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UNCG launches three-year degree initiative

By Shonte’ Hodnett


Published: Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Updated: Tuesday, March 9, 2010

UNCG in 3 is a new program that will allow highly-motivated students to graduate in just three years, beginning fall 2010. It is designed to accommodate the growing number of high school seniors who will enter the university with 12 or more transferable college credits earned through Advanced Placement (AP), UNCG iSchool, or other early college programs. “UNCG in 3 is perfect for students who are eager to earn a degree and get on with other life goals,” said UNCG Chancellor Linda Brady. “They can pursue a graduate degree, get a jump start on a career or even use what they save in tuition to launch their own business.”

The incoming freshmen that are eligible for the program can save approximately $8,000 in tuition, fees, room, and board, which is a 22 percent savings. They will earn the same high-quality degree as other UNCG students, but at an accelerated pace by taking classes year-round. Here is how it will work: the student would need to take and pass at least 16 credits each fall and spring, plus seven credits each for two summer sessions. The savings assumes that the student would take the summer courses online.

In planning the program, UNCG observed other three-year degree programs, including those at Bates College, Ball State University, Southern Oregon University, Florida State University and Lipscomb University to build the framework for the program. The University also surveyed its own student body. In fall 2009, 526 freshmen entered UNCG with AP credits, with 92 students holding 12 or more. That year, 59 first-year students entered with credits from UNCG iSchool, joining 139 continuing students with iSchool credit. Those students with at least 12 credits would have a broader range of degree programs than students entering with no credit because they would have completed almost a full semester of course work.

“I think it’s a good idea,” said Dr. William Brown, the Department Head for Accounting and Finance. Dr Stuart Allen, Department Head for Economics called it a “Good strategy”. Many faculty members are excited about this new initiative, but expressed concerns about the registration process for getting the students into the classes that they need on time. In many departments, some classes are only offered every other semester. In some cases, a required course that everyone within the major must take only offers one section with a limited number of seats. This could present an issue for the three-year program.

“Students who have Advanced Placement credits should be able to already have knocked out a semester, at the very least,” said Brown. “A lot of it is going to be how well we can get them into the classes that they need, registration issues, classes close all of the time even if you have priority in registration so I think that’s going to be the one issue.” The University will work to provide both priority adviser support and priority scheduling to ensure that all degree requirements are met.

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