Hi 81 / Lo 73
|Volume 70, Issue 132,
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
Tony Hernandez Jim Parsons
Graduation programs might fit at UH
The deadline for Texas Tech Universityis Graduate On Time program is closing in -- interested freshman must have their contracts signed by the end of today to reap the benefits of the service.
Most UH students arenit familiar with the phrase "graduate on time," much less the Texas Tech program. Under Graduate On Time, Tech students have their first year of school to sign a contract that secures their schedules for their entire undergraduate career. All the classes they need for their major are guaranteed to be open to them, in the order they need them -- provided they graduate within a certain time, which varies for different majors. Advisers help map out course paths, and the students involved no longer have to worry about whether or not theyill find a spot in a crucial class they need to take to graduate.
Of course, the program has some obvious drawbacks -- the contract is binding, for one, meaning students may feel stressed when dealing with heavy course loads or pressured into finishing a degree they feel theyire no longer interested in. But the nice thing is that Graduate On Time is completely optional.
Perhaps UH would benefit from such a program. Itis sure to get students to graduate at least marginally faster, without having to tamper with anyoneis pockets. It could go a long way to improving the Universityis reputation as a school with a fairy lengthy gestation period for undergraduates.
One of the best things about Graduate On Time is itis not run by the state. UH isnit like many other public universities in Texas, and being able to deal with graduation issues without having to work under a blanket state program would be ideal. (If you need any evidence of the difficulties often encountered when working with the state, see the controversy surrounding the combination/weakening of the B-On-Time and TEXAS programs.)
Something like Graduate On Time might not see the same potential at UH that it has at Tech, but thereis no reason itis unworthy of consideration.
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