Could a degree and an in-demand career be more in reach for Arizonans?

Maricopa Community Colleges
Posted at 4:42 AM, May 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-06 09:45:23-04

Could a degree and an in-demand career be more in reach for Arizonans?

This week, Governor Doug Ducey made Arizona the 24th state in the nation to allow community colleges to offer four-year bachelor's degrees in specific fields.

While this news may be welcome to many, it also comes at a time when enrollment has seen a dramatic drop at Valley community colleges.

Ducey signs into law a bill allowing community colleges to offer limited four-year college degrees

The Maricopa County Community College District has about 200,000 students a year across the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters at their 10 independently accredited colleges.

ABC15's Megan Thompson asked MCCCD's Interim Chancellor Doctor Steven Gonzales about the issues he has seen surrounding the pandemic and getting people into the classroom.

President Joe Biden's American Families Plan would help to alleviate some of those barriers. The President wants a portion of the $1.8 trillion to go toward providing two free years at a community college to try and remove financial barriers for people who want to receive an education.

Dr. Gonzales said, if that plan were to become reality, it would likely ease some other barriers students face too. Students would be able to pay for childcare, transportation, textbooks, etc. when some of those extra costs sometimes push prospective students away.