San Diego Mesa College has won final approval from the state to offer a bachelor’s degree this fall in the rapidly growing field of health information management.
The California Community Colleges Board of Governors’ action on Monday affirms a preliminary decision it made in January to grant Mesa College and 11 other community colleges the go-ahead in offering bachelor’s degrees under the state’s historic Baccalaureate Pilot Program.
Senate Bill 850, which was authored by state Sen. Marty Block from San Diego and which became law Jan. 1, allows a limited number of colleges to develop baccalaureate programs in career technical fields.
“After our strong advocacy for Senate Bill 850, I am delighted that Mesa College has been officially affirmed to offer the bachelor’s degree in health information management,” said Constance M. Carroll, Chancellor, San Diego Community College District.
“This will be a high-quality program, with top-notch faculty and facilities, and with definite jobs waiting for students who complete their degree. I am also hopeful that when the legislature understands the value of the community college baccalaureate, they will consider expanding the program to enable more community colleges to participate.”
The Mesa College program will be offered through the college’s School of Health Sciences and Public Service. Up to 32 students can enroll each year, and they will be required to complete 60 units of lower-division coursework at $46 per unit. Students enrolled in upper-division coursework will pay an additional $84 per unit, with the total cost of the four-year program — not including books and other expenses — amounting to about $10,500.
Mesa College will enroll its first freshman class of 32 students in fall 2015. Upper-level coursework will be offered in fall 2016 to individuals who meet the criteria for enrollment.
The Baccalaureate Pilot Program was fueled in part by several studies showing that the state needs to produce 60,000 more graduates with bachelor’s degrees annually by 2025 to meet workforce needs. California is joining 21 other states in which community colleges may also offer baccalaureate degrees.
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