Grace College Leads Emerging National Trend with Three-Year Degree Program

Grace College’s “reimagine” campaign has not gone unnoticed by the world of higher education. It’s only been one academic year since the three-year accelerated degree program went into effect, but the program’s immense success continues to be reinforced, not only by the increased enrollment of students who are eager to prepare themselves from an increasingly fluctuating job market, but also by the fact that other schools are following in Grace’s footsteps.

Grace College was one of the first to realize the potential of a three-year degree option and was among other private Christian schools to offer it across all majors. Nation-wide, Grace is one of 20 higher learning institutions that have opted for what seemed an almost experimental venture at first. But, with an ever-increasing tide of interest in the ground-breaking strategy, higher education is beginning to realize, not just the value, but the need for accelerated options.

The latest institution to come on board with the three-year program is Wesleyan University, a school in Connecticut acclaimed for its academic success. The university has, like Grace, been attuned to the nation’s economic struggles and the difficulty for the average student to commit with increasing costs.

“Grace College innovated the three-year degree program because of its commitment to provide an affordable academic and spiritually rigorous education,” says Grace Provost Bill Katip. “It’s a testimony to the innovative spirit at Grace that we were one of the first colleges in the nation to offer an accelerated degree program,” he says. The interest for the program is growing. The school reports that 47 percent of incoming freshmen in fall 2011 indicated they are interested in pursuing a three-year degree.

Katip has been quoted in an online U.S. News and World Report article explaining that the advancement of such programs will result in savings of up to 50 percent of tuition costs. One unique aspect of the three-year plan allows students to take tuition-free online summer courses; this option is also available to traditional undergraduate students. Grace’s hope is that this and future programs will draw students who have a desire for a unique, faith-based, liberal arts education and who want to also be financially prepared to thrive in what might otherwise be an economically averse environment.

Grace College and Seminary is an evangelical Christian community of higher education which offers undergraduate and graduate degrees and applies biblical values in strengthening character, sharpening competence, and preparing for service. The Seminary is conservative, evangelical, and has a rich tradition of sound biblical education that prepares men and women for both local and global church ministry. All of the institution’s academic, residential, athletic, and social priorities are designed to encourage intellectual and spiritual growth in a supportive campus community. Grace College also offers convenient and flexible online and hybrid-online graduate degrees and an on-campus or online degree completion program. The newest initiative—Grace College Weber School—is a highly-affordable, easily-accessible two-year degree program in Fort Wayne and Indianapolis. Grace has historically been among the top schools of its size and listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of America’s Best Colleges. The Princeton Review has regularly awarded it the title of a “Best Midwestern College.”  The 180-acre main campus is located in the historic resort town of Winona Lake, near Warsaw, Indiana.

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