College of the Canyons is adding associate degrees for transfer, so students beginning this fall have a wider pathway designed for a quicker, smoother transfer to both public and private four-year institutions, COC announced Wednesday.
For the 2018-19 academic year, the college will offer the four additional degree options in environmental science, public health, hospitality management and social justice studies.
Currently, COC offers 24 degrees designed to guarantee a clear pathway to a California State University major and baccalaureate degree. With the addition of the four degree options, COC will continue to lead as one of community colleges in the state offering the most degrees for transfer.
The degree subjects chosen depend on the labor market demand, said Omar Torres, interim associate vice president of academic affairs at COC.
“If there’s demand in a particular area, we do a program analysis and create courses and the actual degree,” said Torres. “We go through a fairly rigorous progress. We don’t just want to create any degree. It’s an intentional process.”
Torres added that the college is looking into offering anthropology and engineering degrees in the coming future.
These degrees do not guarantee admission to a specific campus or major, but the program offers students the opportunity to complete a bachelor’s degree with 60 semester units or 90 quarter units of coursework beyond the associate degree. Students have a catalog of 36 private, nonprofit four-year colleges and universities to transfer to in California.
The addition of private institutions now accepting associate degrees for transfer came in July under an agreement with the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office and the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities.
Over the course of five years, the number of students who completed a degree increased by more than 100 percent and the number of students who transferred to a four-year school increased by 25 percent.
Torres believes that with the continuous addition of degree options, those percentages will grow.
COC Chancellor Dianne Van Hook said she looks forward to the expansion of partnerships with four-year colleges and universities “to eliminate achievement gaps and increase transfer rates across the state for the students we serve.”