Following eight months of submissions and research considering the desires of both students and employers, Bellevue College (WA) will offer a new four-year degree opportunity starting as early as this fall (with a second possible program premiering the subsequent Fall), according to the Bellevue Reporter.

On Feb. 5, the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges approved the college's application to offer a bachelor of applied science in applied accounting.

According to the application, the degree will "prepare graduates who have a strong understanding of operational and financial accounting and can work in a wide range of accounting capacities in private, government and nonprofit organizations."

Both applications are still pending approval from the regional accreditation agency, the Northwest Commission for Colleges and Universities, but Bellevue College officials are hopeful each will be accepted in the next few months.

"We anticipate approval by the NWCCU sometime in spring for both programs," stated Evan Epstein, a spokeswoman for Bellevue College. "It is clear that for many positions the bachelor degree is now the minimum level of education necessary. “The degrees serve the community by providing graduates who are well trained in applied skills and knowledge that transfer to the work place immediately. These students are equally trained in the so called 'soft skills' – such as communications skills and team cooperating project management skills."

Each of the applied baccalaureate degrees is setup in a two by two model, where students will spend their first two years earning an associate’s degree in a related field, then the latter two years in "upper level courses," she said.

For more information on Bellevue's accounting degrees, head to their sitehere.