By Meagan McGone
MELBOURNE -- After Gov. Rick Scott announced his recent "Governor's $10,000 Degree Challenge," more than half of the 28 institutions in the Florida College System have jumped onboard.
And Brevard Community College is one of those institutions.
BCC President Jim Richey praised the plan, saying he strongly supports the initiative that would urge state colleges to offer four-year degrees for $10,000 to make higher education more affordable, reducing rising college costs and student debt.
"As a former community college student myself, I know how important it is for us to keep costs low, while working to connect students with degree fields that prepare them for great careers," Mr. Richey said.
Bachelor degrees at the price of $10,000 would be offered in "fields that will provide graduates with the best opportunity for employment," Gov. Scott said. These fields include high-demand areas such as information technology, business and organizational management, education and engineering technology, according to a release by the Governor's office.
Mr. Richey said the plan perfectly aligns with BCC's mission to provide high-quality education at a low cost. He said that BCC was one of the few public institutions of higher learning in Florida that did not raise tuition this year, saving students at least $1.4 million.
"We're strongly supportive of Gov. Scott's plan and intend to start examining four-year degrees that we could offer for $10,000, which would put more educational and career opportunities within the reach of more students," Mr. Richey said.
And the challenge comes at an appropriate time, as the school will offer four-year degrees for the first time, beginning in August 2013. Initially, it will offer a Bachelor of Applied Science Degree in organizational management, with two concentrations: general management and health care management.
"This could augment and enhance the four-year degree efforts we already have underway," Mr. Richey said. "It's an exciting prospect that could further help our community."