Monday, May 21 , 2018, 12:05 pm | Mostly Cloudy 64º


State Board Rejects Allan Hancock College’s Proposal for 4-Year Degree

15 community colleges are approved to offer bachelor’s degrees under pilot program

Allan Hancock College’s proposal to offer a four-year degree for vineyard management was not included in 15 pilot programs approved by the California Community College Board of Governors.

Hancock was among the 34 colleges that submitted applications to the Chancellor’s Office last month.

“I can’t say we’re not disappointed. We believe we put together a very solid application,” Superintendent/President Kevin Walthers said. “The selected degrees represent the ability of the community college system to create more opportunities and increase access for students to complete their education.”

Santa Barbara City College didn’t apply due to the stipulation that community colleges couldn’t propose a program already offered at a California State University or University of California campus, spokeswoman Joan Galvan said.

The Santa Maria-based college had proposed offering a bachelor’s degree in applied viticulture, a non-traditional field that focused on vineyard management, Hancock officials said.

“Our degree was more about using applied technology to build a sustainable vineyard that maximized water resources and adapted to climate change. They are all important topics for the agriculture community,” Walthers said.

Completion of Hancock’s application was a faculty-driven process led by academic dean Paul Murphy, agribusiness instructor Eric Shiers and agribusiness/viticulture program director Alfredo Koch, among others, college officials noted.

Sites picked for the pilot program include dental hygiene programs at Foothill and West Los Angeles community colleges and respiratory therapy programs at Skyline College and Modesto Junior College.

The closest community college to the Central Coast selected for the pilot program was Bakersfield College, which applied to offer a bachelor’s degree in industrial automation. 

Among the other colleges selected were Antelope Valley College (airframe manufacturing technology), Cypress College (mortuary science), Feather River (equine industry), Rio Hondo (automotive technology), Crafton Hills (emergency services and allied health systems), MiraCosta (biomanufacturing), San Diego Mesa (health information management), Santa Ana (occupational therapy), Santa Monica (interaction design) and Shasta College (health information management).

State officials said lower-division coursework would cost $46 and upper-division coursework would cost $84 under the new program, with an estimated total cost of about $10,000 to obtain a bachelor’s degree.

The pilot program is the result of Senate Bill 850 that Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law in September. The law allowed up to 15 community colleges across the state to start bachelor’s degree programs unavailable in either California State University or the University of California. 

Applicants were required to describe the pilot programs, evaluate student interest and community support, research the labor market and labor demand, research and avoid duplications of UC and CSU majors, and illustrate upper division coursework and identify resources to demonstrate college capacities. 

California Community Colleges Chancellor Brice Harris said the quality of the application, labor market demand and geographic distribution helped to distinguish the applicants from one another.

“These colleges are embarking on a new mission for the California Community Colleges that will expand opportunities in public higher education,” Harris said. “Students will have a range of programs from which to choose to earn high quality, affordable and in-demand degrees. California employers win too, as they will have improved access to highly qualified candidates in these fields.”

The law requires the new programs to begin as early as next fall and no later than 2017-18 with degrees completed by the 2022-23 academic year.

Harris and his staff will begin to meet with the selected colleges, as well as with members of the UC and CSU systems before bringing the item back to the Board of Governors for final review in March.

California joins 21 other states that allow community colleges to offer four-year degrees.  

Walthers said Hancock College will continue to explore partnerships with the California State University system and Cal Poly to offer four-year degrees in the area. 

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Supporter

Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >