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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.

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