Community College 4-year degree bill stalls in Senate Ed Committee

THATCHER — The possibility of Eastern Arizona College being able to offer four-year degrees is in limbo.

House Bill 2523, which would allow Arizona’s community colleges to offer a limited number of four-year degrees, had passed out of the House Education Committee by a vote of 9-0-1 and cleared the Rules Committee by an 8-0-0 vote. Once on the floor of the House, the bill passed 57-3 and was transmitted to the Senate.

However, on Tuesday, March 16, the Senate Education Committee decided to hold the bill, stalling its progress. There is no word yet on when or if the committee will hear the bill.

Rep. Becky Nutt, R-Clifton, sponsored House Bill 2523, which would allow the state’s community colleges to offer four-year degrees. Calls to Nutt were not immediately returned.

 It’s Nutt’s second try to implement the change; her first failed in 2020 so she’s made some adjustments in the hope of securing passage.

For the first four years, the college may not offer more than 10 percent of its total number of degree and certification offerings as four-year degrees. After year five, that number increases to 15 percent.

Tuition for the third and fourth years of study may not be more than 150 percent of the tuition per credit hour of any other degree program.

And there must be a workforce need in the college’s community for the four-year degree programs.