The student news site of Skyline College.

The Skyline View

The student news site of Skyline College.

The Skyline View

The student news site of Skyline College.

The Skyline View

Skyline now one of several community colleges to offer bachelor’s degree program

Joshua Stokes
Skyline joins the likes of Solano College and De Anza college in offering a bachelor’s degree program.

27 California community colleges have been introducing bachelor’s degree programs in STEM. Skyline offers a fast-paced, virtual bachelor’s program in Respiratory Care.

Introducing these advanced degrees at community colleges aims to decrease barriers towards being able to obtain a bachelor’s degree. These programs are being created to address workforce needs in certain areas across the state.

Skyline is not the only community college in northern California to offer bachelors programs. Solano college offers a B.A. in Biomanufacturing. Foothill college offers B.A.’s in Dental Hygiene and Respiratory Care. DeAnza college has an Automotive Technology Management program.

According to a 2020 Public Policy Institute of California study, only 440 out of a thousand ninth graders from middle to high-income families in California will obtain a bachelor’s degree according to a 2020 study by Public Policy Institute on higher education and economic opportunity in California.

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“This is very low,” said California Community Colleges Chancellor Dr. Sonya Christian in a press conference on Nov. 7.

The high price of attending university in the U.S. is a major factor preventing people from advancing their education. From tuition to housing, students often have to pay high costs when leaving home for college.

“It gives you a sense of why this is needed desperately across the state of California. The other aspect is that many of our students are place-bound and they are local. So they don’t have the ability to get that bachelor’s degree by moving to a four-year university that’s not close to home,” said Chancellor Christian.

Starting in 2014 as a pilot program, Governor Gavin Newsom signed the Baccalaureate Degree Program bill into permanent law in 2021. It allows each district to offer up to 30 programs per year, expanding beyond the original maximum of fifteen.

The state hopes that the program will help “close equity gaps, address workforce demands and lead to better wages and social mobility.”

Victoria Ramos is a 22-year-old Hayward native who works two part-time jobs. Her eyes lit up with interest in learning about the program.

“I had no idea that this was a thing,” said Ramos. “I haven’t been able to go to college because it’s too expensive. That really changes things because it means I wouldn’t have to take out student loans or across the state to get a bachelors.”

Gregory Burns graduated with a bachelor’s of science from Skyline’s Respiratory Care program in 2019. He is currently the Quality and Analytics Clinical Specialist in respiratory therapy at UCSF medical center. Before entering Skyline’s program, he struggled to get his bachelor’s in respiratory care because of the limited number of colleges in California offering these specific degrees.

“If Skyline college did not have a bachelor’s degree program, I would have probably given up on getting a bachelor’s degree,” said Burns in a statement.

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