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Arizona's community colleges to offer limited 4-year degrees

Before this legislation, the community colleges have only offered two-year degree programs and professional certifications.
Maricopa Community College District headquarters

PHOENIX — Gov. Doug Ducey on Tuesday signed into law a bill that allows Arizona’s community colleges to offer limited four-year college degrees. 

Before this legislation, the community colleges have only offered two-year degree programs and professional certifications.

Arizona now joins 23 other states that allow community colleges to offer baccalaureate degrees under limited prescribed circumstances. 

Senate Bill 1453 will take effect this fall and requires detailed internal and external processes, including becoming nationally accredited.  

The Maricopa Community Colleges plan to begin enrolling students in their baccalaureate degree programs as early as fall 2023.

Ducey's office says SB 1453 comes at an important time to "reskill and upskill" Arizona’s workforce to meet the needs of the growing economy following the pandemic.

“Arizona’s community colleges play a critical role in supporting students of all ages and equipping our workforce with skills and resources,” Ducey said in a statement. “Arizona is a school choice state, and today’s action is school choice for higher education. This is ‘Opportunity for All’ in action. It will allow students even more opportunities as they strengthen their education and expand their employment opportunities."

Arizona State Senator Paul Boyer and Representative Becky Nutt led the legislative efforts.