Gavilan misses out on four-year degree program

Gavilan Aviation student Scott Rudy works on an airplane engine during class Thursday afternoon.

Gavilan College was not one of the 15 California community colleges selected to develop a four-year baccalaureate program in career technical fields as part of a pilot program enacted under a new law, Senate Bill 805.
Two Bay Area schools, Skyline College for Respiratory Therapy and Foothill College for Dental Hygiene, were among those announced Jan. 20 by California Community Colleges Board of Governors and Chancellor Brice Harris.
The Baccalaureate Degree Pilot Program was fueled in part by several studies showing that the state needs to produce 60,000 more graduates with bachelor’s degrees annually by 2025 in order to meet workforce needs, according to the press release from San Diego Community College District. California is joining 21 other states that allow their community colleges to offer baccalaureate degrees.
Gavilan, which was one of 36 districts to submit letters of intent to the chancellor’s office, was hoping to provide students with advanced aviation maintenance technology coursework.
Authored by Sen. Marty Block, D-San Diego, the legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2014 allows up to 15 districts to establish pilot baccalaureate degree programs in a field of study not offered by the California State University or University of California.
Among the wide variety of diverse vocational field degrees community colleges submitted for consideration are airframe manufacturing technology, biomanufacturing, respiratory therapy, dental hygiene, engineering technology and public safety administration.
Districts had until Dec. 19 to submit applications for the baccalaureate degree program. A team comprised of chancellor’s office staff; a member of the business and workforce community; representatives from CSU, UC and community college administrators; faculty; and staff from districts that did not apply to host a program reviewed the applications.
The chancellor selected from those applications and submitted them to the board of governors for ultimate consideration and approval, in consultation with representatives of the CSU and UC.

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