobs. Mesa College also offers a bachelor’s
degree in Health Information Management. Continuing Education offers noncredit adult
education at seven campuses throughout San Diego.
Photo: Senator Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo) at a Senate Hearing held last November at
San Diego City College.
Tags: Four-year Degree, HIM, Baccalaureate, Health Information Management