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
  • Western International University

    Try Your Introductory Course Risk Free

    Programs

    • Master of Science in Accounting
    • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
    • Master of Arts in Human Dynamics
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Western International University Request Info »
  • 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 »
  • Post University

    Experience an education that helps you realize your potential in a way that fits you best. Request more information about Post University today.
     

    Programs

    • B.S. in Finance - Corporate Finance
    • B.S. in Management - Human Resource Management
    • B.S. in Criminal Justice - Law Enforcement
    • More...
    Location:
    Waterbury: 800 Country Club Rd., Waterbury CT 06723
    Post University Request Info »
  • University of Phoenix

    Study what employers need you to know

    Programs

    • Master of Science in Nursing/Nurse Education
    • B.S. in Environmental Science
    • Doctor of Education/Educational Leadership
    • More...

    Location: Online

    University of Phoenix Request Info »
  • Baker College Online

    Earn a Certificate, Associate, Bachelor, Master's or Doctorate for less at Baker College Online.

    Programs

    • Master of Business Administration - Marketing
    • Bachelor of General Studies
    • Bachelor of Business Administration - Hospitality Management
    • More...
    Location:
    Willis: 4500 Enterprise Dr. Allen Park,, Willis MI 48191
    Baker College Online Request Info »
  • Liberty University

    With more than 300 online and residential areas of study, Liberty offers programs from the certificate to doctoral level.

    Programs

    • M.Div: Leadership
    • MA Theological Studies: Theology
    • MAR: Church History
    • More...
    Location:
    Lynchburg: 1971 University Blvd, , Lynchburg VA 24515
    Liberty University Request Info »
  • Brandman University Online

    Take a new step in your education with Brandman University. We offer 87 different certificate, associate, bachelor's, or master's programs in a wide variety of fields.

    Programs

    • BBA in Business Administration (Accounting)
    • Certificate in Organizational Leadership
    • BA in Early Childhood Education
    • More...
    Location:
    Irvine: 16355 Laguna Canyon Rd,, Irvine CA 92618
    Brandman University Online Request Info »
  • Alliant International University

    Challenge yourself and change the world with professional career education from Alliant International University.

    Programs

    • Master of Business Administration
    Location:
    San Diego: 10455 Pomerado Road, San Diego CA 92131
    Alliant International University Request Info »
  • Capella University

    Capella provides a flexible online learning environment designed for working adults who want to advance in their profession.

    Programs

    • DBA - Leadership
    • PhD - Information Technology General
    • MS - Social and Community Services
    • More...
    Location:
    Minneapolis: Capella Tower, Minneapolis MN 55402
    Capella University Request Info »
  • Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences

    Nursing@Simmons, the innovative, online nursing degree program from Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences prepares Registered Nurses for the next stage of their careers.

    You need to have a Bachelor’s degree and RN license to be qualified for this school.

    Programs

    • MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner
    • RN to MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner
    Location:
    Boston: 300 The Fenway,, Boston MA 02115
    Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences 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.