NEW PORT RICHEY - Pasco-Hernando Community College is on the brink of taking up Gov. Rick Scott's challenge of offering students a four-year college degree for $10,000.
The state Board of Education on Tuesday approved what will be PHCC's first two bachelor's degree programs; a bachelor of science in nursing and a bachelor of applied science in supervision and management.
The board agreed to the degrees without discussion. PHCC President Katherine Johnson and Vice President of Instruction Burt Harres attended the meeting, which was in Tampa, but did not speak. They were introduced, though, and it was noted these would be the college's first bachelor's degree programs.
"Historical, congratulations," board Chairman Gary Chartrand said.
The college plans to begin offering both degrees in August 2014.
Some students in the bachelor of applied science program will qualify for the $10,000 price for tuition and fees if they meet certain criteria, according to PHCC's proposal.
The anticipated cost for those who don't meet the criteria is $12,780, which PHCC's proposal said still is much less than the estimated $25,320 a student would pay for a similar degree at the University of South Florida.
PHCC's bachelor's degree in nursing also would cost an estimated $12,780. The college did not include a proposal for offering that degree for $10,000.
In November, Scott issued his challenge to institutions in the Florida College System to create a $10,000 four-year-degree program and some, including St. Petersburg College, have announced they expect to have such degrees in place this fall.
The challenge did not apply to the state's universities.
To qualify for the $10,000 price for PHCC's bachelor of applied science degree, a student must have 15 credits already earned through an accelerated mechanism, such as dual enrollment. The student also must earn all remaining credits at PHCC, maintain continuous enrollment, possess a 3.75 cumulative grade-point-average after 90 credit hours and be in good academic and financial aid standing.
Students who meet those criteria will receive a scholarship or have tuition and fees waived so that the price is reduced to $10,000.
In the first year for the two degrees, the college expects an enrollment of 100 students for the supervision and management program and 60 students for the nursing program.
The state board also approved Tuesday bachelor's degree programs for Northwest Florida State College and Valencia College.