Achieving the Baccalaureate Through the Community College

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6 This programs and the controversy surrounding these programs. It also chapter looks at examines models for community the delivery college of these baccalaureate baccalaureates, emphasizing their curricular
6 This programs and the controversy surrounding these programs. It also chapter looks at examines models for community the delivery college of these baccalaureate baccalaureates, emphasizing their curricular focus in states and colleges across the nation. The chapter concludes with questions that should guide decision makers in enhancing student access and bachelor's degree completion. Achieving the Baccalaureate Through the Community College Deborah L. Floyd Community and junior colleges have a rich history of providing access to the baccalaureate degree through various means and models while limiting their own highest award to the associate degree. Two-year colleges are usually easily accessible to community members and thus are conveniently positioned to serve as a focal point for educational partnerships. And as they have evolved from junior colleges to comprehensive institutions, contemporary community colleges have demonstrated their commitment to baccalaureate partnerships through various models. These include articulation models, whereby students are guaranteed that their credits will transfer to a four-year institution; university extension models, in which universities provide extension programs leading to the baccalaureate degree; university center models, including a variety of on-site partnerships designed to help students earn a baccalaureate (conferred by universities); and finally, community college baccalaureate models, whereby the community colleges themselves (not universities) confer the degree (Floyd, 2005). Although most community college presidents indicate a preference for partnership models, as opposed to delivering and conferring baccalaureates independently (Community College Baccalaureate Association, 2003; Floyd, 2005), there is an undeniable trend across the United States and Canada for two-year institutions to make a bid to offer their own baccalaureate degrees in specialized curricular areas. This chapter describes models of community college baccalaureate (CCB) delivery in the United States, focusing on community colleges that *-WILEY InterSciences NEW DIRECTIONS FOR COMMUNITY COLLEGES, no. 135, Fall Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Published online in Wiley lnterscience ( - DOI: /cc.248 60 ACADEMIC PATHWAYS TO AND FROM THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE have obtained authorization to do so in certain curricular and degree areas. The chapter also explores the myths and realities of the somewhat controversial CCB degree and offers strategies for implementing CCB programs. This chapter is based on analysis of college and university Web sites, newspaper and periodical articles, proposed and current state legislation, working papers and policy documents, discussions with community college practitioners, and unpublished presentations by practitioners and scholars at the 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006 Community College Baccalaureate Association conferences. It also relies on previously published and edited work (Floyd, 2005; Floyd, Skolnik, and Walker, 2005; Floyd and Walker, 2003) referencing models, state approvals, and general information about colleges. Myths and Realities of the Community College Baccalaureate Contrary to the belief of some, the CCB is not a recent phenomenon. New York's Fashion Institute of Technology gained approval to grant fashion degrees in the 1970s, and West Virginia's Parkersburg Community College obtained approval to grant baccalaureates in the 1980s. What is new, however, is the momentum with which community colleges are gaining approval, and the consistent curricular emphasis on meeting local employment and workforce demands. The notion of community colleges conferring their own baccalaureate degrees is wrought with controversy and passionate arguments on both sides (Eaton, 2005; Mills, 2003; Townsend, 2005; Walker, 2001). Many critics fear that CCB degrees shift the colleges' focus away from their core community mission and bread-and-butter curricular offerings-developmental, transfer, community, and technical education-toward inappropriate priorities, such as upper-division baccalaureate courses that lead to four-year degrees. But advocates of the CCB degree see this as a myth rather than the reality, and assert that the new CCBs respond to expanding workforce needs that are not being met by universities. Although some believe that universities should confer all baccalaureate degrees, as universities increase undergraduate admissions standards and place more emphasis on research and graduate studies they deemphasize certain university degrees, including those offered for place-bound students and those in disciplines such as teacher education, technology, middle management, and allied health. Thus, advocates for the CCB argue