Turning Two Years into Four

C. Harold Pierce / el Don
C. Harold Pierce / el Don

Staff Editorial

Offering four-year technical degrees at community colleges creates a viable path to education for all

California community colleges were initially designated as institutions providing lifelong learning and the first two years of general education. Their core mission must be reexamined.

The increasingly competitive nature of today’s job market demands a more educated workforce. But with the middle-class shrinking and tuition costs rising, attending a four-year university is a fleeting hope for many.

Allowing two-year colleges to grant bachelor’s degrees in nursing and technical fields provides a path to higher-paying careers for those who could not otherwise afford these specialized degrees.

Universities argue that this would shrink their applicant pool. However, community colleges would have only a few such programs, providing minimal competition to California’s public university system.

The goal of public education is to help residents develop skills for jobs that ensure a liveable wage.

Taxes support public institutions; higher education creates prepared tax-paying workers.

Californians have held up their end of the deal by hiking taxes to increase the budgets for public colleges. The next step should be community colleges with the ability to grant bachelor’s degrees in practical fields.

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