Editorial: Skyline and four year degrees

Skyline College is providing the opportunity for students to have access to affordable degrees that benefit both undergraduates and prospective employers. With this program, students are better prepared to transition into the developing labor pool.

A new educational pathway is being presented to a handful of community colleges with the recent inclusion of four-year degrees.

The California Community Colleges Board of Governors sanctioned 15 community colleges recommended by the chancellor’s office to grant four-year degrees. Included in these 15 colleges is Skyline, which will be starting a four-year respiratory therapy program in 2016.

In recent years, there has been an increased demand for qualified healthcare workers. With this addition to Skyline’s programs, the students have an advantage in the healthcare field after they leave college.

Moreover, Skyline will be ahead of other community colleges as it responds to the pressures of the fluctuating economy significantly quicker than a four year institution. More importantly, community colleges are considerably cheaper and versatile; they accommodate to their students needs offering evening classes, especially convenient to students who balance their jobs among other obligations, online and distance education.

Receiving the green light to further higher education without transferring out, is the first step to assist in ensuring employment. This program could work as a frame of reference to allow more majors needed in the job market, to become offered. If it could satisfy the public’s demand for education, there’s no reason it shouldn’t be available at the community college level.

Furthermore, The San Mateo County Community College District is the first institution to supplement higher education in the immediate area, whereas before individuals would have to resort to moving to southern California or commute to San Francisco or across the Golden Gate Bridge for example. Respiratory therapy is a major that is hard to come by, not to mention it is not offered in either any public or private four year institution in the state.

Granting four-year degrees in careers that satisfy the states’ growing demands for employers in much needed metropolitan areas appeases the needs of the community. Our institution has been vying for an opportunity to prepare work-ready individuals incrementing its appeal given its accessibility and location. This highlights that where you get your academic training should not be at the forefront of your mind but rather getting the education you need should be the priority.