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Letter: Accelerated programs see value of bachelor’s degree

Accelerated programs see value of bachelor’s degree

The front-page News article on Jan. 8 detailing the return of bachelor’s degree holders to community colleges to receive additional education in fields ranging from machining to nursing was eye-catching, but somewhat misleading with the page two headline, “Bachelor’s degrees not as valuable as people think.”

I am a faculty member at Finger Lakes Community College, located at the north end of Canandaigua Lake, a smaller SUNY community college than both Erie and Monroe. I teach the course sequence that is required for nurses at all levels: Human Anatomy and Physiology I and II. I, too, encounter students in my classroom who possess bachelor’s and sometimes even master’s degrees in various fields. By taking a few prerequisites, such as the courses that I teach and microbiology, these students potentially qualify for programs offered at the University at Buffalo and SUNY Brockport that are designed for those transitioning careers: accelerated bachelor’s R.N. degrees for non-nurses.

After just one year at UB or 15 months at Brockport, graduates possess bachelor’s-level preparation in nursing, in contrast to the associate’s-level preparation that would take two years to achieve at a community college’s R.N. program. These accelerated programs do appreciate the inherent value of attaining a bachelor’s degree and recognize those individuals who possess it accordingly!

Suzanne Keller

Assistant Professor

Finger Lakes Community College