Eastern Arizona College pursues accreditation for two bachelor’s degrees
By Kris McBride/EAC
THATCHER – The Graham County Community College District Governing Board has authorized Eastern Arizona College to pursue accreditation to offer a Bachelor of Music in Music Education and a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences. Both degrees are anticipated to begin in August 2024 pending approval from the Higher Learning Commission.
Last year, Arizona Senate Bill 1453 passed allowing community colleges to offer four-year degrees. Eastern Arizona College was instrumental in moving this legislation forward.
“This decision follows the trajectory of EAC over the past 135 years because it strengthens our commitment to the ideals of access and affordability,” said Todd Haynie, president of Eastern Arizona College. “These degrees meet students where they are and will prepare them for in-demand careers without the debt.”
The Bachelor of Music in Music Education will offer vocal and instrumental tracks that lead to a secondary education certificate. The Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences will prepare students for roles in healthcare administration, medical or pharmaceutical sales, and other health-related services. According to Dr. Susan Wood, EAC vice president of academic and student affairs, “These degrees will allow EAC to retain healthcare and music majors who are currently transferring to other institutions. They will also attract additional students from our community and the surrounding areas.”
EAC’s application for accreditation will include a formal review, a site visit, and an evaluation of all curricula, faculty, and facilities. The site visit is anticipated to occur in September with final approval being granted in October. Once approved, EAC will then seek approval from the U.S. Department of Education to be eligible for financial aid. These action steps will allow both degrees to be recognized as accredited degrees and be eligible for transfer to a university for advanced studies. In parallel, EAC’s Music Department is pursuing accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).