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Olympic College accredited to grant four-year degrees

Although Olympic College has already graduated students from its only four-year degree program, the college announced Friday it is officially accredited to offer baccalaureate programs.

The accreditation applies retroactively to the 11 students who graduated from Olympic College's nursing program in June 2009.

The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities awarded the accreditation in January.

The college can now consider offering more of its own baccalaureate-level programs in addition to the associate degrees and certificates it already grants.

"It broadens the opportunity for people in the Kitsap County and Mason area," said Rick MacLennan, vice president of Student Services.

Pending approval by the Higher Education Coordinating Board later this month, Olympic College and Washington State University will join to begin offering a bachelor’s of science in mechanical engineering degree in the fall of 2010.

“Olympic College is geographically isolated, so residents must travel a long distance to take part in four-year programs,” said college President David Mitchell in a prepared statement. "Now, residents can get specific bachelor’s degrees in their own backyard and meet the demands of employers at the same time."

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