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Will 3-year degree weaken education?
December 13, 2011 - Jim Smith
Ohio universities and colleges reportedly are trying to restructure fields of study to permit students to obtain bachelor degrees within three years, instead of the normal four years ... or longer.
According to an Associated Press article a state budget mandate is mandating Ohio colleges and universities formulate areas of student by which 10 percent of their programs by 2012 and 60 percent by 2014 can be completed within three years.
Ohio higher education Chancellor Jim Petro told The Cincinnati Enquirer that shortening the time frame allows families to spend less on college and helps schools raise their graduation rates., according to the AP.
Associate Provost Caroline Miller at the University of Cincinnati says finishing in three years is doable if students earn some college credits in high school and study through their summers, also according to the AP.
While the concept of obtaining a degree within three years, and saving the tuition and potentially room and board for a therefore unnecessary fourth year, on the surface sounds economically advantageous, will the same level of education be obtained with the same concentration of study and the same in-depth range of classes and class work?
The question is will the colleges and universities water-down their fields of study to adjust for a three-year graduation instead of the traditional four-year amount of classes and study? Instead of a high-power rifle zooming in on a target of study, will the degrees become more of a shotgun approach, lightly hitting a wider scope of topics with no solid concentration in any one of them?
The three-year degree really comes to the forefront when one considers that more and more students are taking five years to complete course work for a degree and now many be shoved into trying to do that work within the three-year parameters? Instead of increasing graduation rates, will the three-year program lead to more dropouts and/or failures?
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