Sinclair students can now pursue two bachelor’s degrees

For the first time, Sinclair Community College students headed back to class Monday with the opportunity to pursue a bachelor’s degree without transferring to another school.

Students at Sinclair will now have the chance to earn a four-year degree in either aviation technology or unmanned aerial systems at the college’s National UAS Training and Certification Center.

It marks the second time in Sinclair’s more than 130-year history that the school will be able to award bachelor’s degrees. The school previously offered “select bachelor’s degrees” from the 1920s until the 1940s, president Steve Johnson tweeted Monday.

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“The demand for professional pilots is at an all-time high both within the region and throughout the world,” Clay Pittman, chair of Sinclair’s aviation technology department. “Sinclair College has a very strong aviation program, and launching the new aviation pilot bachelor’s degree program will help produce highly qualified pilots that can immediately enter into airline employment.”

Sinclair first received approval from the state to offer both bachelor’s degrees in March 2018. The Higher Learning Commission then went on to approve the two offerings.

Community colleges in Ohio have aspired to offer bachelor’s degrees for years, but they received a defeating push-back until 2018. Then-Gov. John Kasich signed into law the concept of specialized four-year degrees at two-year schools.

New bachelor’s degree programs at community colleges are not approved if they overlap too much with other nearby schools in the region.

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Students will also be studying this year for a new set of associate degrees, certificates and short-term credentials. New two-year degrees include ones in agricultural science, business analytics and computer science, according to the school.

New certificate offerings include the fields of social work and agriculture technology. Ten short-term “technical certificates” have been added that include everything from training for a chemical dependency counselor’s assistant to agribusiness and animal care and handling, among other things.

“Sinclair will continue investing in student programs that meet workforce needs, drawing people from across the Dayton region,” Johnson said in a prepared statement. “As the needs of the students and community change, we will work to adapt and modify what we do while never compromising our standards for transparency, academic integrity, and doing what is best for students.”


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