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Gov. Brown extends four-year pilot program at community colleges

Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday signed a bill to extend a pilot program allowing the state’s community colleges to offer four-year bachelor’s degree programs in specific fields.

Senate Bill 1406, introduced by State Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, extends the program through July 2026, allowing students to begin a bachelor’s degree program as late as the 2022-23 academic year, Hill said in a statement.

Three community colleges in the Bay Area are participating in the program: Foothill College in Los Altos, offering a degree program in dental hygiene, Skyline College in San Bruno, offering a program in respiratory care and Solano Community College in Vacaville, offering a degree in biomanufacturing.

The bill “is about the future workforce in our state and bringing greater opportunities for higher education within reach of more students, close to their homes and at much less cost,” Hill said.

California is one of 23 states allowing community colleges to offer baccalaureate degree programs.

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