FCC Not Chosen to Offer Bachelor’s

Story By: Cresencio Rodriguez, Editor-in-Chief

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Fifteen community colleges in the state of California are now allowed to offer bachelor’s degrees — degrees otherwise only offered at a University of California or California State University.

Fresno City College was among 34 colleges who applied for a potential four-year degree.

Fresno City College’s Dental Hygiene proposal was not chosen but two other colleges — West Los Angeles College and Foothill College — who also applied for a Dental Hygiene four-year degree program, were approved.

“We are, of course, disappointed that our proposal was not accepted.” said FCC President Tony Cantu.

There are currently 900 graduates of the Dental Hygiene program at Fresno City College according to the Dental Hygiene Academic Chair, Joanne Pacheco.

“Based on the access to dental care issue that is going on in dentistry, Fresno City College administration is very supportive and for that reason, I thought that we had a chance,” said Joanne

Pacheco, a few hours before the decision by the California Community College Board of Governors.

Pacheco praised FCCs administration for the support they gave along the way and said, “by FCC applying, it shows that we are current in the knowledge of what is going on.”

If the program had been chosen and Fresno City College offered a bachelor’s degree in Dental Hygiene, this would mean that most if not all of the 900 graduates of the program would have the opportunity to return to college and advance their career.

Jenni Garcia, 33, is one of many graduates who would have taken advantage of the opportunity.

“With an advanced degree, there is more opportunity to have a little variety in your career,” Garcia said.

Garcia’s interest in pursuing a career in Dental Hygiene came when she “ended up by accident working at a dental office as a receptionist.”

After not knowing what to do with herself, she would soon enroll at Fresno City College — this time, in the Dental Hygiene program.

It took Garcia two years to complete her degree in Dental Hygiene.

Garcia says that a bachelor’s degree at Fresno City College would benefit not just those pursuing a career in Dental Hygiene.

“I think it would have done a lot for Fresno City College,” Garcia said. “And drawing more students and showing the excellence of Fresno City College and what a great institution it is.”

Pacheco says that despite the decisions made by the California Community College Board of Governors, “It was a very positive move for the profession.”