By Adam Button
Yes, a standard Bachelor of Art degree can be fulfilled within the “standard” four years if there are no problems that arise, and everything is scheduled perfectly. However, that is not how the world works.
The world is convoluted and confusing, especially for a recent high school graduate. Entering college without a plan is usually met with many problems down the road. Having to take courses in your 3rd year when they should have been done by the 1st is frustrating. Just failing two courses could set you back another semester or even year.
What is the problem though? Is it the fault of new coming students not knowing a path they want to look at or is it the institution’s criteria needed for a degree. Putting blame on the student is a mistake. They usually enter college right after they finished high school putting them around 17 to 19 years old. Most will not know what to do for the rest of their lives at such an age.
Can it be the institute’s fault? In what way are they accountable for the “standard” four-year bachelor’s degree? First, the credits needed to get a bachelor’s degree can range from 120 to 130. With the average per semester ranging from 15 to 16.25 credits. On the lower end, 15 credits is manageable per semester, usually equating to five 3-credit courses. Once the average goes above 15 credits, students would need to get semesters with 18 credits which would equate to six 3-credit courses.
If students went to college solely for educational purposes, then 18 credits is manageable. But most students on a campus are involved with other activities, if that is athletics, clubs, or other organizations. Some of them will have jobs they need, too. Balancing 18 credits with other events in their lives would be extremely stressful.
That is why, taking a four-year bachelor’s degree should not be four years anymore if the credit requirement were to stay, which it should. A Bachelor of Arts degree should have taken enough courses to have a diverse education while in college, but the idea that it will take only four years should disappear. This would allow those who do take more than four years not feel behind in their life because of how many semesters they’ve spent getting a bachelor’s degree.