Bill would allow Oregon community colleges to offer 4-year degrees

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SALEM, OR (KPTV) - A bill being considered by state lawmakers in Salem could change the way we think about higher education.

Senate Bill 3, introduced by Senate President Peter Courtney, would allow the state's community colleges to offer four-year degree programs.

The idea resonates with Aliccia Lacey, a student at Portland Community College.

"I think it's a great idea," Lacey said. "I think a lot of community college students do get transfers or do decide to transfer. And I think that would help them save the process. And it might help save on costs, too, which is a big thing for students."

The proposal is currently being considered by the Senate Committee on Education, which has held a public hearing and work session on the bill.

If it becomes law, the bill would dramatically shift the way colleges and universities in Oregon do business.

Kevin Neely, Assistant Vice President for Government Relations at Portland State University, said the school hasn't taken a position on SB 3, but administrators have questions.

"Are we basically taking and costing universities money by taking and giving a degree out of the community college system? Are there other implications that has?" Neely said.

The bill is not yet scheduled for a vote on the Senate floor.

Copyright 2019 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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