that community colleges are justified in seeking authority to offer these degrees, especially if there is a strong community need. To advocate for the CCB, the Community College Baccalaureate Association (CCBA) was formed in The CCBA includes members from twenty-eight states, four Canadian provinces, Bermuda, Jamaica, research institutions, private industry, and higher education institutions (Walker, 2005). NEw DIRECTIONS FOR COMMUNITY COLLEGES * DOI: cc ACHIEVING THE BACCALAUREATE THROUGH THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE 61 A common myth, especially among decision makers with limited understanding of this new trend, is that CCBs are traditional liberal arts degrees that are more appropriately offered by universities. In reality, these degrees are overwhelmingly applied workforce degrees in such areas as technology, management, business, nursing, law enforcement, agriculture, engineering, and teacher education. Another myth about community colleges is that they are and have always been two-year colleges that do not offer post-baccalaureate courses and programs. In reality, community colleges have delivered post-associate degree training for years through their continuing education programs in areas such as teacher certification, allied health, legal studies, and fire science. In fact, students in noncredit continuing education classes (again, mainly in workforce-related areas) account for about half of the ten million students enrolled in United States community colleges each year (American Association of Community Colleges, 2000). Proponents of the CCB see workforce and applied baccalaureates as necessary and valid credentials to prepare students for the workforce, a core community college mission. Nevertheless, traditionalists such as Eaton (2005) and Wattenbarger (2000) hold steadfast to the belief that universities should continue to be the gatekeepers of baccalaureate degrees; they encourage community colleges to partner with four-year institutions to create university centers and greater articulation. In some cases, however, these university-community college partnerships do not result in students receiving desired curricular programming locally; this is especially difficult for place-bound students (Floyd, 2005). Without the CCB, these students would likely be denied access to baccalaureate degrees. Another myth is that the CCB will cause community colleges to try to become full-fledged four-year institutions. It is true that in the last ten years or so, a handful of junior and community colleges have evolved into fouryear state colleges or have become university branches or two-year extensions of universities that grant baccalaureate degrees. However, these numbers are extremely low compared to the historical number of public and private junior or community colleges that have evolved into four-year institutions for reasons other than the CCB. This myth is largely unfounded, and states with swelling populations and limited or no four-year state collegessuch as Florida, Arizona, and Nevada-may be justified in looking to community colleges to fill the state public college void, especially in highdemand professional fields such as teacher education. Yet another common myth is that community colleges need to strengthen partnerships to address local demands for baccalaureate degrees. In reality, most community colleges with baccalaureate degree approval already have strong partnerships with four-year colleges and universitiesthe new CCB degrees are often added as a curricular complement. Community colleges have been programmatically addressing issues of access to the NEW DIRECTIONS FOR COMMUNITY COLLEGES DOI: /cc 62 ACADEMIC PATHWAYS TO AND FROM THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE baccalaureate for many years through partnerships such as university centers and concurrent-use programs (Windham, Perkins, and Rogers, 2001), and presidents actually prefer partnership models when practical (Floyd, 2005). Most of the time, the new CCBs are offered in high-need technical disciplines for which a local university has no specialized faculty or that the institution simply chooses not to offer. Baccalaureate Delivery Models in Community Colleges It is not a simple task to count and identify community colleges conferring their own baccalaureates, because current systems of classifying community colleges are imperfect. For example, the name of the community college offering these degrees may not always include the word community. Until recently, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), which accredits community colleges in large states such as Florida and Texas, required that community colleges approved to offer at least one baccalaureate degree drop community from their name and become classified as four-year colleges. By early 2006, the SACS Commission on Colleges had softened its position, and Florida's Daytona Beach Community College and Florida Community College at Jacksonville won the right to keep community in their college names. Furthermore, colleges such as the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith