CFCC gets OK to offer 4-yr. degrees

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By The Staff

Central Florida Community College will begin the process of offering two baccalaureate degree programs, following approval by the District of the Board of Trustees at its Tuesday meeting. While the college will begin working immediately thorough the approval process, the baccalaureate programs will be offered no earlier than fall 2010, according to Dr. Charles Dassance, CFCC president.

The programs will not be offered until the college receives adequate funding for them.

The degrees that are planned are a Bachelor of Applied Science in Business and Organizational Management, with specializations in Agribusiness Management, Management Information Systems, Public Safety Administration and Health Care Management; and a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education – Pre-K through Grade 3.

“This is a significant change in the history of the college and one that has not been taken lightly,” Dassance said. “Our primary mission of providing access through an open door philosophy will remain in place. We will also continue our strong focus on the ‘2 Plus 2’ articulation process as the primary means for our students to obtain four-year degrees.”

For 15 years, CFCC has provided access to baccalaureate degree programs through university partnerships. In recent years, some of Florida’s community colleges have been granted approval to offer baccalaureate programs to meet community needs, and there are currently 13 community colleges that are offering baccalaureate degrees. Legislation passed in 2008 expanded opportunities for community colleges to offer four-year degrees.

“The degrees we propose to offer will fill some gaps in what is being offered through our University Center,” Dassance said. “We will continue to nurture and grow our university partnership programs.”

The approval process to offer bachelor’s degrees is rigorous and includes Level II accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and approval from the State Board of Education.

“We will continue to keep our focus on local needs and will integrate these new baccalaureate programs into our existing organizational structure, rather than developing a separate level within the college,” Dassance said.