dcsimg
You are here:

Professor Argues The Merits of the Three Year Degree

For most colleges, it's a fairly cut-and-dry set of options: the two-year associate degree, or the four-year bachelor degree. Which do you choose? What if there was a third choice? What if you could obtain a more focused, direct form of the bachelor degree program, with all of the well-rounded higher level education but none of the peripherals, and at a cost a bit closer to a two-year technical degree? It's closer to reality than you may think: many universities today are considering condensing some bachelor degrees into a three-year program.

Today, the New York Times published a review of Making Reform Work: The Case for Transforming American Higher Education, a book by University of Pennsylvania professor Robert Zemsky in which he makes a case for major reform in American higher education -- namely, transforming the standard college degree program from four years down to a "three-year baccalaureate." According to Zemsky, one of the main reasonings behind this idea is to clear students' paths for post-graduate work: "With more and more Americans pursuing advanced degrees, it makes sense to look for ways to shorten the undergraduate portion of their post-secondary educations." Zemsky likens the senior year of undergraduate studies to the senior year of high school, a point at which many students are burned out and view the year there as something of a waste.

But what about community colleges? With the major push toward the community college system lately, wouldn't they feel left out in the cold when four-year institutions start offering slimmed down degrees? Zemsky acknowledges they may feel that way, but he urges them to think of themselves as a viable piece of a larger education puzzle. "Though the community colleges will see themselves as threatened," he says, "a nationally adopted three-year baccalaureate degree could well prove to be a boon to them by clearly identifying and funding them as the places where students go to complete their precollegiate education... Community colleges could continue to provide the first year of collegiate instruction for students of limited means as well as students seeking a low-risk higher education portal."

The idea of the three-year degree program has been gathering support among students slowly but surely for a while now, but so far it has been a hard sell for professors and administrators who worry about financial implications or a loss of total "college experience" for students. That said, with the support of a professor as influential as Zemsky -- according to the article, he was nominated to participate in Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings's Commission on the Future of Higher Education during the Bush administration -- others may soon follow suit. Already, Arizona State University is putting a plan for three-year programs before the education board; more schools are likely not far behind. The tides may be turning already.

Search Schools

      
Matching School Ads
  • Full Sail University - Online

    Learning at Full Sail University has always centered around interaction and the exchange of ideas. Our online curriculum fully embraces this philosophy.

    Programs

    • Creative Writing, Master of Fine Arts (Online)
    • Entertainment Business, Master of Science (Online)
    • Audio Production Bachelors (Online)
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Full Sail University - Online Request Info »
  • University of New Hampshire

    The University of New Hampshire is the state’s public research university, providing comprehensive, high-quality undergraduate programs and graduate programs of distinction.

    Programs

    • MEd in Educational Studies

    Location: Online

    University of New Hampshire Request Info »
  • Stratford Career Institute

    Earn Your Diploma from Home!

    Programs

    • Electrician
    • Early Childhood Education
    • Funeral Service Education
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Stratford Career Institute Request Info »
  • ITT Technical Institute

    Are you interested in pursuing a high-tech career? Getting an education from ITT Tech is a great place to start!

    Programs

    • AS - Criminology and Forensic Technology
    • AS - Network Systems Administration
    • BS - Project Management and Administration: PMA Option
    • More...

    Location: Online

    ITT Technical Institute Request Info »
  • Divine Mercy University

    Pursue an advanced degree in Psychology or Counseling at Divine Mercy University. GO

    Programs

    • PSY.D. in Clinical Psychology
    • Online M.S. Psychology
    • Online M.S. Counseling

    Location: Online

    Divine Mercy University Request Info »
  • Animal Behavior College

    Interested in a career as a professional dog trainer? Animal Behavior College is the place to start.

    Programs

    • Veterinary Assistant
    • Grooming Instruction
    • Certified Dog Trainer Instructor Course

    Location: Online

    Animal Behavior College Request Info »
  • Bryan University

    Go above and beyond typical online classes with Bryan University. GO

    Programs

    • Bachelor of Science in Professional Fitness Training and Exercise Science
    • Associate Degree in Litigation and E-Discovery Paralegal
    • Associate Degree in Court Reporting
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Bryan University Request Info »
  • South University, Online Programs

    Designed with the needs of working adult students in mind, South University, Online Programs is built on the similar curriculum offered at South University's campus locations. As a student at South University, Online Programs you will receive the same quality instruction, variety of learning options and level of service found at the campus locations.

    Programs

    • RN to Master of Science in Nursing with a specialization in Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (RN-MSN)
    • Specialization in Family Nurse Practitioner (MSN)
    • Specialization in Nurse Educator (MSN)
    • More...
    Location:
    Savannah: 709 Mall Boulevard, Savannah GA 31406
    South University, Online Programs Request Info »
  • Northwest University

    NU has been educating leaders since 1934 at our campus near Seattle. If you have a dream, we can help make it possible.

    Programs

    • Bachelor of Arts in Business Management
    • Master's in Education
    • Associate in Ministry Leadership
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Northwest University Request Info »
  • University of Southern California

    One of the world's leading private research institutions, the University of Southern California (USC) was founded in 1880.

    Programs

    • Online Master of Science in Applied Psychology
    • Online Master of Management in Library and Information Science - Urban Public Librarianship
    • Online Master of Management in Library and Information Science - Academic Librarianship
    • More...
    Location:
    Los Angeles: , Los Angeles CA
    University of Southern California Request Info »
  • Matching School Ads

    Quick School Search

    College & Career Search Tools

    • Careers: Unsure about your career path? Study profiles of hundreds of professions.

    • Interviews: Professors and deans sit down with our team to give you unique insights on college life.

    • Military Education: Find only Military friendly online schools and campuses.

    • Student Reviews: Know before you go. Read student reviews on over 2000 accredited colleges. Write your own experience.