Do Community Colleges Offer 4 Year Degrees

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Earning your bachelor’s degree from a community college can be a more affordable and flexible option than a four-year institution, but there are also some restrictions to consider.

Do Community Colleges Offer 4 Year Degrees

A growing number of community colleges are awarding bachelor’s degrees, although they are not yet widely available. Of the 24 states that have approved baccalaureate programs, the actual number of community colleges offering the degree varies [1]. For example, while 27 community colleges in Florida offer a bachelor’s degree, only four do in Colorado at the time of writing [2].

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Earning your bachelor’s degree from a community college can be a more affordable and flexible option than a four-year institution, but there are also some restrictions to consider. For example, there may not be as many majors to choose from, and not all community colleges in an approved state offer a bachelor’s degree program.

Learn more about the rise of community college degrees and what you should evaluate before deciding to get one.

Community colleges have traditionally been known as two-year institutions because they primarily award two-year degrees, also called associate degrees and certificates. Because of the lower tuition and fees typical of community colleges, many students choose to earn their associate degree there before transferring to a four-year college or university to complete their bachelor’s degree.

As community colleges have expanded their offerings to baccalaureate degrees, however, more students have taken advantage of this option. In 2019, more than 20,000 students earned their bachelor’s degree from a community college, according to the American Association of Community Colleges [3].

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There are many reasons why you may choose to pursue a bachelor’s degree at a community college as opposed to another type of institution, including your educational needs, career needs, and circumstances. Here are four reasons why getting a community college degree can be beneficial in light of these factors:

In general, tuition and fees at public community colleges tend to be lower. For in-state students, the average annual cost of attending a community college was $3,800 in 2021, compared to $10,740 for a four-year public school [4]. These savings add up when you apply them to a four-year bachelor’s degree.

Community colleges often offer more career-oriented degrees, such as a bachelor’s degree in health information management in business or a bachelor of science in nursing, to meet workforce demands, according to a report by the Education Commission of the States [5] .

If you earn your bachelor’s degree from a community college, your major will likely focus on practical and technical knowledge that you can apply to in-demand industries such as healthcare, business, and biomanufacturing. Additionally, some community colleges have partnerships with local businesses, which can lead to valuable internships and even job placement.

Prepare For College

Community colleges tend to be more diverse in several ways. They typically serve a larger number of adult or professional students: 36% of community college students are between the ages of 22 and 39 [3], compared to 9% of college students [6].

It is also a more popular choice for first-generation college students or students who are the first in their family to attend college. According to the National Postsecondary Policy Institute, 53% of first-generation college students chose to attend a community college during a four-year school [7].

To meet the needs of students, many community colleges offer flexible scheduling, which can help if you need to complete your degree requirements at your own pace. Because many community college students also work part-time or full-time or have competing obligations, community colleges tend to schedule more evening and weekend classes.

This flexibility can be especially appealing if you’re a parent. One in five college students has a child [8], and recent findings show that parents between the ages of 18 and 24 attend community colleges three times more than four-year schools [3].

Do Community Colleges Offer 4 Year Degrees?

There are pros and cons to getting a bachelor’s degree from a community college, but the following factors can help you determine if it’s a good decision for you.

Community college classes tend to be smaller because there are fewer students to accommodate. In 2020, Arizona State University enrolled 63,124 students and the University of Central Florida enrolled 61,456 [9]. Public community colleges, on the other hand, have an average student population of 6,155 [10].

Although class size varies by community college, many introductory courses have between 25 and 35 students, while introductory courses at four-year schools can include up to 300 students [11]. If you prefer to learn in a smaller group, earning your bachelor’s degree from a community college can give you more opportunities to do so.

If you work while going to school, you’ll be in good company at community college. As of 2019, 62% of full-time students were working, while 72% of part-time students were working [12]. If you need more scheduling flexibility to take classes around your other obligations, then a community college may have more options for you.

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Unlike four-year institutions, community colleges do not offer the same volume of degrees. Of the community colleges approved to offer a bachelor’s degree, most have only one or two majors at that level.

But those majors tend to focus more on career preparation. For example, popular Florida community college bachelor’s degrees include business supervisory management, public safety, and information technology. In Washington, majors include business and health and safety [6].

Only 24 states allowed community colleges to offer bachelor’s degrees as of November 2021. If you live in a state that hasn’t made this option available and you want a four-year degree, it’s still possible to get your associate’s degree. at the community college and is applying to transfer to a four-year institution. This could help reduce tuition and general fees.

Want to find out if your state offers a community college degree? Check out this updated list from the Community College Baccalaureate Association.

Collin College To Offer Four Year Bachelor’s Degree Programs

If you’re wondering whether a bachelor’s degree from a community college is as valuable as a four-year institution, the ultimate value should be measured in what you learn. If you’re deciding between a community college or a four-year institution, spend some time looking at each school’s curriculum requirements and see how the classes compare.

It can also help you list the factors that matter most to you, such as low tuition, faculty with real-world experience, a well-rounded curriculum, or a career, so you can decide which degree-granting institution is the most suitable for you. to your needs. If you have questions about what type of college or university will be the best fit for your particular needs, consider making an appointment with an academic advisor who works exclusively with prospective students.

Learn more about how to earn a bachelor’s degree and ways you can speed up the time it takes to earn a bachelor’s degree.

Florida and Washington lead the list of the 24 states that now offer community college bachelor’s degrees. Other states include California, Colorado, Georgia, Louisiana, Minnesota, Ohio and Oregon, South Carolina and Texas.

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It is not clear when the other states will make a four-year degree available at traditional two-year institutions. To learn more about whether your state offers a four-year community college degree, check your state’s Department of Education website or search for your state and “community college baccalaureate” for more information.

If you are interested in earning your bachelor’s degree and want affordable and flexible options, an online degree can be a good alternative to attending a community college or an on-campus program at a four-year institution. Unlike community colleges, which may require you to take some of your classes in person, you can complete an online degree anywhere there is internet access. Explore bachelor degrees in practical and in-demand fields such as marketing, IT and business administration from top universities in .

1. Georgetown University. “24 states now allow community colleges to offer bachelor’s degrees,”. Retrieved November 11, 2021.

8. Children’s tendencies. “Higher education can support parenting students and their children with accessible and fair services, Services.” Retrieved 11 November 2021.

Bachelor Of Arts

This content is provided for informational purposes only. Students are encouraged to do additional research to ensure that the courses and other credentials they are pursuing meet their personal, professional, and financial goals. The study shows that 45 percent of high school graduates attended two-year institutions first, as many as three-quarters in some states.

The idea that community colleges are key to putting students on a path to a four-year degree is not new; large numbers of Americans begin their postsecondary education at two-year colleges, and transfer is one of the institutions’ traditional functions. But new data from the National Student Clearinghouse shows the predominant role two-year institutions play in providing an educational foundation for bachelor’s degree earners.

The study, one of a series on student mobility that the clearinghouse has begun producing to leverage the unique data it collects as a repository of student-level information from more than 3,000 colleges, reveals

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