Ohio provides path for community colleges to offer four-year degrees

Ohio has become the latest state in the Midwest where community colleges will have the chance to develop and provide bachelor’s degree programs for students. Under HB 49 (the state’s budget bill), these programs must be limited to applied and technical fields and be approved by Ohio’s chancellor of higher education. To get the go-ahead, a community college must show that its four-year program has buy-in from a regional industry or area businesses — for example, they agree to offer work-based learning and employment opportunities to students. In addition, the degree must meet a regional workforce need and fill a void not already met by a four-year college.

According to the Community College Baccalaureate Association, bachelor’s degrees can be conferred by community colleges in five other Midwestern states: Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin.

Under the new Ohio law, the state’s chancellor of higher education is required to study whether the community colleges’ new programs improve student outcomes in the workforce and local industries’ ability to secure qualified employees.
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Stateline Midwest: August 20172.46 MB