WLA College Approved For Bachelor's Degree Program
March 19, 2015
Geoffrey Baum, President of the Board of Governors for the California Community Colleges announced that the West Los Angeles College proposal to offer a Bachelor's degree in dental hygiene has officially been approved.
West is one of only a handful of California Community Colleges, and the only one in the Los Angeles Basin, now approved to offer a Bachelor's degree in a specific area under California State Senate Bill 850. The college received initial approval in January with 14 others.
Vice President Joe Biden visited the dental hygiene program the same week the preliminary approval was given as part of a larger visit to Southern California. Since then, three college applications have been withdrawn for reconsideration.
The Bachelor's degree in dental hygiene is an expansion of the college's outstanding dental hygiene Associate degree program.
"The selection of this program at West Los Angeles College is wonderful news for prospective students and the entire district," said Dr. Francisco Rodriguez, chancellor of the Los Angeles Community College District.
"It affirms the excellence of our faculty, curriculum, and facilities in dental hygiene, and the great partnerships we have in the Los Angeles region with prospective employers. The opportunity to make this high quality, four-year degree available for roughly $10,500 in this high-need profession suggests to me that we will be immediately oversubscribed."
Currently, a Bachelor's degree in dental hygiene is not offered at California's state colleges and universities. This degree is only available at private institutions where the cost can range from $80,000.00 to $120,000.00 versus the significantly lower cost of delivering an equivalent program in a community college setting.
"This has been a long time coming, a game changer for graduates of the program, and it will open doors that were barriers in the past," said Carmen Dones, chairperson of the Allied Health Division at WLAC. "Graduates will now be able to apply to be an educator, researcher, or corporate representative, in addition to working in clinical practice."