Thursday, May 31, 2012
An interesting article in the May 30, 2012 Washington Post entitled New momentum for the three-year degree? outlines the fact that at least two colleges are now offerring 3 year college degrees. The article describes the advantages of a 3 year degree as follows:
The three-year degree holds great promise as a solution to several problems vexing higher education.
One is affordability. At Wesleyan, the annual sticker price is $58,232, although the average student receiving grant aid pays only $21,854. A three-year degree eliminates most or all of that fourth-year tuition and potentially puts the student in the job market a year early.
Another is attainment. President Obama wants the nation to regain the world lead in college attainment (the share of adults with degrees) by 2020. A three-year degree accelerates the pace of completion and opens more seats in the higher-education pipeline. Plus, it’s well-documented that students who remain in college longer stand a progressively worse chance of ever graduating
Presumably, the students still have to take the same amount of classes. This is actually nothing new. I knew students who graduated early by taking classes over the summer and during intersession.
Frankly, I doubt that this is a good thing. While I have no doubt that many students can finish their degrees earlier, I also have no doubt that rushing things will result in them learning less-much less. There is also a maturity factor that young college students often do not appreciate.
Mitchell H. Rubinstein