SANTA MONICA ( — California’s community college system is considering adopting four-year degrees, offering greater access to training for the workforce.

The idea of transforming junior colleges into four-year schools is being met with mixed reactions.

“My plan is to get my AA here and then transfer to a four year university to get my bachelors,” said Pamela Newell, a student at Santa Monica College who also has a job.

The idea of receiving a four-year degree from a community college is appealing to Newell.

“That is definitely something I would do,” she said. “It would save so much time and money and stress.”

A 16-member panel of appointed Cal State and UC students and faculty will present a report to the Board of Governors by the end of the year, taking into account both sides of the issue.

“I could see that it would put added financial strain on a system that’s kind of already in flux,” said SMC student Jeffrey Heller.

Beth Smith, President of the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges agrees.

“The colleges first need to restore courses and class sections to meet our current mission before we consider adding to our role in higher education, and at the same time, we need to find solutions to the changing job market for many of our students who could previously find work with an associate degree but now need a bachelor’s degree,” Smith said in a statement.


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