Kevin.Adler 
Member since Nov 2, 2009


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Executive Director of BetterGrads

Updated on November 2, 2009 at 4:14 PM

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Re: “In Newsweek, Alexander Urges Three-Year College Degrees

Thanks for the reference to this article. As the ED of a college access organization, I am skeptical of Sen. Alexander's proposal to reduce the undergraduate degree from four years to three:

1. Enterprising and financially-minded college students can already complete their degree in three years. Graduation is based on credits, not years. The three-year degree is formally offered in a few colleges, as Alexander points out, but not many students participate. The three-year degree is the norm in most of Europe, which Alexander mysteriously neglects to mention. Students have options a-plenty if they want to complete their studies in three years, not four or more.

2. A systematic shift to the three-year degree would require a massive overhaul of all levels of America's education system. We need an overhaul, but not of this type. Problems endemic to many of our public high schools - over-crowded classrooms, resource cuts and shortages, and excessive bureaucracy - would be exacerbated if a year of college was eliminated. These issues need to be dealt with directly first.

3. The four-year degree engenders America's approach to learning and higher education. Without it as the norm, I believe we would risk losing a special element that makes our college system so unique.

I wrote a short article on this topic for BetterGrads, a college access organization I run. I welcome your readers to take a look at what students and recent graduates are saying about this issue: http://bit.ly/1Ulv7T.

Posted by Kevin.Adler on 11/02/2009 at 4:12 PM
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