Our view: 5 years of Kent State? Just prove its worth

DKS Editors

Some Kent State programs are raising the number of credit hours it takes to graduate with a bachelor’s degree.

That’s fine — as long as it’s clear to the students entering the program, and the reason for increasing the number of hours is strong.

“We’ve had sort of degree creep over the years where people add more and more and more into degrees, and employers sort of give us mixed messages,” Provost Robert Frank said. “They want our graduates to have more, but on the other hand, they want graduates to come out with more work-ready skills, so you get caught up in how to best prepare people.”

We’re sure most Kent State students would agree; if an extra semester or year is going to secure us a long-term gig, sign us up. However, there needs to be serious, open discussion when this decision is made.

Surely Kent State doesn’t want anyone to think they’re just pulling a fast one on students for a quick buck. We don’t believe that’s the case, and we wouldn’t want any other students to have reason to think that.

But the university and its advisers need to shoot straight with students.

Tell us why a program requires more hours and how this could help us in the real world, especially the job market. Don’t lead a person to believe they can graduate in four years if they can’t comfortably. In short, don’t sugarcoat anything. We’re adults, we can make our own decisions about how long we need to, or can afford to, stay in college.

Also, if you can incorporate new material required to keep the program certified or competitive into already existing courses, that should be the first option. We’ve all taken classes within our major that seemed out of the early 1990s or maybe the 1890s.

Kent State just needs to make sure that a program isn’t just becoming a five-year process just because it’s too hard to edit out antiquated material.

So show us the money, Kent State. By that we mean the increase in salary we’ll receive from graduating from your five-year programs as opposed to some lesser college’s four-year program.

In other words, just prove the curriculum is worth its weight in gold in the real world. If not, students will flock to the four-year schools. College life is kind of expensive, as you might have heard.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.