Houston Community College Announces First 4-Year Bachelor Degree Program

Houston Community College has announced that, for the first time, they will provide bachelor’s degrees starting in the fall of this year. This marks a huge milestone in their system’s history.

Four-year programs in Applied Technology focusing on Artificial Intelligence and Robotics and Applied Science centering around Healthcare Management have recently been introduced.

HCC Chancellor Cesar Maldonado says:

“We are continually exploring ways to provide relevant programs and instruction that serve the needs of students and employers in our service area,”

“With these two inaugural bachelor’s degree programs, we give students an opportunity to start and complete their four-year education on the same HCC campus.”

In December, the state approved the college to become a Level 2 baccalaureate-granting institution, permitting them to award bachelor’s degrees. This approval was thanks to Senate Bill 2118, which Governor Greg Abbott signed into law in 2017, allowing the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to authorize public junior colleges with programs such as applied science, applied technology, and nursing.

Zheng commented on the importance of HCC’s pioneering role in offering an associate degree in artificial intelligence, remarking that AI has become prevalent throughout various industries. He further noted that the 2021 National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence identified AI as having a major presence in everyday life. He noted its potential to turn imaginative concepts into realities across many fields.

Zheng says:

“The new Bachelor of Applied Technology in Artificial Intelligence and Robotics will address a growing and critical need for skilled workers in a rapidly evolving technical field,”

He stated that upon completing the Artificial Intelligence program, graduates could take advantage of 2,586 job openings in the Gulf Coast region with a median starting salary of $97,200 annually.

The Bachelor of Applied Science in Healthcare Management is designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary to begin a career or advance within the healthcare management sector.

HCC offers health science programs like respiratory therapy, radiography, and sonography. According to Zheng, students who earn a degree in Healthcare Management can expect around 1,700 job openings each year with a median annual salary of approximately $64,000 upon commencement.

HCC provides both degrees to their students and those from other community colleges or universities who have fulfilled the two-year background requirements of these degrees.

Houston Community College’s decision to offer four-year degrees is a positive development for the institution and the Houston community. With careful planning and execution, these programs have the potential to provide students with high-quality, affordable, and accessible pathways to advanced degrees and career opportunities.

Source: ABC13 Houston

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