Texas community colleges to offer four-year programs

The 2017 Legislature has voted to allow more community colleges across Texas to apply for accreditation programs which would provide bachelor's degrees.

Some community colleges in Texas will begin offering bachelor’s degree programs in order to meet the increased need for nurses and teachers.

The Legislature has approved allowing more community colleges to offer four-year programs in the fields of applied sciences, applied technology and nursing.

The majority of community and junior colleges in Texas are traditionally two-year schools. A few exceptions exist in rural areas where access to higher education is considered limited.

In order for a community college to apply for a new bachelor’s degree program, college officials must go through a rigorous process to get approval from an accrediting body. The college must also receive permission from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

The Dean of Nursing at Collin College in McKinney, Texas says about 90 percent of students enrolled in a two-year program at the college go on to earn a bachelor’s degree through partnerships with other universities. Now, students will be able to stay in their initial program, which can mean significant savings for students.

The Associate Press helped contribute to this story.

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