August 21, 2014

Contact: Paige Marlatt Dorr
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California Community Colleges Chancellor Brice W. Harris Applauds Final Legislative

Approval of Bill Allowing Community Colleges to Confer Bachelor’s Degrees

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – California Community Colleges Chancellor Brice W. Harris today issued the following statement in response to state Senate passage of SB 850 (Block), legislation authorizing the system to award bachelor’s degrees at 15 community colleges in limited circumstances:

“In today’s economy, many businesses require their employees to possess a four-year degree or higher skill sets than are offered through associate degree programs, even in fields such as dental hygiene or automotive technology where a two-year degree would have been sufficient in the past. This bill will enable California community colleges to confer bachelor’s degrees in areas not currently served by the California State
University or University of California and help close the skills gap in our workforce. I applaud the Legislature for addressing California’s urgent workforce needs.”
The bill now moves to the governor’s desk for consideration. If approved, bachelor’s degrees could be offered by community colleges as soon as January 2015 in fields where CSU or UC do not offer such a degree or cannot accommodate demand for a program. California would join 21 other states that currently allow community colleges to confer four-year degrees.

The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation composed of 72 districts and 112 colleges serving 2.1 million students per year. Community colleges supply workforce training, basic skills education and prepare students for transfer to four-year institutions. The Chancellor’s Office provides leadership, advocacy and support under the direction of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges. For more information about the community colleges, please visit