Houston Community College now has two new baccalaureate degree programs focusing on artificial intelligence and robotics as well as health care management, according to an HCC news release.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an institutional accreditor, approved HCC for the four-year degree programs at the commission's June 13 meeting.

What to know

The two degrees will help address employment shortages in the Houston region and throughout the broader community, according to the release.

The AI program is known as a Bachelor of Applied Technology, which will offer classes and labs at the West Loop and Stafford campuses. For a student to be admitted, they must have an associate of applied science degree from HCC in AI with a cumulative GPA of 2.5, according to the program's website.

The college’s new Bachelor of Applied Science in health care management will be offered online for students, who can also be enrolled part time, according to the program's website. The program is offered at the Coleman College for Health Sciences in the Texas Medical Center.

What they're saying

“We welcome the news that HCC is now a Level 2 institution,” HCC Chancellor Margaret Ford Fisher said in the release. “For 53 years, HCC has offered associate degrees and certificates in hundreds of programs, which benefit the region’s workforce. Now, as a Level 2 institution, HCC will offer baccalaureate degrees, which train workers for positions in important career fields, expanding job opportunities for prospective employees throughout the community."

College officials predict 2,586 new positions in the Houston area's AI field will become available over the next five years, said Samir Saber, dean of HCC’s Digital and Information Technology Center of Excellence, in the release.

“In the Houston region, the Texas Medical Center, NASA, the energy and manufacturing industries, as well as transportation, business and finance sectors will be in great need of qualified and knowledgeable workers in AI if they are to remain competitive in a world driven by AI tools," Saber said.

What's next

The programs are found in the fall 2024 catalog, and students can find classes here.