TODAY'S QUESTION: Are three-year degrees a good idea?

Friday, December 11, 2009 | 12:33 p.m. CST

In the final of four town hall budget meetings, University of Missouri System President Gary Forsee discussed the poor economy and a lack of state support.

One possible solution? Three-year degrees at the system's four campuses. Forsee said the issue is only being discussed right now.

"People just can't afford to waste time and money anymore," Forsee said. "There's a national appetite to get through faster ... and finish cheaper."

In Europe, there's a shift to the three-year degree. But not everyone likes it, saying it can limit learning and achievement possibilities.

Last month, Gov. Jay Nixon announced a plan to keep tuition frozen for a second straight year. In return, he agreed to maintain higher education funding at about 95 percent of the this year’s appropriation, but that's still a reduction of $42 million.

Additionally, one-time funds from the stimulus are set to expire by 2012, so schools will have to make cuts unless money comes from other sources.

Do you think a three-year degree is a good idea?

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Allan Sharrock December 12, 2009 | 7:30 p.m.

Yes I do. In fact I wrote a paper illustrating that they would be profitable to both the students and MU. Personally I think they should create a three your green program. This program could focus on a variety of things. They could learn how to cut energy and material consumption in a manufacturing process. The students could learn how to plan for sustainable communities, install and plan for geothermal units, and solar panel installations. Lets not forget about bio fuels and windmills. Now do I believe the Earth is going to fry in the next few years. Nope. But, I do think it is prudent to get off of foreign oil and I am a firm believer in saving money and natural resources. There are other universities creating these programs to meet the job market demand. The question is if MU is ready.

(Report Comment)
Matt Wilkinson December 16, 2009 | 5:24 p.m.

Absolutely MU should offer three year degrees - to some high school graduates who have adequate grades and have a firm plan of what they want to study. And perhaps to non-traditional students that already have the necessary rounded life skills and/or significant work experience in their chosen filed of study.

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