A national urgency exists for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) degrees to maintain economic competitiveness. This urgency is troubled by both the rising cost of higher education and the need for reforms in STEM education to broaden participation towards increased access and success. California approved special legislation to allow for a pilot of community college baccalaureates (CCBs) that did not duplicate existing public higher education degrees and address an unmet workforce need. A novel degree in biomanufacturing was proposed and accepted into the pilot. This study examined the novel STEM degree to understand its impact on underserved populations. The study participants comprised the first graduating cohort. A mixed methods explanatory sequential design was utilized with data sourced from institutional student information systems, an employment outcomes survey, and semi- structured interviews. Eight six percent of students entering the program were identified as underserved. Two-year and three-year graduation rates were 95.5% and 100%, respectively. Ninety five percent of survey respondents reported being employed and 84% reported the employment being closely related to biomanufacturing. Six themes and 20 subthemes emerged around student perceptions of access and success. The study found that CCBs address the contextual complexities of the adult student. Evidence-based, industry-connected, and student centered curriculum demonstrated efficacy in retention and completion. This study supports legislative bodies to embrace CCBs as both a workforce strategy and in broadening diverse participation and completion. The study validates the impact of evidence-based practices to support the access and success of students historically underserved in STEM.