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March 26. 2013 6:48PM

Get a degree in three years with New England College changes

HENNIKER - New England College is parting ways with the traditional school year and is introducing a year-round academic calendar that can save students both time and money.

"We're really becoming aware of the demand for an accelerated pace and reduced costs," Vice President for Academic Affairs Mark Watman said.

So it's out with the traditional two-semester year, and in with a new five-semester academic calendar that gives students increased flexibility and year-round options featuring a full range of courses. The additional semesters offer less expensive course credit costs ($200 per credit) as well as cheaper housing and boarding costs.

The new academic year will begin this May with the pilot of two seven-week schedules. Though the length of the courses will be shorter, students will be expected to be in class as many as four days per week, said Watman.

"We're also experimenting with a hybrid formula that will combine classroom time with online learning," he said. "And we're expanding our online offerings as well for adult students who work full-time."

The New England College schedule will allow many students who desire an accelerated pace to graduate with a bachelor's degree in three years, and potentially leave campus with a master's degree in four years.

The new school year also allows students increased flexibility by giving them the ability to take semesters off to work, do internships, or travel without extending the number of years they'll have to stay in school.

"Perhaps a student wants to enroll in a full course load in the summer and work a part-time job in the traditional spring semester; this schedule would allow for that option," said Watman.

The expanded year also lets students just getting out of high school to jump right into college without having to wait. It's also a good way for students who anticipate struggling with certain classes to focus on those subjects without having to carry a full load each semester. An added bonus this year is that free housing is available for students who take summer classes.


nfoster@newstote.com

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