Community College Baccalaureate Degrees in Illinois

What are Community College Baccalaureate Degrees? 

Communities across the United States are welcoming graduates who complete their baccalaureate degrees at their local community colleges. Programs are spreading, preparing graduates for well-paying jobs in business, health care, education, computer science, and other technical fields. Currently 24 states authorize baccalaureate degrees by one or more public community colleges using the Carnegie classification of "baccalaureate-conferring, associates dominant" or "mixed mission", meaning both associate and bachelor's degrees are awarded by the institution.

The American Association of Community Colleges estimates that 159 public and 37 independent community colleges (including tribal colleges) have conferred a total of 25,023 bachelor's degrees in the nation. The Community College Baccalaureate Association's national inventory shows slightly over 600 bachelor's degree programs offered nationwide. However, Illinois does not yet permit its community colleges to confer the baccalaureate. 

How can CCB degrees help address critical workforce needs in Illinois?

ICCTA's case-making research has been built on two equally important and interconnected elements: first, the extent to which Community College Baccalaureates can help address critical workforce needs in the state; and second, the extent to which these degrees can provide access to baccalaureate education for students who would not otherwise be able to attain this degree.

Illinois faces critical workforce needs for baccalaureate trained employees in occupations where capacity is inadequate to meet these workforce demands. Our research has explored the potential of cybersecurity, healthcare and advanced manufacturing occupations. But addressing these workforce needs also means making baccalaureate education available to students who cannot currently access it because it is not available within commuting distance, because it is not affordable, or because it is not available to persons working full-time, or for students with substantial family responsibilities. Community colleges are committed to access in multiple forms-demographic, academic, financial, and geographic, and are a resource that the state should consider for addressing these workforce needs.

What are some resources on CCB in Illinois?

Where can I find more information?

Please contact Jim Reed, Executive Director, Illinois Community College Trustees Association, [email protected]