A new report released today by the think tank New America provides the first national data analysis of the growing number of bachelor’s degrees conferred by community colleges across the country.
The report notes that 24 states allow at least some community colleges to offer bachelor’s degrees. Seven of these states authorized community colleges to offer bachelor’s degree programs in the last five years.
“This growth in a relatively short time span may indicate a growing perception that the [community college baccalaureate] program is an important access point for students who might not otherwise pursue a bachelor’s degree,” the report says.
A bachelor of applied science is the most common degree among these programs, followed by a bachelor of science, according to the report. Bachelor of arts programs remain rare at two-year institutions. The most common fields of study for community college bachelor’s degree programs include business, health-care professions — especially nursing — and education.