LTCC not chosen for bachelor’s degree pilot program |

LTCC not chosen for bachelor’s degree pilot program

Isaac Brambila

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — An announcement by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office revealed Tuesday that Lake Tahoe Community College (LTCC) was not chosen as one of 15 two-year colleges for a pilot program that would give the school a chance to offer a single four-year degree.

The school, however, will continue to pursue the opportunity to offer bachelor’s degrees, Interim Marketing and Communications Officer for LTCC Diane Lewis said following the announcement.

LTCC was one of 34 of community colleges in the state attempting to be part of the seven-year pilot program established by Senate Bill 850, which was authored by Democratic State Sen. Marty Block and signed last year by Gov. Jerry Brown.

If chosen, LTCC would have offered a baccalaureate degree in public safety administration, a degree that would fit the path of an AA degree already offered at the college.

The college’s attempt to provide its students with the opportunity to obtain a four-year degree in South Lake Tahoe is part of an effort to provide locals a service that is not available within an hour-and-a-half driving radius, Lewis said. Furthermore, as part of the deal, the pilot schools would have to offer degrees not offered by the California State University or University of California systems.

Additionally, the chosen schools needed to provide assistance in solving workforce problems present in their area, for example, training workers in a field that lacks trained and competent candidates in a given area. That requirement may have affected LTCC’s application, Lewis speculated.

Though the school was not chosen to be part of the program, Lewis said LTCC will continue its attempt to offer baccalaureate degrees and is currently in talks with other potential partners to make the program possible, including University of California, Davis. It is possible LTCC works with more than one partner.

Though it is still hard to tell how negotiations develop, a partnership could be struck as soon as March or April, Lewis said.

If those talks materialize, the school could offer more than a single four-year degree and possibly master’s degrees, Lewis said. As part of a partnership, LTCC would likely act as a satellite campus for the partner school and offer the partner school’s curriculum.

Lewis added that LTCC already plans to use nearly $6 million in private donation funds to build a University Center on the LTCC campus.

Lewis also remained optimistic that, if the pilot programs work, other schools or possibly all community colleges in the state could offer at least a limited number of four-year degrees in the future.

“So chin up,” Lewis stated in an email, “four-year degrees will come.”

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