4-year Degrees at a 2-year College?

Community College Spotlight discusses Florida’s CCs giving BAs out.

The article on Inside Higher Ed begins:

When the first community colleges sought permission to offer four-year degrees, they generally said that it would only be one or two programs — nothing dramatic. But in Florida, where the community college baccalaureate movement is strongest, community colleges now offer more than 100 four-year degrees, and the figure could be about to jump significantly.

Though a handful of Florida community colleges had won approval to offer select four-year degrees around 2001, the rest of the state took hold of the idea in 2008…

One sentence in the commentary at CC Spotlight was eye-catching in a not-great way.

Community colleges’ four-year degree programs are attracting older students and minority students, making them less of a threat to four-year institutions.

“[T]hem” here is clearly intended to mean the degree programs. However, since the referent comes after older and minority students, it seems to be those that the four-year school won’t have to deal with.

And, honestly, do you want only 18 year olds who are white or Asian (who are minorities but do not count as minorities for schools because they go to college in such high numbers–which is probably another argument for culture rather than race) to be in a freshman class?

By putting forth the idea that minorities and older students go to CCs we are saying non-minorities and younger students go to 4-yr colleges. Is this what we want? An academic divide?

Teachers at CCs already get less respect in academia than teachers at 4-yr schools. Students taking classes at CCs are already seen as less prepared.

Do we really want to add that stigma to most of our minorities and older students?

It’s something that is worth thinking about. And doing something about.

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