Bachelor’s degree program coming to DCCCD

 Students from various DCCCD newspapers participate in a discussion with chancellor Joe May on Nov. 1.

Students from various DCCCD newspapers participate in a discussion with chancellor Joe May on Nov. 1.

Plans to bring bachelor programs to DCCCD schools are on the horizon. Dr. Joe May, the Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD) chancellor made the announcement at a meeting with DCCCD student media leaders on Nov. 2.

“We do have the authority to offer [bachelor’s degrees]. Starting next Tuesday [Nov. 6] we will be asking the board to approve our first program,” said May.

The first program is early childhood education. Legislation requires that the program be built on an existing program. The district is working to connect students to services and programs already in place.

“Because of the accreditation requirements and the coordinating board requirements, technically, only one college can offer the degree, however, we do intend to use all the colleges in terms of making that available. Right away, Eastfield and Brookhaven will be the two sides to start but we intend to roll that out elsewhere as well,” May said.

May is hoping the DCCCD can forge a partnership with area high schools to “create some pipelines going forward as well.”

May also addressed funding and student opportunities.

Pell Grants, available through the federal government, provide school funding for students, and are accessible all year round.

May said the DCCCD received approval to access Pell Grants in the summer for the first time this year.“There are now Pell grants available for the summer. It is treated just like the fall and spring.

“One of our goals is for individuals who are interested and want to enroll in summer right out of high school. Frankly, that really wasn’t an option in the past if you relied on Pell grants to pay for your education to go to school, but now it is,” said May

This year alone, summer applications for Pell have surged.

“We saw a substantial increase in dollars going to students this year. I think it jumped from like $2 million overall in the summer to $13 million,” May said.