By Patricia Alex, Staff Writer, The Record

Passaic County Community College was dealt a setback Monday in its attempts to be one of the first two-year colleges in the state to offer a bachelor’s degree — at a fraction of the cost of those from a traditional four-year school.

The Paterson-based school and its counterpart in Union County both have put forth proposals to offer bachelors’ degrees in nursing, citing a need for more affordable programs.

But the plans are opposed by leaders of the state’s senior colleges, who say the two-year schools underestimate the investment needed in faculty in offering the degree and worry about the community colleges infringing on their roles.

The proposal was aired on Monday at a meeting of the New Jersey Presidents Council, a group made up of school leaders who make recommendations to the state’s secretary of Higher Education, Rochelle Hendricks, regarding new programming.

The council’s meetings generally feature broad agreement among members, but the proposal on Monday elicited prolonged, and sometimes passionate, discussion that went far beyond the proposals at hand in discussing the role of the schools, the need for more affordability in higher education and what some perceive as a lack of statewide coordination in New Jersey.


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