I'm not sure the three-year degree is a good sounding bad idea yet. Students may not be voting with their feet yet, but I still think the model has, ahem, legs. After all, we're driving the first year of college down to the high schools anyway. Although it won't be for everyone. From Daniel de Cise in The Washington Post.
The recent proliferation of three-year degrees has heightened interest in accelerated study among college freshmen. But enthusiasm tends to peter out.
“A lot of students are interested in it,” said Dave McFadden, executive vice president of Manchester College. “A smaller number of students sign up for it, and an even smaller number finish it.”
Lake Forest, in the Chicago suburbs, promoted its program as a money-saver for students and parents. “We just really didn’t have any takers,” said Janet McCracken, dean of the faculty.
The three-year degree may not gain traction until it becomes standard in a large state university system, said Robert Zemsky, a higher education scholar at the University of Pennsylvania. Initiatives in Ohio and Rhode Island have not borne fruit.
Or, the accelerated BA may be subsumed within a more ambitious goal: accelerated graduate study. Several universities in the Washington region have introduced accelerated master’s and doctoral degrees. Some schools combine those degrees with undergraduate study to deliver, say, a bachelor and master’s degree in four or five years, rather than the customary six.