The Texas Legislature just approved a measure that is fast tracking the ability for some community colleges in Texas to soon offer four-year bachelor’s degrees.
Specifically, Collin College hopes to have a four-year nursing degree program fully operational by 2019, and the Dallas County Community College District soon plans to offer its early childhood education degree. The Legislature is hoping to address a critical shortage in the state’s medical workforce by allowing bachelor’s degrees in areas of study that are in high-demand, including applied sciences, applied technology and nursing.
Donna Hatch, dean of nursing at Collin College, says that 90% of her students go on to earn their degrees from universities they have a partnership with, but says the cost benefits of earning degrees through their program would be extremely beneficial to the students, hopefully leading to a growing number of registered nurses. She said, “Being able to earn a bachelor’s for under $10,000, to me, is huge and will attract many to the field. We’re talking about addressing a catastrophic shortage that if we don’t solve, ultimately, it’s the patients who suffer from not having the staff we need to care for them.”
In order to gain the ability of offer bachelor’s degrees, schools must first get approval from an accrediting body, as well as the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
Via Dallas News