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2-year Colleges Will Get Chance to Offer Baccalaureates in Some Areas

Steve Crawford recently graduated from the mortuary science program at Cypress College in Orange County. If he passes state tests, he could get a job in a coroner’s office, which was once his dream job.

But Crawford has decided he might want to work as a funeral director or operate his own business, which would be easier if he had a four-year degree. He would have to move, however, since no California schools offer baccalaureate mortuary degrees.

“I’d rather stay here,” said Crawford, 28. “But I want to see how far I can go in this field, too, and if that means more school, I have to consider” leaving the state.

Under a new state law, Crawford might be able to stay put and get a four-year degree at Cypress. The community college is one of 36 campuses and districts that have said they plan to apply for an opportunity to offer four-year degrees. It would be the first time community colleges in California would be eligible to offer more than associate’s degrees.