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EMCC Tapped to Explore Offering a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology

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College looks to roll out new degree offering fall 2023

The Maricopa County Community Colleges District (MCCCD) has selected its first bachelor’s degrees for development and has chosen Information Technology for Estrella Mountain Community College (EMCC).

“This is the perfect choice for our college,” said Dr. Rey Rivera, EMCC President. “Our IT program is already top notch and we’re constantly working to improve upon it even more.”

Just last year, Microsoft announced that it had chosen EMCC and Glendale Community College for its thirteenth Microsoft Datacenter Academy in the world in part due to the construction of its three datacenters in the area — two in Goodyear and one in El Mirage. EMCC has also partnered with Intel on the first 2-year Artificial Intelligence program in the United States, and the college holds CAE designation for Cybersecurity - one of only two colleges in the Maricopa Community Colleges district to have this designation.

“This bachelor’s degree program will expand our opportunities to collaborate with corporate partners who are actively hiring thousands of people to work in the West Valley over the next decade,” said Paula Livingston, EMCC Dean of Instruction and Occupational Education.

The new program will also provide an affordable option for students pursuing a Bachelor’s degree at Estrella Mountain.

“This new degree path will give students the opportunity to obtain their bachelor’s at a fraction of what they would pay at a public or private 4-year institution,” Dr. Rivera said. “And they’ll get to do it in an environment with smaller class sizes and greater access to support staff.”

Pending the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and MCCCD Governing Board approval, Maricopa Community Colleges are planning to offer bachelor’s degrees as soon as fall 2023.

Over the next year, the Maricopa Community Colleges will create the courses and requirements for each degree with the intent to seek approval from the Governing Board and accreditor, the Higher Learning Commission (HLS). The goal is to receive approval for new degree programs to begin in fall 2023 with enrollment becoming available  in spring 2023. The District will also continue to work closely with university partners throughout the state to support the continued transfer of students into quality education pathways.

“The CCBA believes that a workforce-focused baccalaureate degree offered by the local community college is one of the great equalizers higher education has to offer,” said Angela M. Kersenbrock, President of the Community College Baccalaureate Association (CCBA). “Data on graduation outcomes has been very positive and proves the CCB is contributing to closing the equity and access gaps in our country. The time for CCBs is now.”

The District’s first bachelor’s degree offerings will be officially confirmed once the District receives approval from the Governing Board and HLC. 

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