College in 3 Program at UMR: Earn a Degree in 3 Years to Get Hired Faster

A nationwide experiment called College in 3 will put summer classes back in trend as it works toward getting college students to attain their degree in 3 years time. The University of Minnesota Rochester (UMR) is the first to launch the College in 3 program because the education institution is relatively young and small. It graduated its first class in 2013, while a total of 617 undergraduates are still working toward the completion of their college education in accordance with the traditional 4-year program.

Under the College in 3 at UMR, the university can free some of the students from the entrenched traditions that tend to suppress changes in higher education.
UMR is only the pilot of a dozen other colleges and universities that eventually will also offer a three-year bachelor’s degree.

How Does the College in 3 Program Work?

Currently at UMR, there are 10 students making up the first batch who enrolled in the three-year bachelor’s degree in health science. Nineteen-year Kelsey DeSmith, who is one of the 10 students pioneering the College in 3 program at UMR has been taking in-person classes during the summer, while also engaged in a 12-hour per week paid internship. Her goal is to graduate and get hired formally, after three years instead of the conventional four years.

According to the Chancellor of UMR, Lori Carrell, the College at 3 program will not only move people forward at a faster pace. It will also put into good use the empty spaces in universities during the summer.
Ms. Carell also pointed out that aside from being a relatively new educational institution, the university is located right next to the sprawling multibillion-dollar Mayo Clinic medical center. The center provides 1-year paid internships to each of the 10 students enrolled in the three-year-degree program. Landing a job at the medical center is actually a conspicuous career goal as it hires around 30% of UMR’s graduates to augment its 76,000 employees.