UDC to offer two-year BA in DCPS pilot
The University of the District of Columbia is preparing a pilot program that would offer students at two DCPS high schools a bachelor's degree two years after the completion of 12th grade, President Allen Sessoms said today.
Sessoms wants to take groups of students from Wilson High School and the School Without Walls into UDC courses starting in their junior year and push them through a full four-year bachelor's program, effectively combining that coursework with the final two years of high school.
The 2+4 model would yield one of the quickest BA degrees in academia. Students commonly take college-level courses in high school through the Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate programs and dual enrollment, but even they seldom finish college in fewer than three years.
"I went to Walls and did a survey, and a third of kids raised their hands and said they'd be interested," Sessoms said, speaking in a meeting with the editorial board of The Washington Post.
Sessoms said he believes most high school students "completely waste their senior year," biding their time till college or taking college-level courses that they will eventually retake. One problem is a growing reluctance among universities to grant credit for AP or IB courses.
The 2+4 program is a bid to draw more top DCPS students to UDC, which has endeavored to make itself more attractive to that group by establishing a four-year "flagship" program and steering remedial students into a two-year community college. UDC also has a new and apparently flourishing honors college.
"Only the best, most motivated kids are going to be able to do it," Sessoms said of the two-year BA model.
While details are sketchy, the program might start with next year's high school freshmen, who would commit to the pilot at the start of high school. One potential hold-up, Sessoms said, is that interim D.C. schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson is pushing to open the program to every high school. Sessoms said he'd prefer to start with a pilot and work out the kinks before going city-wide.
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Daniel de Vise
| December 21, 2010; 4:31 PM ET
Categories: Attainment, Community Colleges, Publics | Tags: UDC DCPS pilot, UDC Wilson pilot, UDC pilot DCPS, UDC two-year BA, UDC two-year bachelor degree
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