Mixed Results for California’s Experiment with Community Colleges Offering Bachelor’s Degrees

California’s experiment of allowing community colleges to grant bachelor’s degrees shows promise of benefiting students but partnering with universities may be a better alternative.

That’s the conclusion of a state legislative analyst’s office (LAO) report that says there may be other more effective options to meeting students’ needs and improving the state’s workforce than the colleges awarding bachelor’s degrees.

“We found little evidence that graduates from these pilot programs were better prepared to fill these positions compared to those with other bachelor’s degrees or that pilot program graduates were helping employers fill hard-to-staff positions,” according to the report released Friday by the LAO. “The most common benefit of the pilot cited by students was the relatively low cost of attending the community college bachelor’s degree programs.”

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