Peninsula College expands 4-year programs

Big things are happening at Peninsula College.

Aside from the seemingly endless construction, expansion and improvement, Peninsula is now an accredited college at the baccalaureate level and is adding another bachelor's program this spring.

In July, the college received a letter from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, reaffirming the school's accreditation at the associate's level but also granting accreditation for bachelor's degrees.

This allows the college to continue its Bachelor of Applied Science in Applied Management program and opens the doors to starting other bachelor's degree programs without having to partner with universities, Peninsula College President Tom Keegan said.

The applied management program began as part of the college's University Center in 2007, with the first class graduating in 2009, he said.

The program is designed to prepare people with technical skills to move into entry-level and mid-level management positions, he said. It was chosen based on research showing employers on the peninsula were in need of employees with management training, he said. A two-quarter-long internship is required as part of the program to connect students with employers and give hands-on experience to accompany the formal education at the college, Keegan said.

Other extended degree programs

Peninsula College also offers Bachelor of Arts degrees in human services and planning and environmental policy, as well as a Bachelor of Science in environmental studies, all in partnership with Western Washington University. This spring it will add yet another baccalaureate program through Western.

Starting spring quarter 2011, a Bachelor of Arts in interdisciplinary general studies will be offered through Western, Keegan said. Most of the courses will be offered face-to-face at the Peninsula College campus, he said.

The program was made possible through the 2009 state Legislature, which authorized the funding for Peninsula College to partner with a university, he said.

The college continues to offer a bachelor's degree in education with teacher certification for elementary K-8 and/or special education K-12, through City University of Seattle.

Keegan said the baccalaureate programs aren't part of a transformation from college to university but an effort to ensure peninsula residents can have access to bachelor's degrees.

Peninsula College will continue to maintain its community college mission with workforce training, basic skills, continuing education and transfer degrees, he said.

"A move away from the community college mission simply doesn't make sense."

For more information on any of the bachelor's programs, go to

Reach Amanda Winters at

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