MSU Denver President Stephen Jordan testified March 14 before the Senate Education Committee in support of SB 13-165, which would allow community colleges to offer applied science bachelor�s degrees in technical, career and workforce development fields such as dental hygiene.
The bill passed out of the committee 8-1.
Jordan�s support contrasted with staunch opposition from most of the state�s institutions that offer four-year degrees, including the University of Colorado and Colorado State University.
In his testimony, Jordan said that granting the community college system the authority to offer bachelor�s degrees in disciplines that other schools don�t have would fill a workforce need without directly impacting the other institutions.
�I supported similar legislation that passed in 2005 when I was president at Eastern Washington University,� Jordan said, adding that a 2010 American Association of State Colleges and Universities report showed that community colleges typically add bachelor�s programs in locations where nearby four-year colleges either don�t exist or can�t meet demand.
�This bill is about the economy of the state of Colorado and expanding access to people in Sterling, Wray, Limon, Mancos and Trinidad, who could benefit from increased educational opportunities designed to meet workforce needs,� he told the committee.
�This bill expands opportunities for students who are place-bound and will enhance workforce capacity throughout Colorado, especially in underserved rural locations.�
This January, Michigan became the 21st state to adopt similar legislation.
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