Community Colleges in Texas Await Approval to Offer Four Year Courses [Video]By Eleanor Bright, UniversityHerald Reporter
Community Colleges in Texas had been waiting for the approval of their request to offer four year courses. The approval would mean more students from the communities would be able to finish a four year course.
A bill had been passed regarding inclusion of bachelor's degree program in community colleges in Texas. Students can enroll in a community colleges for the first two years of their studies. After two years, they had to transfer to a university to finish their bachelor's degree. Supporters of the proposal believed that this will benefit students in the locality. They would be able to obtain a bachelor's degree without having to leave home to study in university, the WUSA9 reported.
In addition, allowing community colleges to offer four year courses would help meet the rising demand for skilled workers. It was predicted that several years from now, Texas would experience shortage of workers in the field of nursing, early childhood education, applied technology and applied science.
It is currently estimated that around 40 percent of registered nurses in Texas will reach retirement age soon. Around 60,000 nurses will be needed to replace them. This means universities and colleges have to produce more nurses.
Supporters of the bill considered this as an opportunity to increase the number of skilled professionals to fill future job posts. Those who are against it believed that offering bachelor's degree program might cause tuition fee hike. This might result to increased competition among universities, News Channel 10 reported.
The Texas Nurses Association expressed its concern about the quality of nursing education that students will get. Graduates must be able to perform nursing tasks excellently. All it wants is to have the nursing course offered by accredited schools, including community colleges.
Once approved, community colleges will offer limited number of courses only. To be prioritized are courses in the field of nursing, applied science and applied technology.