Sunday, Dec 21, 2014
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Two 4-year degrees approved at PHCC

MATT REINIG
Hernando Today

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TAMPA - The State Board of Education approved requests from Pasco-Hernando Community College on Tuesday for a bachelor of applied science in supervision and management, and a bachelor of science in nursing.

The baccalaureate programs are the first of their kind developed by the college, and started to take shape in 2011 when University of South Florida was no longer able to accommodate a growing demand of students for their bachelor of applied science degree, and encouraged PHCC to offer the degree, as well, according to the BOE.

PHCC has allocated $10,000 annually for library resources to support the bachelor of science program as needed, and the cost to students for four years of study is $12,780 or less with certain eligibility requirements.

Other than striving to meet a growing demand, the programs are also expected to help raise the percentage of Hernando County residents over the age of 25 with bachelor's degrees, which is currently lower than the state and national average at 16.2 percent, according to Department of Education.

According to a Board of Education overview, PHCC's supervision and management program will progress from an associate in science to a bachelor of applied science. The program is designed so students will progress to supervisory and managerial levels in three main focus areas: organizational administration, public safety/public service, and healthcare management.

The new four-year programs will cause a name change for the college, which will soon drop its distinction as a community college. Out of 1,384 respondents in a survey this March, 661, or 36 percent, preferred the name Pasco-Hernando State College as the new name for the local college.

"As part of the baccalaureate degree approval process, PHCC has an opportunity to select a new name to reflect its role of providing advanced degrees," according to a PHCC press release. "Many of the 28 institutions within the Florida College System that began offering bachelor level programs selected new names in the process."

The change will occur pending approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

PHCC and other institutions in the Florida College System offering one or more baccalaureate degree programs must still respond to community needs for postsecondary academic education, and career degree education, according to the BOE.

The college will also have to maintain the provision of associate degrees that provide access to a university, and keep an open-door admission policy for associate-level degree programs.

Workforce education programs must also stay, and the colleges cannot discontinue associate in arts or associate in science degree programs as a result of offering baccalaureate degree programs, according to the BOE.

The program consists of 120-credit hours with 78 lower division credit hours, including 36 credit hours of general education courses and 42 credit hours of upper division coursework.

No alternative proposals or letters of objection were received for PHCC's program proposal.

The educational needs of place-bound, nontraditional students have also increased the demand for local access to baccalaureate degree programs, according to the BOE.

The State Board of Education, after review, may require a Florida College System institution's board of trustees to modify or terminate a baccalaureate degree program.

mreinig@hernandotoday.com

352-544-5271

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