DMC looks at degree options

Del Mar College is looking into the possibility of offering as many as three bachelor’s degrees in the future.

The guidelines for the college offering bachelor’s degrees were outlined by Beth Lewis, provost and vice president for academic affairs, at the Oct. 10 Board of Regents meeting.

According to Lewis, the opportunity for the degrees would come from Senate Bill 2118, which was passed earlier this year. The bill gives public junior colleges the opportunity to have up to three baccalaureate degree programs for applied science, technology and nursing if they have demonstrated a workforce need.

If offered, Lewis said the college would pay for the bill through state appropriations and the college would not be able to charge more for the degree programs.

Before the college could start offering the degrees, they would have to receive approval from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and accreditation from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

However, one problem that the college would face in attempting to offer the degrees is that the programs cannot duplicate other programs in the region. Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and A&M-Kingsville offer degrees for applied science, technology and nursing and could complicate whether the degree programs would be approved at DMC.

Del Mar is only looking into the opportunity and has not begun pursuing the options.

President Mark Escamilla said that so far the college is simply gathering all the facts and will be making “an appropriate recommendation in the not-so-distant future.”

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