Editorial – Blurred lines, two year colleges might look a bit more like four year colleges

A panel of 16 are weighing the pros and con of letting two year institutions in California offer four year bachelor’s degree programs on their own. You will not be seeing you community college turn into a university, what this aims to do is it allows two year institutions the ability to grant bachelor’s degrees for certain majors.

Say Nursing becomes overcrowded at SF state, the neighboring community colleges will be able to offer the same type of program.

Critics to this program range from private university faculty to community college faculty say that by allowing two year colleges the ability offer bachelor’s degrees this will essentially blur the lines between two year colleges and four year colleges. Essentially “mudding up” what two year colleges stand for in California, according to California’s Master Plan for Higher Education, which is to “provide academic and vocational instruction for older and younger students through the first two years of undergraduate education.” As opposed to four year institutions which are in place to give students the rest of the education they seek.

This for the most part would not be the case; at least 21 other schools have already had this system implemented. They do not overstep their boundaries. Take Miami Dade Community College, they offer four year programs in around eight or more fields ranging from nursing to education. These programs tend to be popular, and have more students in them than most. So if anything this system would lessen the burden on four year colleges.

If we were to do this the community colleges in California would have to go through more accreditation stresses and spend more money on training and the expansion of the school. This in the long run would definitely cost the institutions more money, but would probably end up helping many students who cannot travel to a state college or university.

While the cost of tuiton has not been laid out, as of now we can take a look at how much a bachelor’s would cost for community colleges that have already implemented this system. According to their website the cost for a baccalaureate program at Miami Dade College in Florida per term is around $1,500 so four years at the college would cost around $12,000. According to University of Florida’s website the cost of tuition for one year is around $6,100 for an undergrad. So four years at the University of Florida would cost around $24,000. This shows some good saving for students.

While we cannot do much while the topic is in discussion, it would be wise to keep informed on the subject. This could lead to some significant changes to how some people go about their school lives. While there will be some drawbacks like cost to the school, this could potentially be an open door to many who have not had the opportunity to further their education.