College is thrilled with passage of Senate Bill 1453
AVONDALE, ARIZONA, May 04 – Estrella Mountain Community College (EMCC) is thrilled with the passage of Senate Bill 1453. The bill, which was signed into law on May 4 by Gov. Doug Ducey, allows community colleges to offer four-year baccalaureate degrees in an effort to further enhance students’ access, opportunity, and affordability to higher education in Arizona, marking a historic moment for Arizona’s families.
The Maricopa Community Colleges plan to develop baccalaureate degree programs in high-demand workforce areas, such as healthcare, information technology, police and fire sciences, and education. Students can begin enrolling in their baccalaureate degree programs as early as the fall of 2023.
Students will now be able to benefit from earning a bachelor’s degree without increasing their loan debt, as the Maricopa Community Colleges are the most affordable higher education institutions in the state of Arizona.
In a letter EMCC President Dr. Rey Rivera sent to Gov. Ducey urging his support of and signature on the bill, he said, “This legislation would help reduce some of the barriers our students face. SB1453 would help save students money and would provide the convenience of in-person education close to home.”
Dr. Rivera firmly believes that SB1453 presents another opportunity to address equity gaps in attainment with students from diverse backgrounds.
“Today, only 21% of Black and 15% of Latinx adults hold a bachelor’s degree compared to 34% of White and 54% of Asian adults,” he said. “The vitality of our economic future depends on closing attainment gaps and providing the workforce employers need.”
With the passage of the bill, Arizona joins 23 other states across the nation that allow community colleges to offer baccalaureate degrees under limited prescribed circumstances.