California’s Senate Bill 850 (SB-850) would permit 15 campuses
among the 112 community colleges in the state the chance to
grant a four-year bachelor’s degree specific to the workforce in the
area. Existing laws require community colleges to offer instruction
through, but not beyond, the second year of college and authorizes
community colleges to grant associate degrees in arts and science.
According to the California Legislative Information website, this bill,
commencing Jan. 1, 2015, would authorize the board of governors, in
consultation with the California State University and the University of California
systems each, to be determined by the chancellor and approved by
the board of governors. The bill’s goal is to help produce at least one million
new jobs by 2025. Since local businesses will help to develop the pilot
programs, the bill would teach students everything fundamental to ensure
a job in their area, and in the process, educate California’s workforce.
The participating campuses must turn in a report that evaluates the overall
effect of the bill one year before its expiration. If the results are positive
and it succeeds in its purpose, then the school board will develop another,
much more developed program, based off this one, in the near future.