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In another major step forward, Brevard Community College will offer students seven more bachelor's degree tracks in 2014 in fields with strong job growth.
The degrees are in management, applied health sciences and information systems.
The BCC Board of Trustees approved the programs at a recent quarterly meeting, ramping up the college's expanded mission to provide students with four-year degrees that can lead to employment upon graduation.
The college approved its first two four year-degrees last year and will unveil them in August with bachelor's degrees in general business management and health care management.
The launch of the degrees will correspond with BCC changing its name to Eastern Florida State College on July 1.
The additional degree tracks are the result of research by college officials that involved studying high-wage, high-demand jobs in Central Florida, and surveying 112 companies in Brevard on their workforce needs.
They align with associate's degrees now offered at the college in fields, such as public safety, business, health care, technology and more.
That will make them a perfect fit for students currently enrolled at the college, along with individuals in the workforce, who want to advance their education to boost their careers.
The new program specializations, which start in August 2014, are: Bachelor's degrees in public safety management and sales and marketing management; bachelor's degrees in advanced allied health and biomedical sciences; and bachelor's degrees in software development, program development and project management and networking services.
Coursework will be offered in flexible formats, including online and day and night classes. The degrees will also be affordable, costing considerably less than comparable degrees at other local colleges or universities.
In fact, the Health Science and Information Technology degrees will be designed to meet Gov. Rick Scott's $10,000 Challenge to help make higher education more affordable. To qualify, the College will establish criteria that students will have to meet.
BCC also offers more than 100 two-year degrees and certificate programs, including new associate's degrees in cyber security and health information technology that start this year.
On another matter, the college's new Institute of Public Safety will be built on the Melbourne campus in a cost-saving move.
The Florida Legislature allocated $14 million for the building last year to consolidate public safety programs now spread across BCC campuses in Titusville, Cocoa, Melbourne and Palm Bay.
The college originally considered locating the facility on a proposed new Viera campus near the Brevard County Government Center.
However, a detailed review of the project found using a Melbourne campus site would save several million dollars that would otherwise have been spent on purchasing land and installing infrastructure in Viera.
The new institute is needed because the primary facility now used - a converted outdoor basketball court on the Melbourne campus - has reached the end of its useful life and the state Department of Education has determined it should be replaced.
The old facility will be demolished and the new institute constructed in its place. It's scheduled to open in 2015, housing a police academy and criminal justice programs.