Bachelor’s degree could be by 2019

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President Robert Vela leads the College Council meeting Feb. 9 in visual arts. Vela discussed the possibility of this college being able to award a Bachelor of Science in nursing. Lorena Torres Romero

Nursing program has faculty, facilities and hospital partnerships.

Kimberly Caballero

Students could work toward earning a Bachelor of Science in nursing from this college as early as 2019.

College Council discussed at a Feb. 13 meeting the future implementation of the degree program. 

With the degree being offered at a community college, students have the opportunity to obtain a bachelor’s degree at a community college rate.

Other perks include keeping the same network of friends and professors throughout the four-year education.

The 85th Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 2118 in June.

The bill “authorizes public junior colleges that meet specific requirements to offer baccalaureate degree programs,” according to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board website.

The Alamo Colleges are permitted three programs across the district to offer a bachelor’s degree, President Robert Vela said in a Feb. 13 interview.

A public junior college can offer a bachelor’s degree in no more than three programs at a time, according to the Coordinating Board’s draft, S.B. 2118 proposed rules, on their website.

This college, as well as St. Philip’s, is planning to implement a four-year program.

Once the college completes the application process, it must receive “approval from the Coordinating Board to offer the program, and also receive approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate degrees,” according to the Coordinating Board’s website.

A lot of factors went into deciding which programs would offer a bachelor’s degree, Vela said.

He said implementing the Bachelor of Science in nursing would be easy because the state-of-the-art facility, and the qualified faculty and the partnerships with hospitals have already been established through the nursing program.

“If you had to start from scratch — if you had no nursing program — I could only imagine what that cost would be, and it would not be beneficial to start a program like that from scratch. It’s too expensive. But we already have the infrastructure here,” Vela said.

Another guideline is junior colleges “must not unnecessarily duplicate a program at another institution,” according to the Coordinating Board’s  slideshow, Baccalaureate Degree Programs at Public Junior Colleges, on their website.

Local colleges offering B.S.N. degrees include the University of Texas at San Antonio and University of the Incarnate Word.

The third slot has yet to be filled, but Vela said he would like this college’s American Sign Language program to occupy it.

According to a July 20 Ranger article, Vela said this college would pursue only the nursing degree program if the district was limited to three bachelor programs.

Vela hopes to see the Bachelor of Science in nursing offered in the near future.

“I personally want this implemented fall 2019 or spring 2020 at the earliest. I could see it potentially, if we have some hiccups along the way, maybe fall 2020,” Vela said.


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