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Cutting credits is counterproductive
April 5, 2011 - Jim Smith
Shepherd University has cut the number of credit hours needed for a college degree from 128 to 120 and now the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission is urging public colleges and universities in the state to do likewise.
In essence that means a reduction of the equivalent of about a half a semester of educational study and classes in a time when every elected official and business leader is touting the need for more education and a better educated work force to fill current and future jobs in the ever-expanding information-based economy.
Granted, the cutting of necessary credit hours for a bachelor's degree may mean a reduced cost to students and/or their parents and may aid in getting the student through college in what used to be the standard of four years and has been lengthened over the last decade or so to the so-called five-year plan, but does it provide the needed background in an area of study a student needs?
Will the reducing of credit hours for graduation cause an added burden on employers to train recent graduates who may not have received as much in-depth classes as earlier graduates received?
Will reducing the number of hours for graduation weaken the college program and adversely affect is accreditation?
Even though the commission says the state won't compromise quality, how can quality not be affected by a reduction in classes and credit hours?
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