and the University of West Virginia at Parkersburg (formerly Westark Community College and Parkersburg Community College, respectively)-both of which are affiliated with universities-are included in some but not all tallies of CCB institutions because they are no longer community colleges by title. Because of these classification problems and little published research, it is difficult to determine precisely which institutions offer the new baccalaureates and how the programs are delivered. And there are other puzzles to solve. Should baccalaureate degrees conferred by community colleges that were later classified as four-year colleges still be considered CCBs? Should baccalaureate degrees awarded by an institution affiliated with a university, but formerly approved only for associate degrees, be considered a CCB? If an institution considers itself to be a community college, but awards baccalaureate degrees (and some master's degrees) in a field such as fashion design, is that institution offering the CCB? The Community College Baccalaureate Associate organization says yes to all of these questions, and in 2003 it began embracing institutions that offer baccalaureates through one or more of the partnerships described in the sections that follow (K. P Walker, personal communication, January 13, 2006). Regardless of the term used to describe these institutions, many associate degree-granting institutions are seeking authorization to offer and confer specialized baccalaureate degrees and are incorporating diverse and creative models to do so (Skolnik and Floyd, 2005). NEw DIRECTIONS FOR COMMUNITY COLLEGES - DOI: /cc ACHIEVING THE BACCALAUREATE THROUGH THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE 63 Articulation Model. Most community colleges have agreements with universities to ensure their acceptance of freshman and sophomore credits, and some of these agreements are more formal than others. States such as Texas, Illinois, New York, California, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Washington have transfer rates above the national average because their community colleges and universities formally collaborate to ensure that their students' credits transfer (Wellman, 2002). Creative partnerships such as those of Florida's Brevard Community College (BCC) and the University of Central Florida (UCF) not only guarantee admission to community college graduates but give them preferential status for admission to selective programs. The BCC and UCF partnership includes bold plans to increase shared faculty and double the number of degrees at regional campuses to increase baccalaureate access (Dean, 2006). Although this articulation model is effective in providing access to the baccalaureate, it is not always practical for place-bound students who cannot relocate or for students who are unable to articulate entry to specific programs of study University Centers and Concurrent-Use Campus Models. University centers and concurrent-use campuses are becoming increasingly popular ways of providing access to the baccalaureate because they allow community colleges to partner with one or more senior colleges and universities to deliver baccalaureates degrees locally. Lorenzo (2005) lists six models for university center and concurrent-use campuses: the colocation model, in which institutions share the same space; the enterprise model, where institutions form a consortium to operate a higher education center; the integrated model, in which a higher education center is integrated on a community college campus; the virtual model, which is similar to campus-based university centers, but in which upper-level course work is offered online; the sponsorship model, where the community college is in charge of operating the university center and determining curricular offerings; and the hybrid model, in which community colleges confer some baccalaureate degrees but also partner with universities for other degrees, including graduate degrees. With the exception of the hybrid model, all of these arrangements designate the senior college or university to confer the degree, not the community college. Another creative partnership is the embedded baccalaureate model, a concept describing the partnership between Northwestern Michigan College, Macomb Community College, and Ferris State University (Cotto, Teahen, and Thomas, 2006). This model emphasizes learning outcomes, curricular alignment, transparency for students, shared responsibilities for advising and leading student programs, and seamless transitions between terms and courses. Students participating in this unique model graduate with both associate and baccalaureate degrees. University Extension Model. Community colleges such as Hawaii's Maui Community College, Arkansas' Westark Community College, and West Virginia's Parkersburg Community College are affiliated with universities and have merged their governance structures, although some are more NEW DIRECTIONS FOR COMMUNITY COLLEGES * DOI: /cc 64 ACADEMIC PATHWAYS TO AND FROM THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE aligned than others. In other