Bachelor’s degrees open doors for students

Nurse DanielBWBringing Bachelor’s  degrees to Bellevue College has opened new doors for many students as well as brand new opportunities for furthering education and chances for careers.

Currently, BC offers three bachelor’s degrees. The first is Bachelor of Applied Arts Degree in Interior Design. This degree is designed for people who have already completed an associate’s degree in Interior Design and look to complete their education. Additionally, there is the Bachelor of Applied Science Degree in Radiation and Imaging Sciences. This degree is a completion program for those who have received national certification in radiologic technology, diagnostic ultrasound, radiation therapy, or nuclear medicine. Lastly, there is the Bachelor of Applied Science in Healthcare Technology Management, designed for individuals who have completed an information technology program and/or healthcare preparation and experience who are looking to better prepare themselves for the job market who have also already completed an associate’s degree in the field as well. This degree would prepare individuals for jobs involved with supervisory or management skills as well as requiring knowledge of the healthcare system.

As well as the bachelor’s degrees that BC offers, Eastern Washington University also offers a wide range of bachelor’s degrees on BC’s campus. EWU offers a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies, B.A. in Business Administration with a major in Management, B.A. in Children’s Studies with Early Childhood Education, B.A. in Psychology and a B.S. in Applied Technology. For further questions on the degrees offered through Eastern, contact Greg Dempsey, Jr. at (425)564-5100 or email at

Recently, confusion has swarmed the campus surrounding whether or not BC is an four year college opposed to a community college. The name may have changed from Bellevue Community College to Bellevue College, but it is not yet considered a four year and remains at community college status, says Jennifer Rucker in Education Services. “We’re technically not a 4 year yet. With bringing these bachelor degrees to our campus, we’re moving in that direction,” Rucker said.

According to Leslie Heizer Newquist, the director of Applied Baccalaureate Development, BC plans to launch two degrees in fall of 2013. These degrees will be a Bachlor of Applied Science in Information Systems and Technology and Bachelor of Science in Nursing  RN BSN pathway. BC is also developing two programs from 2014. These two programs will be a B.A.S. in Analytics and a B.A.S. in Biological and Environmental Technology.

BC is accredited to offer four year degrees but community colleges can only offer specific career focused four year degrees. “We can’t just offer any degree,” said Newquist. To get to where it is today, BC had to do some work.

“The college goes through an extensive approval process to bring a baccalaureate degree to campus, including an initial accreditation to grant four year degrees by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, which is our regional accrediting body,” said Newquist.

To enable the approval of these degrees, they have to meet a standard in three topics. First off, they must be designed to provide pathways for students with a two-year technical degree, serve a purpose for students, and fill gaps in existing education options, meaning that current degree programs don’t graduate enough students to fill employment demands.

“The college looks at local employment needs that are not being met by existing four year programs as a first step in determining what degrees we might need to offer. We also look at the need over time, to ensure that we don’t start a program that won’t be able to sustain itself,” said Newquist.

Last year, the first rounds of students who started their Bachelor degrees here at BC graduated. From the BAA in Interior Design, 38 students graduated. From the BAS in Radiation and Imaging Sciences, 13 graduated. Since the Healthcare Technology and Management degree was launched just last fall, there have been no graduates thus far.