The nationwide College in 3 initiative is working to offer three-year bachelor’s degrees to students working through the summers at a growing number of institutions. From the University of Minnesota Rochester to Merrimack College, the University of Miami, Portland State and more, institutions are planning three-year degrees in some majors. The idea is that students will get out into the workforce more quickly and cut down on college costs, plus institutions will make better use of summer resources.
“There is waste there, and not only in not getting people forward faster,” Lori Carrell, chancellor of UMR, told The Hechinger Report. “The empty spaces on nearly every college campus are another kind of waste.”
Carrell has been working with Robert Zemsky, a professor of education at the University of Pennsylvania who has long pushed the three-year degree. “Our phone has been ringing,” Zemsky said. And as more institutions sign on, “the whole industry is going to go to this. People won’t be able to say no.”
Along with the initiative’s advantages come challenges, such as getting professors to teach during the summer and some students having difficulty adjusting to collegiate academic demands. Plus, the stress of such an accelerated program can exacerbate mental health concerns and make it harder for students to have time to participate in co-curriculars as well as explore new subject matter.
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