Community colleges lobby to offer 4-year degrees

LIVONIA, MI – Michigan community colleges are challenging four-year universities for the right to offer bachelor's degrees.

If they succeed, the state would join 14 others that already allow such degrees.

The move is being opposed by Michigan's 15 public universities, which says it's a clear case of the colleges overstepping their missions.

Livonia Republican state Representative John Walsh is the bill's author, and he has backing from a bipartisan group of colleagues.

The bill is expected to get a hearing this fall and would let community colleges offer four-year degrees in nursing, culinary arts and cement engineering.

Michigan's 28 community colleges have about 452,000 mostly part-time students.