Saturday, May 23, 2009

Three-year degrees at American colleges?

The Washington post today has an article on the fact that some U.S. colleges are now starting to offer 3-year Bachelor's degrees, European style ( Critics, of course, claim that this will take away the traditional broad education offered at universities, and steer more in the direction of job training. In some cases, this may be true. However, they want to offer the three-year degree to especially qualified students that are motivated and intellectually capable of going through with a four-year program in just 75% of the time. Personally, I think this is an excellent approach. For very good students, getting the full benefit of a traditional degree in just three years is a very good option, with the economic advantage of saving a year of college tuition and expenses. 

It will, however, be demanding of the student's, smart as they may be. A condensed program would require better attention, more focus on what is important and self-awareness of the students. Therefore, I think such a program should be accompanied by support functions that teach self management and give students a sound foundation for gaining confidence and dealing with stress in a positive way; the most important thing is to put down clear goals and have measures to guide the fulfillment of these goals!

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