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Colleges, districts collaborate to offer degree in three years

A new collaboration between the University of Kansas Edwards Campus, Johnson County Community College and the Blue Valley and Olathe school districts will enable secondary students to obtain a bachelor’s degree in information technology three years after high school graduation, officials announced.

The Degree in 3 program represents an innovative way for students interested in an IT career to accelerate education, get access to internships, become acclimated to the business world and save money on higher education.

Degree in 3 works like this:

  • Students in the Blue Valley and Olathe school districts develop an academic plan that includes courses eligible for college credits but completed while in high school. Such a plan may include Advanced Placement courses or courses through JCCC programs known as College Now and Quick Step.
  • Upon high school graduation, students complete remaining freshman-sophomore credits at JCCC with the goal of earning an Associate of Science in information technology systems in one year.
  • Students then transfer to KU Edwards Campus and complete courses toward the Bachelor of Science in information technology in two years.

Of significant value is the real-world experience feature of Degree in 3. One example includes the Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS) experience in the Blue Valley School District. Mentorships and internships at area bioscience, business, engineering and human services organizations supplement classroom learning. Accelerating the program also helps students manage college and living expenses.

Degree in 3 also supports the economic viability of the community. Students are introduced to the culture of real-world Kansas City business, and Kansas City-area employers get an earlier look at local talent.