Friday, October 23, 2009

College in Three Years - or Less?

According to Lamar Alexandar's piece in the latest edition of Newsweek:

Hartwick college, a small liberal-arts school in upstate New York, makes this offer to well-prepared students: earn your undergraduate degree in three years (six semesters) instead of four, and save about $43,000—the amount of one year's tuition and fees. A number of innovative colleges are making the same offer to students anxious about saving time and money. The three-year degree could become the higher-education equivalent of the fuel-efficient car. And that's both an opportunity and a warning for the best higher-education system in the world.

Finally, the word is spreading. With the average time for a bachelor's degree taking an astounding and baffling six year and seven months, a little shorter for some programs from on-line universities, it is time for a change. The acceptance of AP and IB scores for advance progress in degrees and the expansion of dual-credit, or concurrent enrollment, classes are imperatives. And schools who shun giving the credit where credit is due should be shunned and avoided at all costs.

Now, if we can get K-12 down to K-10, and the blending of 11/12 - 16, we will be getting somewhere.


Sarah Ebner said...

In the UK most degrees are three years - and now people are saying that's too long, especially as teaching is often just a few hours a week. One innovative, private university, offers degrees in two years....

KLoomis said...

I dont think that three years is all that demanding. I think that one of the issues undergrads face is the vast amount of down time.
If the issue of responsibility and proper time management is addressed at the high school level, I believe that over time a three year graduation expectation will not be seen as unreasonable.