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The Latest: College degree bill advances in Wyoming Senate

January 25, 2019

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The Latest on a community college bachelor’s degree bill in Wyoming (all times local):

2:15

A bill that would allow community colleges to offer certain bachelor’s degrees has passed an initial vote in the Wyoming Senate.

The measure would enable Wyoming’s seven community college districts to offer four-year bachelor’s degree programs. Such programs would need case-by-case approval in Wyoming but in other states include training in nursing or electrical engineering.

The Senate Education Committee voted 4-1 Friday to move the bill to the full Senate, where it passed on a voice vote. The bill would need to pass two more votes in the Senate before advancing to the Wyoming House.

Several people including Wyoming business leaders testified in favor of the bill in committee but top University of Wyoming officials including President Laurie Nichols spoke against it.

Nichols says the community college degrees would duplicate programs already offered through the university.

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1:11 p.m.:

Opposition from top University of Wyoming officials isn’t keeping Wyoming lawmakers from advancing legislation that would allow community colleges to offer certain bachelor’s degrees.

A bill before the Senate Education Committee on Friday would enable Wyoming’s seven community college districts to offer four-year bachelor’s of applied science programs.

Such programs would need case-by-case approval in Wyoming but in other states include training in nursing or electrical engineering.

The committee voted 4-1 to move the bill to the full Senate.

Proponents include the Wyoming Association of Community College Trustees and business leaders from around Wyoming who say they need more well-trained employees.

University of Wyoming President Laurie Nichols spoke against the measure, saying it would duplicate programs already offered through the university.

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