Although UNC-Greensboro’s “UNCG in 3” program is theoretically a good way to allow students to obtain a college degree more quickly, the implementation of an intense, fast-track curriculum sends the wrong message to prospective students.
This fall, UNC-Greensboro is launching a new initiative that will allow students entering college with at least 12 credit hours to graduate in three years.
The program requires students to take and pass at least 16 credits each fall and spring, in addition to seven credits each for two summer sessions.
Current UNC-system curriculums allow for motivated students to graduate in three years if they are able to complete their degrees.
However, instituting a fast-track program that is specifically advertised to incoming freshmen as a quick way to get out of college corrodes the principles of a quality college education.
The UNCG in 3 program, rather than focusing on the value of the college experience, sets a precedent that the sole reason for attending an institution of higher education is to acquire a diploma.
In 2008, UNC-Greensboro Chancellor Linda Brady created a strategic planning committee to develop the program, and specifically, “a value-driven, outcome-based, transformative plan.”
UNCG in 3 is part of UNC-Greensboro’s UNCG Tomorrow Strategic Plan.
While Brady and the UNC-Greensboro administration might believe that UNCG in 3 is a great way to place students on a fast track to graduation, the reality is that an institutionalized program specifically focused on bringing students in and then rushing them out is anything but value-driven.
Graduating from college in three years is already an option for UNC-system students, as long as they can obtain university permission. And it’s a nice option to have.
But developing specific three-year-track programs is a road the UNC-system should avoid going down unless it wants to turn our educational institutions into mass-producing degree factories.
Let’s focus on making sure students graduate within four years before we jump the gun and being instituting curriculums like UNCG in 3.
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