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Hillsborough Community College Receives State Approval for First Baccalaureate Degree Offering


(TAMPA, Fla., 8/20/21) – The State Board of Education has approved Hillsborough Community College’s (HCC) application to offer a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).

The final stage of approval will go under review by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), HCC’s college accreditor recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. HCC plans to submit their application next February for consideration by the SACS Board of Trustees at their biannual meeting in June 2022.

If approved, the BSN program would be HCC’s first bachelor degree offering in the College’s 53-year history.

“As the primary provider of workforce education in this community, it is incumbent upon us to collaborate with our business and industry partners to fill voids in their talent pipeline,” says Dr. Ken Atwater, HCC president.

“This moment, years of painstaking effort in the making, required the thoughtful deliberation, preparation and counsel of dozens of community partners. As we look toward the next step along the final approval of the BSN—the approval by SACS at the annual meeting next June—I want to personally thank the team that has devoted countless hours to its successful passage. Congratulations on this historical moment and a job well done.”

The BSN offering at HCC is backed by tremendous community support, including the University of South Florida and Tampa Bay region health care organizations such as AdventHealth, Bay Care St. Joseph’s Hospital, Lakeland Regional Health, Moffitt Cancer Center and Tampa General Hospital.

Labor market projections indicate a projected increase in demand of more than 1,271 annual job openings in HCC’s service area. In response to local labor market demand and in light of the University of South Florida phasing out its Registered Nurse (RN) to BSN specialization, this is an opportune time for HCC to fill the void and to meet the regional employer demand in nursing.

HCC also seeks approval from the programmatic accreditor, the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). The BSN program offering is projected to roll out in the fall of 2022.

Hillsborough Community College serves 43,000 students annually at its five campuses located throughout Tampa Bay. The College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. For more information, visit

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