(From release) How long should it take for a freshmen college student to earn a bachelor’s degree?
Four years , according to a new plan offered by The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAHuntsville).
Freshmen at UAHuntsville will soon have the option to ensure a specific graduation date by signing on to Go for Four, a four-year graduation plan. The partnership is a pledge between students and UAHuntsville. Students who sign the plan agree to a number of conditions that guide their studies and their progress toward a degree in four years.
According to a study by the U.S. Department of Education, the average time it takes to earn a bachelor’s degree is now 6.2 years. Only 36 percent of those who begin a public four-year college graduate in four years.
Under the new UAHuntsville plan, colleges and departments agree to ensure that students are assured of the availability of courses needed for graduation within their chosen majors.
To graduate in four years, interested freshman students need only to sign up for the plan during a meeting with an advisor at orientation, or before the end of the first semester. Students, in consultation with advisors, will then map out a realistic course study that may include certain checkpoints along the way, and with the help of an academic advisor students will strictly follow the plan.
“The four-year plan was designed for students entering UAHuntsville during their freshman year ,” said Dr. Jack Fix, the dean of the College of Science and an architect of the plan. “And, while the program may sound extreme, adopting the plan would send a clear signal that it isn’t necessary to spend five or more years at the university to get an undergraduate degree.”
“We realize that the timely completion of an undergraduate degree is an important goal for many students,” Fix added. “Specific advantages for graduating in four years include keeping the cost of college to a minimum and for students to have the opportunity to start their careers early or go on to graduate school sooner. We do, however, recognize that the overall student experience may be more important for some than the time-to-degree and we will continue to strive to provide enriched educational experiences such as co-op to all our students.”
At this time, the education major is the only undergraduate major at UAHuntsville that cannot be completed in four years.
Should a student become unable to complete the four-year plan due to a change in career goals, illness or other emergencies, there is no penalty for withdrawing from the agreement, according to Fix.