Arizona community colleges can offer some 4-year degrees under new law

Gov. Doug Ducey on Tuesday signed into law a bill to allow community college students to…

Gov. Doug Ducey on Tuesday signed into law a bill to allow community college students to earn some bachelor’s degrees without attending another higher education institution.

All community colleges in the state can now offer four-year programs, but those in Maricopa and Pima counties have to complete a financial analysis and prove doing so would not duplicate existing programs at Arizona State University or the University of Arizona. 

Public universities can respond to community colleges that seek to add programs, but the new law “does not allow a public university to prevent a community college from offering a baccalaureate degree.”

Ducey described Senate Bill 1453 as a “timely shift to reskill and upskill Arizona’s workforce to meet the needs of the growing economy and provide a pathway to economic prosperity.”

“Arizona’s community colleges play a critical role in supporting students of all ages and equipping our workforce with skills and resources,” the governor said in a released statement. “Arizona is a school choice state, and today’s action is school choice for higher education.”