Nearly half of all states (24) have authorized at least some community colleges to confer bachelor’s degrees, according to a recent analysis by New America. The heaviest concentration of those states are in the West, with 15 of the states located west of the Mississippi River.
Early adopters such as Georgia, Washington and Florida have the most active community college baccalaureate (CCB) programs. Florida, which has the longest history of CCBs, has the most programs (172). But states like Ohio and Wyoming (which came aboard in 2017 and 2019, respectively) have quickly built new programs, New America says. Those states have used labor market demand data to make the case for CCB programs in such fields as business management, engineering technology and health care.
Most states permitting CCBs limit the programs to those that address a local market need that are not already offered by local public universities. The programs are frequently in technical fields, usually related to programs the community colleges already offer as associate degrees.