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University Of Kansas Offers Three-Year Path For A Four-Year Degree

The University of Kansas is offering a three-year path to a bachelor’s degree.

The “Degree In Three” program is a partnership between KU, six school districts and three community colleges. Students will begin earning college credit in high school. They will then be able to complete an associate’s degree in one year at one of the partnering community colleges and finish their final two years at KU.

Lowering the number of years to earn a degree — and, subsequently, the number of years paying tuition — can greatly reduce the cost of higher education for a student and is one of the primary motivators for the program. It originally started about three years ago, but KU and its partners decided to have a formalized version of the program start this fall.

Missouri students can also use the program to pay the equivalent of in-state tuition at KU’s Edwards Campus in Overland Park.

The program is also being a pitched as a way to avoid the headaches and uncertainty of getting colleges to accept transferred credits.

“It’s heartbreaking to see a student come from high school or come from the community college and have taken the wrong classes,” Carolyn McKnight, director of community engagement and business development at KU, said. “These streamlined programs provide students the opportunity to really focus on their careers."

The institutions partnering for the program are:

  • Blue Valley CAPS
  • Kansas City Kansas Public Schools Diploma+
  • Olathe 21st Century Academies
  • Shawnee Mission Signature Programs
  • Southland CAPS
  • Summit Technology Academy
  • Johnson County Community College
  • Kansas City Kansas Community College
  • Metropolitan Community College
  • KU Edwards Campus

Stephan Bisaha, based at KMUW in Wichita, is an education reporter for the Kansas News Service, a collaboration of KMUW, Kansas Public Radio, KCUR and High Plains Public Radio covering health, education and politics. Follow him on Twitter @SteveBisaha. Kansas News Service stories and photos may be republished at no cost with proper attribution and a link back to the original post.

Copyright 2020 KMUW | NPR for Wichita. To see more, visit .

Stephan Bisaha is a former NPR Kroc Fellow. Along with producing Weekend Edition, Stephan has reported on national stories for Morning Edition and All Things Considered, as well as other NPR programs. He provided data analysis for an investigation into the Department of Veteran Affairs and reported on topics ranging from Emojis to mattresses.
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