Three-Year Degrees Getting Nationwide Attention

By Purnell T. Cropper | March 23, 2010

“As I think about this program, this is exactly the kind of thing I would have jumped at if I were 18 years old again,” says Arcadia President Jerry Greiner of Arcadia’s new three-year degree programs. “I could see myself saying that this is something I would want to do because I was very motivated, very focused on my education, and was interested in moving through it as quickly as I could.”

Greiner made the comments in an interview with Kim Yvette Stanley of

Arcadia’s new accelerated three-year bachelor’s degrees are getting nationwide media coverage. Sue Snyder’s story in the Philadelphia Inquirer led the front page of the newspaper and noted that Arcadia is “among a growing number of colleges around the country looking to gain a competitive edge with less costly options for students.” She noted that Arcadia’s program is for high-ability students who  “must have a minimum of 1870 on their reading, math, and writing SAT, and rank in the top 10 percent of their class.” Read more.

Insider Higher Education on March 11 took an in-depth look at “an emerging idea about how to reduce college costs and better serve students (that) has begun to take hold at colleges across the United States, as more institutions introduce three-year bachelor’s degrees.” “We’ve been thinking about affordability issues for some time even before the downturn of the economy,” said Jerry Greiner, the university’s president. “More administrators wanted to think about it after the downturn and we quickly got a number of faculty members interested in pursuing that kind of program.” Read more.

In the article, which also was rerun by USA Today, reporter Jennifer Epstein wrote, “Students will take a heavier course load each semester and spend the summers of the program fulfilling other degree requirements: a service project and a major-related internship, perhaps outside the United States. Offerings will start with five majors—business administration, communications, international business and culture, international studies, and psychology—whose course sequences have been mapped out to ensure that students will be able to fulfill all requirements in the abbreviated time to degree.”

KYW radio’s Ian Bush was among the first local reporters to interview Greiner, noting that “Greiner says the best high school candidates are getting good grades in tough classes, but also are involved in clubs and sports: ‘Really an all-around, high-quality student would be most desirable for this kind of program.’” Read more.

The Boulder, Colo., Daily Camera wrote about Arcadia’s program in relation to the University of Colorado’s exploration of offering three-year accelerated degrees, noting that “Arcadia University, requires students to take heavier course loads and spend summers meeting other criteria, including internships or community service.”

The Colorado Daily and the Education Info 101 blog also discussed the story.

Arcadia’s news release was placed on many sites, including WHYY radioBusiness NewsEarth Times, the Boston Globe, the Long Beach (Calif.) Press-Telegram,, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the Houston Chronicle, the Centre Daily Times, the BENZINGA idea network,, Sports Technology and Communications, Daily Finance.