Streamlined and Fuel-Efficient Three-Year Degrees
It doesn’t seem right to compare the streamlining of higher education to the manufacturing of fuel-efficient cars, but this Newsweek article has a few good points. I’ve posted before about some schools offering a three-year degree option for qualified (super ahead of the game) college students. It makes a certain amount of sense when the economy bites and tuition rates are biting everyone’s asses even harder.
Getting in and out more quickly means a somewhat frugal social life (unless you’re just that good). If you’re someone who views college as a strictly educational experience, then go crazy with the three-year-degree Cheez Whiz. Otherwise, maybe take your time and go for the traditional four years. Or the more realistic six years.
Some pros according to the Newsweek article:
…[S]ome forward-looking colleges like Hartwick are rethinking the old way of doing things and questioning decades-old assumptions about what a college degree means. For instance, why does it have to take four years to earn a diploma? This fall, 16 first-year students and four second-year students at Hartwick, located halfway between Binghamton and Albany, enrolled in the school’s new three-year degree program. According to the college, the plan is designed for high-ability, highly motivated students who wish to save money or to move along more rapidly toward advanced degrees.
And some cons:
There are drawbacks to moving through school at such a brisk pace. For one, it deprives students of the luxury of time to roam intellectually. Compressing everything into three years also leaves less time for growing up, engaging in extracurricular activities, and studying abroad. On crowded campuses it could mean fewer opportunities to get into a prized professor’s class. Iowa’s Waldorf College has graduated several hundred students in its three-year-degree programs, but is now phasing out the option. Most Waldorf students wanted the full four-year experience—academically, socially, and athletically. And faculty members will be wary of any change that threatens the core curriculum in the name of moving students into the workforce.
Posted by Alexa Harrington