California Community Colleges Move To Baccalaureate Degrees

Information regarding various programs both locally and nationally are found on this page. The information is listed chronologically.

California Information

2011 A letter from Chancellor J. Scott to Chancellor Charles Reed of California State University about the Streamlining Nursing Education.


January 20, 2015

Dear Colleagues and Friends:

As you know, Senator Marty Block proposed a bill (SB 850), which was passed unanimously by the California legislature and signed by Governor Brown, to allow
15 community college districts to pilot bachelor's degrees in selected workforce fields. I was privileged to chair the statewide advocacy effort to support this historic measure that will align California with the 21 other states that already authorize this practice.

This afternoon, Senator Block and I were invited to attend a meeting of the California Community Colleges Board of Governors to be acknowledged for our work and to witness this historic decision.

It is my great pleasure to announce that Mesa College was one of the 15 colleges selected to participate in the pilot program.  Mesa will offer a bachelor's degree in Health Information Management.  This is an enormously significant development for both Mesa College and the San Diego Community College District.

Congratulations to President Pam Luster and the team at Mesa College that worked on this.

In addition to the program at Mesa College, the following 14 programs were also

Antelope Valley College
Airframe Manufacturing Technology
Bakersfield College
Industrial Automation
Crafton Hills College
Emergency Services and Allied Health Systems
Cypress College
Mortuary Science
Feather River College
Equine Industry
Foothill College
Dental Hygiene
MiraCosta College
Modesto Junior College
Respiratory Care
Rio Hondo College
Automotive Technology
Santa Ana College
Occupational Studies
Santa Monica College
Interaction Design
Shasta College
Health Information Management
Skyline College
Respiratory Care
West Los Angeles College
Dental Hygiene

These institutions will proceed with implementation of the programs, subject to final authorization by the Board of Governors in March.

Dr. Constance M. Carroll
San Diego Community College District



August 5, 2014: I wanted to let you know where things stand with SB 850 (Block), the community college baccalaureate pilot program.  First of all, the legislature is back in session as of Monday following a summer recess.  Most pending legislation must be resolved by the end of August.

Having been recommended forward by the Assembly Higher Education Committee, with several amendments, SB 850 went to the Assembly Appropriations Committee for a financial overview.  We have been providing information to the committee, as have the State Department of Finance and the CCC Chancellor’s Office.  Following a hearing on Wednesday, the bill will go into the Suspense file for deeper review and is expected to be heard on August 15th.  The basic tenor of the discussions to date has been very positive at the policy level. However, at the finance level, there are two key issues, which Senator Block will need to address via further amendments:

·         *Fees.*  There is already language in the bill to the effect
that upper-division fees could not exceed those of the CSU. Following lots of testimony and follow-up, I reported to you earlier that language would be inserted into the measure that would create a fee structure where student would pay the current base rate of $46/unit for all courses for all 4 years of the program and that this fee would be eligible for the CCC Board of Governors (BOG) waiver. For upper-division work in the last two years of the program, there would be an additional $84/unit fee (tuition) ,which would not be eligible for the BOG waiver, but would be eligible for other financial aid such as Cal and Pell grants. This would bring the total cost of the four-year baccalaureate program to $10,560, which is very close to the $10,000 bachelor’s degree that the Governor has mentioned that he would like to see.  This fee structure has now been inserted into the bill.

·         *State Reimbursement/Compensation.*  The Department of
Finance has argued that the state should not  reimburse colleges for upper-division work at a per-FTES rate that is higher than the per-FTES rate for lower-division work.  Previous iterations of the bill contained provisions that would have authorized the CCC Board of Governors to create a “marginal” FTES rate that could be no higher than the CSU rate.  At the present time, it looks as though the state compensation rate will remain at its current per-FTES level and that the increased costs of the baccalaureate level will be borne by the student’s higher payment for upper-division courses and may possibly be enhanced by any other grants that may apply to the program, such as the Innovation Fund.
Many of us are concerned that community colleges will once again be asked to do more for less.  For the purposes of the pilot program, it is clear that this approach will favor districts that are able to absorb the cost.  However, this will also be part of the evaluation and report, which will include a financial review, and there is a good chance that if the pilot is successful, the final authorization may include a higher rate of reimbursement/compensation.

I am please to see how far we have come with this important idea for our system of community colleges.  We are understand the trade-offs that we have to make to ensure passage of this bill and we are hopeful that once the pilot is approved and evaluated we can move in the progressive direction that 21 state have already set for their community colleges.

Thanks for your continuing efforts and support.


