Yavapai College has begun the process of launching baccalaureate degrees, more commonly referred to as four-year degrees.

Under the leadership of College President Dr. Lisa B. Rhine, YC has formed a working group to research potential fits, identify community needs, establish a curriculum, and launch possible four-year degrees.

In May, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed House Bill HB2523, allowing Arizona Community Colleges to offer four-year degrees.

“Yavapai College is committed to providing its communities with an accessible, affordable education that fits our students’ needs and prepares them for local job opportunities,” said President Rhine. “The process to launch four-year degrees will take time, but I am confident that the recommendations that stem from this working group will be data-driven, realistic, and impactful.”

Under HB2523, Community College’s must demonstrate a workforce need for a four-year degree(s) in the region served by the community college, as well as student demand for the four-year degree(s).

The Yavapai College working group is led by Dr. Diane Ryan, Vice President of Academic Affairs, and comprises individuals across key College departments.

While work has just recently begun, the working group has set a tentative timeline of the first four-year degree to be available to students for the fall of 2023. This timeline would allow Yavapai College to research, survey students and Yavapai County communities, develop a budget and infrastructure, develop a curriculum, and seek approval from the Yavapai College District Governing Board, the Higher Education Learning Commission, and the Department of Education.

Updates from the working group will be made throughout the process.

Yavapai College operates six campuses and centers throughout Yavapai County and offers over 100 degrees and certificates, student and community services, and cultural events and activities.