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New Three-Year Graduation Program will save students time, money

Doane College will begin offering a new three-year degree program that will save eligible undergraduates money on the cost of their degree and give them an extra year of earning power.

Doane is the first private liberal arts and sciences college in Nebraska to offer a three-year undergraduate degree program that comes backed with a graduation guarantee.  

Set to launch in the fall of 2014, three-year degree programs will be offered in Computer Science, Mathematics and History with plans to expand to more areas of study in the future.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook, Computer Science and Mathematics have a projected employment growth of 22 and 23 percent through 2022 – faster than the 11-percent average for all occupations. 

The three-year degree option is not for everyone. Students must apply for the program, and eligibility and acceptance are based on GPA, ACT/SAT scores and credits earned prior to enrollment.

For those committed students who fit this option, faculty have created intensive academic plans with a three-year course schedule. 

“A student in the three-year degree program will take exactly the same courses and have the same experiences – community service project, internship, senior seminar project, as a student in the four-year degree program,” said Alec Engebretson, professor of Information Science & Technology.  

Degree programs have not been modified or reduced in any way. Instead, Doane has thought progressively about how students can meet requirements at a faster pace. Students will take classes in fall, spring and summer depending on the program and the number of credits students transfer.

More and more high school students are taking college-level courses. According to a 2014 Advanced Placement report by CollegeBoard, more than 1 million public high school students nationwide took at least one AP exam in 2013. Doane’s three-year degree programs recognize these students and provide them an opportunity to continue their education at an accelerated pace into college.

Students with other majors in mind won’t necessarily miss out. Depending on courses transferred in, students may work closely with an academic advisor to create an approved plan to graduate in three years. In fact, eight Doane students have already successfully graduated in under four years without an official program in place.

Why graduate in three years? Accelerating a degree can offer students:

  • Savings on tuition and other college expenses.
  • Early entry into the job market.
  • Early entry into graduate school.
  • An opportunity to take on a dual major.
  • An opportunity for an internship.
  • Still having the opportunity for faculty-led study abroad.

Dr. John Burney, vice president of Academic Affairs, is proud of what this new program will offer.

“Strong students who want to focus on their academics will receive a quality undergraduate education and the support of faculty committed to their goals and to building the skills needed in our interconnected world,” Burney said.  

A world-class liberal arts and sciences education from Doane College in just three years. That means less time, less money and extra earning power or entry into graduate school.