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California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

Ventura County Community College District Introduces Bachelor’s Degree Programs

The Ventura County Community College District will launch new bachelor’s degree programs over the next two years, marking a milestone in community college academic offerings. 

Moorpark College will offer a Bachelor’s of Science in Biomanufacturing starting in the fall of 2024, Oxnard College will have a Bachelor’s of Science in Dental Hygiene beginning in the fall 2025, and Ventura College’s Bachelor’s of Science in Automotive Career Education is planned for the fall of 2025. 

Ventura College President Kim Hoffmans said that the district is excited to move into the realm of bachelor’s degrees. She said that many students who already attend Ventura College will have the advantage of completing a bachelor’s degree in an environment that already feels familiar.

“A lot of our students are here because we are part of the community, and have a real connection with Ventura College,” Hoffmans said.

Hoffmans also said the three new applied degree programs make sense since they are not programs that are traditionally seen at other four-year universities.

“We have students who are doing successful work at the institution and who would love to get a bachelor’s degree…” Moorpark College President Julius Sokenu said. “That will change the landscape in those industries, because those are applied baccalaureate; high skill, high demand, high wage, which helps to support our economic base and it meets the needs of those industries in the sector.”

According to The California Community Colleges Chancellor’s office, “Bachelor’s degree proposals must address numerous criteria, one of them being ensuring the program and program curricula’s non-duplication of California State University (CSU) and University of California (UC) programs.”

“The whole purpose of having more bachelor programs at our community colleges is to serve our community. And we want to get our students into the workforce. So we’re not going to be seeing bachelor’s programs like history and english, it’s more hands-on work,” Student Trustee for the Ventura County College Community District Damaris Figueroa said.

Figueroa said the steps to be considered for admission into the program begins with filling out an interest form, meeting the requirements, and then getting accepted. She said requirements include having at least a 2.0 GPA, completion of all prerequisites, and an associates degree. 

Hoffmans said bachelor’s degree students will pay a little bit more, but still, it’ll be negligible compared to any other university. She said the estimated tuition cost for the total bachelor’s degree is $9,928. 

“Because it’s cheaper, doesn’t mean it’s less than but it certainly is going to provide students who want to stay within the local community, who have a tight budget, and for students who are looking at multiple degrees. This is one way of being able to be prudent and financially and fiscally responsible,” Sokenu said.  

Hoffmans said in order for the program to expand, they will need to invest more resources in the department to make sure students have the equipment and everything they need to successfully complete their degree.

“But this is just the beginning, we intend to develop more,” Sokenu said. 

Sokenu said the next step for Moorpark College is to offer a bachelor’s degree in cyber security which will be fully online. He said at the earliest it could start in the fall of 2025.

Figueroa said the next step for Oxnard College, her home campus, will be to offer a Bachelor of Arts in Applied Advocacy and Organizing.

Hoffmans said having bachelor’s degrees in nursing at the community college level is essential. 

“There’s a new bill [Senate Bill 895] that has a pilot for nursing programs in community colleges. And the reason why that’s so significant is over 70% of our nurses in California have received their associates degree through community college,” Hoffmans said.

Hoffmans said she hopes Ventura College could be one of the pilots.

“If they’re already comfortable in an environment to allow them, or to have the opportunity to advance their education at a place where they’re comfortable and familiar and know the resources, I think it is a win-win,” Hoffmans said.

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    Teresa CApr 16, 2024 at 3:18 pm

    Makes sense to add these newly developed bachelor’s programs. I can see them expanding quickly.