states, such as Louisiana and Oklahoma, landgrant state universities have been awarded authorization to operate associate degree branches that are not community colleges per se, but function much like them in serving local needs. To illustrate, in 2003 and 2004, respectively, Louisiana State University- Alexandria and Oklahoma State University-Okmulgee were approved to offer select baccalaureate degrees; previously, their highest offering was the associate degree (Floyd, 2005). Although these colleges have university in their names rather than community, the challenges they face in gaining degree approval for baccalaureate programs are quite similar to those faced by community colleges. As Table 6.1 illustrates, six states (Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Utah, West Virginia, and Oklahoma) recently authorized associate degree institutions to offer baccalaureates. Some of these institutions are a part of land-grant universities, others have converted to state colleges. Community College Baccalaureate Model. This chapter defines a pure CCB as one coming from public community colleges or two-year institutions that are approved to confer baccalaureate degrees in one or more areas. This category does not include partnership models wherein the colleges themselves do not confer baccalaureate degrees, although associate-only colleges approved to add baccalaureates are often included in these counts, as noted earlier. Nine states have approved these baccalaureates: Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Texas, Vermont, and Washington. Florida has led the United States in the development of contemporary CCBs. In 2001, Florida's oldest community college, St. Petersburg College, was the first in the state approved to offer its own baccalaureate degrees. The authorizing legislation specifically addressed the need for workforce programs in high-need areas such as information technology, nursing, and teacher education. Subsequently, legislation was passed authorizing other community colleges to offer specific baccalaureate programs as long as they were developed to meet identified workforce needs and could not be offered through an existing partnership with a university. As Table 6.2 illustrates, seven Florida community colleges were authorized to offer baccalaureate degrees in These CCBs are designed to meet workforce needs in teacher education, business and management, health and allied health, and agriculture. Almost all of Florida's CCBs are bachelor of applied science or bachelor of applied technology degrees, which are applied workforce designations. However, bachelor of science degrees are awarded in various teacher education disciplines. Table 6.3 notes the curricular areas of focus for CCBs in Vermont, Texas, New Mexico, and Washington. Texas authorized three community colleges to offer bachelor of applied technology degrees to meet specific local workforce needs. Although Vermont Technical College offers a bachelor of arts in general education, most of its CCBs are bachelor of science degrees in technology, management, business, engineering, and architectural disciplines. New Mexico recently authorized New Mexico Community NEW DIRECTIONS FOR COMMUNITY COLLEGES * DOI: /cc 00 z 4 )c w 8 w 0 c a r =s u 4 U M4 C, 4 _ o m' w)) ) -0 4 u ~~~ c4 o 4 44u cr.o w)e w U 0 or ='u U-'- Zo a 0 0 cr.0 c'9 R- 0 04ImcR. - r) E I) -a mr 0 oq u. U z 0 - to0~ cu c go 0o 10o -0* 0 90 t0 o 0. c_ -o w4!z E w.. t=~ t- =5-o u- ~.0 ~ 4) 0~ - CR 'n 0 RE 0 u) 4) Qj 4-0 z 0 54)0 0u a ) ~ -t44) 4)u zc u' u4 6 : ) CLU 0c -u -A. 0 cr. NEW DIRECTIONS FOR COMMUNITY COLLEGES - DOI: /cc Il) rl) r,4i o i 0 r i r4 c 0 rl r r ! 0 rq r Cuu Cr r 7= 0 o ~to 00 0 c 00 0 Cuu c ~ c Q x0 0 i 0 Itl - u 0~ I-_ r u0 ' -0 0 au u u u m 0 NEW DIRECTIONS FOR COMMUNITY COLLEGES - DOI: /cc GE .I' ca o NN r4 r l 00 C CD 4 r4 -S 0*- o GE GE U 0 z.1 S LI 00 C-- a S IJ,1 1-2 L E) GE 'a E C,0 C -,i; E a u ui uil 0 2 S LI LI GE CC!S! S -S LI I-C S a a U C 0 0,1 cc cc' SC= c; -c WI - GE W 000 u _0 CR H 2a 5U CCU~ uhu z UCE) NEv DIRECTIONS FOR COMMUNITY COLLEGES DOI: /cc 68 ACADEMIC PATHWAYS TO AND FROM THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE College to offer bachelor of arts degrees in the high-need fields of elementary education, early childhood education, special education, and bilingual education. In 2005, Washington State's legislature authorized a pilot program to allow four community colleges to offer baccalaureate degrees to meet identified workforce demands for place-bound students. The Washington State legislation also authorized three pilot university partnerships in another effort to increase the state's baccalaureate attainment. In 2006, four community colleges, Bellevue Community and Technical College, Peninsula College, Olympic College, and South Seattle College were selected for the new CCB degrees (Borofsky and Seppanen, 2006). The colleges are located in suburban, rural, and urban areas, as well as in a Navy town, and will focus on delivering specific applied science degrees to meet specific workforce demands.
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