Ten percent of degrees must have short-term programs by October


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Kelli Fitzpatrick

“I think there is a concern: Does packing so much together give the student the time to digest, make connections and develop their thinking in these areas?” Booth said. “We like to think that a four-year experience is great if you can do that at a university. It is a unique experience being shortened, but each person has to weigh for themselves the advantages and disadvantages.”

Kelly Gentile earned her advertising degree in three years at Kent State. She said graduating early was definitely an advantage.

“It was 2010 and everybody was having trouble finding jobs,” said Gentile, an assistant account executive at Marcus Thomas LLC in Akron. “I think I lucked out. [I had] a year of searching and [fewer] people to compete against. I’ve been in the work force for two years, and my coworkers say, ‘I can’t believe you’re only 22.’ It’s a really big compliment.”

Gentile said graduating in three years didn’t save her money because she took multiple summer courses.

“I was lucky enough to not have any student loans because my parents had saved up enough, but there wasn’t any left after three years,” she said.

Booth said increasing the number of three-year programs may actually help more students graduate in four years rather than five or six.

“You probably won’t see all that many students going in three years, but maybe it will help with the four-year graduation rate,” Booth said. “If we can get that [rate] up, that would be great for our students because we’re getting close to a 5 1/2-year average.”

Booth said most of the three-year programs will be under the College of Arts and Sciences. The College of Business programs require the student starts with 30 credit hours from post-secondary, AP credit or CLEP credit.

“My interest in this will be to see how many students are really going to be able to do this and commit to it,” Booth said. “If you’re really interested in this, make sure you get with an advisor so you know you’re going down the right path.”

Contact Kelli Fitzpatrick at [email protected].