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Wed February 1, 2012
Community college baccalaureate degrees before Senate panel
By Laura Weber, Michigan Public Radio Network
LANSING, MI –
Community college students may soon be able to get a bachelor's degree without transferring to a four-year college or university. As Michigan Public Radio's Laura Weber reports, a bill before a state Senate panel would allow community colleges to offer the degrees in a few fields.
The measure would allow community colleges to offer baccalaureate degrees in culinary arts, maritime studies, concrete technology, energy production, and nursing.
State Representative John Walsh says the state needs more highly trained nurses.
"We do at present have a shortage, and it's o nly going to increase according to every study, including ones conducted by our own government," he says.
Those who oppose the measure say it would create unnecessary competition between community colleges and un iversities, especially in the field of nursing.
But supporters of the bill say many people are not within a reasonable driving distance of a university, and community colleges could offer people in rural areas more opportunities to pursue four-year degrees.