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San Diego City College approved to offer a bachelor's degree

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Matthew Bowler
/
KPBS
Students at San Diego City College, Tuesday. Classes for the spring semester begin next week, San Diego, Calif., January 24, 2023.

 Students at San Diego City College now have the opportunity to earn a four-year degree for the first time in the school’s 108-year history.

The California Community Colleges Board of Governors approved San Diego City College’s full bachelor's degree in cyber defense and analysis.

Students at the downtown campus can start applying for the program this fall, with classes expected to begin in August 2024.

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The new degree will mean a more affordable education for those who need it most.

“Many of these programs in the upper division courses are at capacity, and students are turned away. This is just something we hope will level the playing field for students that are less advantaged than others," said David Kennemer, Associate Professor of Computer Information Systems at City College.

The downtown college becomes the second campus in the San Diego Community College District to offer a baccalaureate program.

San Diego Mesa College was among the first community colleges in California to offer a baccalaureate program, after the Board of Governors approved Mesa’s bachelor’s degree in Health Information Management in 2015, as part of a pilot program.

Miramar College administrators have submitted a proposal for a bachelor’s degree program in Public Safety Management.

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"This is extremely significant for California, for social justice and equity," said Kennemer, who has taught in the computer science department for more than seven years. "(It) helps students who would never even have the opportunity to get into a traditional university. Now they do," Kennemer continued.

The average pay for cyber security analysts in San Diego County reached $111,590 annually as recently as May of 2021, with related jobs offering similar pay.

Those statistics are according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.