Bill Would Allow Community Colleges To Offer 4-Year Degree

LANSING (WWJ) – A battle is underway again in Lansing between community colleges and four-year colleges and universities.

It’s been proposed in the past: allowing community colleges to offer a four-year degree to students. A bill now under consideration would limit community colleges to offer four-degrees to certain areas of study, like nursing or culinary arts.

Republican State House Representative John Walsh from Livonia said if passed, it wouldn’t mean the end for four-year schools.

“I promise you that if this bill should pass and be signed into law, no university will go out of business, and I seriously doubt they’ll lose a program. But, students across the state will have the opportunity to pursue the education they desire, not the one that’s designed by the institution. The program they desire to pursue to find a job in the field that they have chosen,” Walsh said.

Opponents to the idea claim it would put a much larger financial burden on higher education and on the taxpayers.

Dr. John Dunn of Western Michigan University, an opponent of the idea, said when a school starts a four-year degree, it costs a lot to offer than it does under a two-year scenario.

“When you get into accredited programs, there are going to be additional costs. And what we don’t want to do, is to provide a program for a student that does not satisfy leads,” Dunn said.

The proposal has come up before in Lansing, but failed the support to pass the plan.

  • A Michigan Resident

    Michigan students need affordable education. The big Michigan institutions have formed a consortium under University, Inc. run by MBA administrators. This group’s objective is to make more money. Considering Michigan’s tough economy and the need for a smarter work force Michigan students currently mortgage their education into long term debt. Community colleges offer a viable program at reduced rates without the frills of fancy dormitories, football stadiums, manicured lawns and ivy covered halls. Getting smart is not about visual image. Its about learning, thinking, creating, innovating and improvement. High cost premium universities erode this objective for all.

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