Community colleges in Arizona are one step closer to having the freedom to offer bachelor's degrees.
A committee in the state's Legislature approved legislation, House Bill 2790, saying community colleges are a more affordable alternative for many students, according to the Arizona Daily Star.
Arizona's House of Representatives will vote on the bill after constitutional review. The measure would let the governing boards of community colleges decide if they want to offer four-year degrees. It doesn't include additional state aid.
Unsurprisingly, the Arizona Board of Regents and the state universities they govern disagree on the proposal. The regents' lobbyist told the Daily Star that all three state universities have partnerships with every community college in Arizona to offer four-year degrees.
However, representatives from community colleges said not all programs are covered under those partnerships, and the university still costs more for the last two years.
Maricopa Community Colleges cost about $2,500 per year, according to the newspaper, while tuition for one year at a public, four-year institution can cost more than $10,000.
Rural areas also often lack opportunities to finish a bachelor's degree, which this proposal could remedy.
Still, some are questioning the feasibility of whether Arizona's community colleges have the ability and capacity to offer four-year degrees.
Read more: insidehighered.com