ELYRIA, Ohio – Lorain County Community College‘s plan to offer a bachelor’s degree is moving forward following the approval Tuesday by the Ohio Department of Higher Education.
LCCC’s proposed bachelor’s of applied science in microelectronic manufacturing was submitted for approval to the Higher Learning Commission, a process that may take up to two years, said department spokesman Jeff Robinson.
“This is something we have been working toward for nearly two decades,” President Marcia Ballinger said in a statement. LCCC has offered access to bachelor’s and master’s degrees on its campus through the University Partnership since 1995. But the bachelor’s degree will be the first program offered entirely by LCCC, the college said.
Microelectronic manufacturing is an interdisciplinary field that combines mechanical and electrical engineering technology with science, mathematics and communications, the college said. This emerging advanced manufacturing field helps companies make products and processes “smart” by embedding sensors and micro electromechanical systems.
The higher education department also submitted proposals for Sinclair Community College to offer bachelor’s degrees in unmanned aerial systems and applied science in aviation technology/professional pilot and Cincinnati State Technical & Community College to offer bachelor’s degrees in land surveying and culinary and food science.
Cuyahoga Community College’s proposed bachelor’s in applied science in data integration/database administration was deferred, Robinson said.
Tri-C and colleges proposing three other bachelor’s degrees were given 90 days to submit more information, including how they are not duplicating other programs in the region and whether the schools can partner with a neighboring school, Robinson said.
The department then may refer those proposals to the Higher Learning Commission, he said.
The nine programs were submitted for review last fall following approval of the two-year state budget, which included a provision allowing for community colleges to offer select applied bachelor’s degrees if a university is unable to offer training to meet the need of local businesses.
Ohio joined more than 20 other states that authorized community colleges to offer applied bachelor’s degrees.