Purdue University is moving one step forward with year-round classes. It’s a measure aimed to help students graduate on time and help with the affordability of a college education.
“If they spread it out year-round, considering if they spread it out correctly, I’m pretty sure we could get a bachelor’s degree in three years. I’d love that,” said student Nitin Katiki.
“I’m over school and being done sooner than now would have been a big help,” said student Kirsten Koharchik.
The idea of graduating ahead of the standard four-year schedule seems ideal to some students, even if it means going to classes during the summer.
Purdue President Mitch Daniels said the university is looking to offer more credit hours in the summertime. He said the goal for the year-round classes is to get more students to graduate on time or even early.
“It’s all about more flexibility for students. More flexibility for faculty too, if we get it right, and by helping students move more quickly, making sure the Purdue experience is more affordable,” said Daniels.
Daniels said a task force made up of faculty members has been put together. He said those faculty members are currently looking at the calendar to see if year-round classes will work.
“If we make the summer opportunity as wide as possible, we’ll still have to wait and see how many students decide to seize it. But it’s been growing, and we think there’s a lot more room for head growth. What we would do is we would add faculty as the demand dictated,” said Daniels.
In January, Daniels challenged the university to create a three-year degree program. He said several proposals have been submitted and it will be hard to determine which college will earn $500,000 from the presidential discretionary account.
“I’ll be most interested in those that are the most innovative, introduce something different. Don’t simply say, ‘We’ll just require more dual credit coming in the door,’” said Daniels.
Students seem to agree that a three-year program would be nice, as long as it’s done right.
“If this could help, I’d definitely say go for it, but be careful. If they don’t spread it out correctly, the timing might be irregular and that might just add more stress to us, to the students, than necessary,” said Katiki.
Daniels said that another panel has been formed to study the concerns and suggestions from the university community after January’s deadly shooting. He’s expecting a report from that panel soon.