Purdue president announces prize for three-year communication degree

August 11, 2014  

Video production class

Purdue students participate in a video production class offered by the Brian Lamb School of Communication. The school received a $500,000 university prize for its creation of a new three-year degree, Think 3 Years! (Photo provided)
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue's Brian Lamb School of Communication has received a $500,000 university prize for its creation of a new three-year degree that will help students save money by completing their degrees more quickly.

The prize, funded through the Purdue president’s office, is the culmination of a university-wide challenge that President Mitch Daniels issued in an open letter in January. To help Purdue lead the innovation and transformation of higher education nationwide, Daniels offered $500,000 each to the Purdue department or program that creates the first three-year degree and the first competency-based degree. The recipient of the first competency-based degree will be announced later this month.

“In fields of study where they are feasible, three-year degrees may become a new norm in higher education, based on their big advantages in affordability and in speeding a student's entry into the world of productive work,” Daniels said. “We want Purdue to be at the front edge of innovations like this, which was the point of the prize incentive. The Lamb School's proposal was superior in its reach, to an initial five popular majors, and in its swiftness, being available this fall. Thanks to professor (Marifran) Mattson and her colleagues for pioneering this breakthrough; now let's hope that other departments catch the spirit and fashion their own such offerings."

Accelerated Study Plan

Purdue students now have the option of an accelerated plan of study in the Brian Lamb School of Communication. Thanks to the school’s program - Think 3 Years! - students interested in majoring in general communication, public relations and strategic communication, mass communication, corporate communication and human relations will be able to complete their degree sooner and save money. (Photo provided) 
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The program, Think 3 Years!, begins this fall, said Marifran Mattson, professor and head of the Brian Lamb School of Communication, which is housed in the College of Liberal Arts. The accelerated plan of study requires the same number of total credit hours, 120, as the four-year plan for either general communication, public relations and strategic communication, mass communication, corporate communication, and human relations. The four-year program is still available.

The three-year program requires summer courses as well, and students on this track will be guaranteed a spot in required courses, Mattson said. To be on track, students will need to commit to a communication major toward the end of their second semesters and follow the progression of courses.

“Our school's goal is to become the preferred destination for students interested in studying communication,” Mattson said. “And we determined that with thoughtful planning, each of our five majors can be accomplished in three years. Students also will be able to participate in a study abroad program. And those students who arrive with advanced placement or other course credit will have more flexibility in shaping their program.”

The estimated cost savings for the three-year program is $9,290 for Indiana residents, $18,692 for nonresidents and $20,252 for international students. 

Writer: Amy Patterson Neubert, 765-494-9723, apatterson@purdue.edu 

Sources: Mitch Daniels, president@purdue.edu

Marifran Mattson, mmattson@purdue.edu

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