Dr. Constance M. Carroll
San Diego Community College District
3375 Camino del Rio South
San Diego, CA 92108
Tel.  (619) 388-6957
Fax  (619) 388-6541

 @carrollsdccd -

June 22, 2014: Chancellor Constance Carroll was a featured guest on NBC San Diego television program Politically Speaking, which aired on this date to discuss the community college baccalaureate initiative and Senate Bill 850. Here is a link to that interview. To learn more about SB 850 visit the billfolder page.


March 4, 2014: Board of Governors Meeting: A report from Dr. Constance Carroll, Chancellor San Diego Community College District.


California State Assembly Committee on Higher Education 2013-14 schedule for their committee hearings are listed for your convenience.

Report from California Community Colleges Baccalaureate Degree Study Group

SB 850 Block: This bill would authorize the Chancellor of the CA Community Colleges to authorize the establishment of one baccalaureate degree pilot program per campus per district. Read the bill to learn more.

The legislative intent is to have the RN faculty (with a minimum of MSN degree) teach the upper division courses leading to a BSN degree. This bill complies with the BRN regulations for nursing faculty. This would require the RN faculty to redistribute the courses to include courses leading to the BSN degree. The CC Chancellor's Office has a nursing task force writing the CCC BSN curriculum. I assume the CCC BSN curriculum will see BRN approval. I would expect the CCC campuses that award baccalaureate degrees be designated as a 4-year college campus. This is the structure 24 states use now. I would expect the CCC BSN programs would include a LVN to BSN tract similar to the CSU nursing programs. Please review the CA Title 5 education code "Minimum Qualifications for Faculty and Administrators in California Community Colleges. Louise Timmer, Past President ANA\C



The Research and Planning Group for California Community Colleges (RP Group) recently concluded a 5-year, comprehensive study of student transfer between California's community colleges and universities in 5 career majors, including nursing. The report features a number of key findings about nursing transfer in California's community colleges. Read the report. You can also visit their web site at


Rhode Island MIDDI: College Charter School.

Florida Prepaid College Plans: Comprehensive plan offered to families across a wide-range of financial situations providing a pathway to a college education.



AB 2400 and Fact Sheet-Background Information provided by Louise Timmer, Ed.D, RN.

AB 2400 (Block, Anderson, and Hill): Public Post-secondary Education Community Colleges: Baccalaureate degree pilot program.


AB 1455 (Hill): Community Colleges: Baccalaureate degree-pilot program.


A02480-New York State Bill-BSN as entry into practice.

Bachelor of Science at Community College Task Force Recommendations.

SB 1393 (Scott) Nursing Programs (a matriculation bill): This bill would prohibit a campus of the CA State University or California Community College systems from requiring a student of a registered nursing program with a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution to complete any coursework other than that which is unique and exclusively required to earn a nursing degree from that institution. This bill specifies that a district is prohibited from either excluding an applicant on the basis that the applicant is not a district resident or has not completed prerequisite courses in that district, or from implementing policies, procedures, and systems, including, but not limited to, priority registration systems, that have the effect of excluding an applicant or student who is not a resident of that district from a registered nursing program of that district. This bill has been chaptered.


ANA\C General Assembly Resolution. Collaborative Method to Assist Students to Obtain Baccalaureate.

AACN Media: Creating a More Highly Qualified Nursing Workforce.


Comparison of Nursing Units between Community Colleges and California State University Nursing Programs.

Arizona Nurses Association White Paper Community Colleges Awarding Baccalaureate degrees in Nursing.


Baccalaureate Options in Florida.

ESSHB 1794-Washington State Bill baccalaureate degree to under served areas.

AACN Position Statement on Baccalaureate Nursing Programs Offered by Community Colleges.


American Association of State Colleges and Universities: Update on the Community College Baccalaureate(CCBA).

Project MUSE: Community College as a Baccalaureate-Granting Institution.


Best Educational E-Practices (BEEP).

Higher Learning Commission Task force Summary of Baccalaureate Education in Community College Setting.

CAL-ANSWERS CA Workforce Issues: "The Nursing Shortage in California: The Public Policy Role of The California Strategic Planning Committee For Nursing" by Sara Keating RN, Ed.D, FAAN; Karen Sechrist. RN, PhD, FAAN.

The Higher Learning Commission North Central Association of Colleges and Schools-Task Force Baccalaureate Education in the Community College Setting. Read the Task Force Executive Summary February 23, 2001. Read the Task Force Meeting Report from October 31-November, 2000.


Other Supporting Information

AACN White Paper: Hallmarks of Professional Nursing Practice Environment What Every Nursing School Graduate Should Consider When Seeking Employment.

California Board of Registered Nursing 2008-2009 Annual School Report.