Office of the Superintendent/President
Sonoma State University Offers Bachelor’s Degree Completion Programs at College of Marin
KENTFIELD, CA—April 19, 2017—College of Marin (COM) and Sonoma State University (SSU) have partnered to offer new bachelor’s degree programs on COM campuses. Last night at COM’s meeting of the Board of Trustees, a memorandum of understanding was signed which will allow students working towards a bachelor degree the ability to take upper division SSU classes at the community college.
In an effort to provide those seeking higher education with a wider range of options in achieving their education goals, COM and SSU are combining their resources to facilitate student transfer from COM’s associate in arts degree program to SSU bachelor degree completion programs.
Both schools believe this will create a more accessible transfer pathway for COM students to SSU and aid in the reduction of achievement gaps for underserved ethnic and socioeconomic groups. Dr. Robert Eyler, dean of the School of Extended and International Education at SSU believes the partnership will accomplish this by addressing two common barriers to university transfer.
“It will solve advising and commute problems for many students that want to complete a degree but may not be able to complete,” said Dr. Eyler. “It also solves problems for students that may be more traditional—in a program that guarantees admission to a CSU, have completed the requirements for the BA or BS program, and do not want to move.”
Initial discussions about partnership between COM and SSU began in March 2016. During the past year, work groups developed the potential curriculum, advising approach, scheduling, and admission requirements. Between four and six faculty members will be recruited to teach a variety of courses in each SSU degree completion program at COM. In the coming year, faculty from SSU will look to initiate a soft launch of one or two courses at COM. Planning has begun to start the first full degree completion programs as early as fall 2018.
Students interested in the degree completion programs will need to meet SSU transfer requirements and have completed pre-major preparatory courses and core courses prior to applying.
SSU and COM advisors will provide pre-admission evaluations and support throughout the application process, including advising students on funding their bachelor’s degree. Students will also have access to on-site advising at COM as well as all District services, such as library resources and career and health services.
COM staff, faculty, and counselors have been involved in the process from the beginning, working hand in hand with their SSU counterparts. Together, they have methodically identified the unique needs of COM’s student population, with feedback from student focus groups along the way. The result opens an opportunity for transfer students to complete their bachelor’s degree while still at COM’s campuses. It is intended to assist those that might not otherwise be able to access regular degree completion programs at SSU or other California State University campuses in the Bay Area.
“This partnership with Sonoma State creates a seamless path to a local bachelor’s degree for Marin County residents,” says Jonathan Eldridge, acting superintendent/president. “For College of Marin students, the prospect of completing a four-year degree while never having to leave the comfort and resources they have come to know here at COM is significant. College of Marin is now connecting with students from the 9th grade through completion of a four-year degree. This partnership is the next logical step in our commitment to educational opportunity for all.”
Since programs offered through the partnership are self-supporting, state fee waivers do not apply; however, financial aid and SSU scholarships will be available for eligible students.
Comprehensive assessments based on quantitative and qualitative student and faculty evaluations of courses and program effectiveness will guide future directions and refine any necessary improvements that might be identified.
Individuals interested in these programs should contact their COM advisor or contact the School of Extended and International Education at SSU directly.
About Sonoma State University
The SSU educational experience fosters intellectual, cognitive, social and personal growth. The faculty and staff provide collaborative relationships with students and an education that fosters ethical exploration, civic engagement, social responsibility, and global awareness combined with a solid foundation in an academic discipline. Many classes average fewer than 40 students, allowing close interaction between students and faculty.
SSU has a commitment to graduating students who have the ability to think critically and ethically and can effectively use information technology. There is a strong move to develop a global perspective in much of the curriculum to prepare students for the needs of the 21st century workplace.
The University is comprised of six schools: Arts and Humanities, Business and Economics, Education, Extended and International Education, Social Sciences and Science and Technology. Degrees are offered in 46 majors and 47 minors at the bachelor's level and 15 at the master's level. There are nine credential programs and eight undergraduate and graduate certificate programs. SSU also offers one of the only Wine Business Institutes in the country.
About The School of Extended and International Education
The School of Extended and International Education (SEIE) plays two key roles at SSU) access and partnership. Lifelong learning remains SEIE’s theme as an academic school. SEIE seeks to expand its programs, which range from the EXCEL for Youth program during summers to the Osher Lifelong Learning Program (OLLI) to workforce development programs for adults that are both degree-seeking and skills-based. SEIE plays a crucial role on SSU’s campus as a source of revenue for faculty and the campus overall. SEIE programs maintain at least a regional, competitive advantage in SSU’s service area with a mix of certificate programs and degree-completion/matriculation programs to remain the first choice for current and prospective students. To support SEIE’s mission and achieve its vision, SEIE makes investments in infrastructure and marketing to support faculty and curricular entrepreneurism.
About College of Marin
College of Marin is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges, 10 Commercial Blvd., Suite 204, Novato, CA 94949, (415) 506-0234, an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education. Additional information about accreditation, including the filing of complaints against member institutions, can be found at www.accjc.org
College of Marin is one of 113 public community colleges in California and approximately 13,000 credit, noncredit, and community education students enroll annually.