Maricopa Colleges select initial offerings for bachelor programs

Nov 4, 2021, 4:25 AM | Updated: 7:29 am

PHOENIX — Maricopa Community College District announced Wednesday its first baccalaureate programs for development following the passage of a bill that allowed community colleges in the state to offer four-year degrees.

The community college district plans to begin offering the following bachelor’s degrees in the fall of 2023 pending approvals from the accrediting agency and governing board:

  • Programming and Data Analytics at Mesa Community College
  • Information Technology at Estrella Mountain Community College and Phoenix College
  • Public Safety Administration at Phoenix College and Rio Salado College
  • Behavioral Health Science at South Mountain Community College
  • Nuclear Medicine Technology and Computed Tomography at GateWay Community College
  • Early Childhood Education – Dual Language at Mesa Community College
  • Education, Dual Certification in Elementary/Special Education at Glendale Community College, Paradise Valley Community College and Rio Salado College

Senate Bill 1453, passed by the state Legislature and signed by Republican Gov. Doug Ducey earlier this year, required community colleges only offer baccalaureate programs based on specific criteria, such as workforce needs.

“Our leadership teams have been working diligently on the strategic process of coordinating, adopting and developing bachelor’s degree offerings across our Colleges,” Dr. Steven R. Gonzales, interim chancellor of the community college district, said in a press release.

“We are closely following the specific guidelines and requirements documented in SB 1453 that instruct how community colleges can offer bachelor’s degrees in Arizona, including demonstrated workforce needs, student demand, and avoiding unnecessary duplication of degree programs of other higher education institutions in this state. I am thrilled to see their commitment and dedication pay off as these programs begin to take shape.”

Baccalaureate degrees offered by the community college district will be less than a third of university tuition, taught with small class sizes, convenient to where students live and offered in flexible ways, the district said.

The community college district over the next year will be creating courses and requirements for each degree, with a goal for enrollment to begin in the spring of 2023.

Maricopa Community College District also plans to offer additional baccalaureate degrees in high-demand industry sectors in the future, such as nursing and respiratory care.

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Maricopa Colleges select initial offerings for bachelor programs