Community colleges to start offering bachelor’s degrees

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SACRAMENTO —  California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill to become the 21st state for community college students to receive a four-year degree.

Brown signed the bill Sunday to authorize 15 schools to offer one baccalaureate degree in select majors for a fraction of the cost to attend other public colleges and universities.

The new pilot program was set up to help California meet its workforce needs in the years ahead, according to State Senator Marty Block, who authorized the bill that created the program.

“Students will really get a bang for their buck and will represent the diverse population of California’s community colleges, including returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan,'' Block said. “All are needed to keep California competitive.''

The bill represents one of the most significant changes in the California master plan for higher education since its adoption in 1960.

The community college chancellor will choose the 15 campuses from different districts.

The eight-year pilot program will begin January 1, 2015.

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