Committee Supports Bachelor's Degrees at Community Colleges | Big Horn Basin Media

Committee Supports Bachelor’s Degrees at Community Colleges

Written by on January 28, 2019

Opposition from top University of Wyoming officials didn’t prevent state lawmakers from advancing legislation Friday that would allow community colleges to offer certain bachelor’s degrees.

The bill would enable Wyoming’s seven community college districts to offer programs like an applied bachelor’s of science degree in nursing or electrical engineering, though specific programs would still need case-by-case approval if the bill became law.

Bill sponsor Sen. Tara Nethercott, a Cheyenne Republican, says that people with more education tend to earn more, yet Wyoming ranks toward the bottom of U.S. states for the share of its residents with bachelor’s degrees.

Other proponents include the Wyoming Association of Community College Trustees and business leaders who said they need more well-trained employees.

Laramie Democrat Chris Rothfuss, a state senator from the same district as Wyoming’s only four-year university, cast the lone ‘no’ vote when the bill passed out of committee.

The bill must clear two more votes before advancing to the House.

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