[media-credit name=”Infographic by Christina Popik” align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]There are changes in store for both of Quinnipiac’s accelerated 3+1 programs- Business and Communications. Still fairly new in their sixth and second year, the Business and Communications respective programs are currently facing changes to their requirements and perks, some for students before the ink has even dried on their contracts.
The biggest of these changes comes in the form of residential status. Students were previously required to live on campus all four years, but can now live off campus during their fourth, graduate year, according to Director of Residential Life Mark DeVilbiss.
A requirement of the 3+1 program since its creation, the change came about based on student feedback and the increase in demand for housing, according to Assistant Dean of Academic Services Michael Taylor.
“As demand for housing has increased university wide, I know that Res Life has been looking for ways to not necessarily continue to have graduate students live in on-campus housing to make space for more undergraduate students,” Taylor said.
For students in the coming generations of these programs, housing all four years will not be guaranteed as a part of the contract.
“In the future, it will probably only be the same as it is for other students which is guaranteed for the first three years,” DeVilbiss said. “We obviously want to provide housing for as many students as we can that want QU housing.”
So far, there has been positive feedback from students who will get to utilize this new option of the 3+1 program. Maeve Hennigan, a first-year communications 3+1 student, felt restricted being required to live on campus all four years and is happy to now have the option should she want it.
“I’m really excited about the housing change,” Hennigan said. “Now I know I can live with friends outside of the 3+1 program off-campus my senior year.”
For some students, being mandated to live on campus for even the first three years is still an issue in regards to conditions of the program. Alicia Leo, a sophomore communications 3+1 student, expressed that housing should not be a requirement of the program so students can have more flexibility.
“I think that they should guarantee us housing for our fourth year, but not have it be mandatory,” Leo said. “I think that’s the most fair it can get honestly because we should be able to have the option.”
This change is seemingly a win-win, benefiting the surplus of students entering the school each year along with the needs and wants of current and past students.
“It kind of worked out nicely. It’s what Res. Life wanted and what a lot of the students wanted, and of course if those 3+1 students wanted to keep living on-campus, they could do that,” Taylor said. “They are not being forced to move off-campus they just have the option.”
Along with housing, registration modifications have also been made to the programs in regards to having priority status on courses in the respective schools.
Students in the 3+1 programs were previously promised priority scheduling in their classes to ensure that seats are available in all of their required classes.
Taylor explained that the reasoning for removing this ‘perk’ to the program was because students were not using the priority status properly.
“What we’ve found over time is that it definitely is possible for students to do on their own,” Taylor said. “If the student is rearranging their schedule, by design, they’re only getting into classes with seats open. So if they’re able to arrange their own schedule with sections that are still open, it means that they didn’t actually need priority registration in the first place.”
When students first became aware of the intent to remove priority status for registration, a group went to Taylor and brought to his attention that it was stated in the contract signed upon joining the program that they would receive this perk all four years at Quinnipiac.
“Being relatively new to running the program, I didn’t realize that priority registration was a specific promise that was made to students when they were admitted to the program,” Taylor said. “Obviously as a promise that was made to them when they started Quinnipiac we didn’t want to then turn around and say that we’re no longer honoring that.”
Students in their first year of the business 3+1 program were not granted priority registration, but those in their second and third year of the program will retain their right to an early registration for the coming years.
In regards to the Communications 3+1 program, students received priority registration for freshman year last year, but were never promised the benefit in future registrations.
Current freshmen of the program did not receive priority enrollment in the previous registration along with the sophomores, the first generation of the program.
“The priority enrollment is nice especially for the freshman, but within the SOC, we can push to be put into a closed course really easily,” Leo said. “That’s something that needs to be clarified. I feel like there’s just a lot of miscommunication.”
Associate Dean of the School of Commuications Terry Bloom and Michael Taylor work with their students to fill academic needs as well as match the accelerated itinerary the programs requires. They hope to continue this pattern, developing a structured 3+1 program that allows them to expand for many other students to come.
“These programs are still pretty new, so as we have learned from the students who have gone through them what the needs are, what the wishes are, what the hopes are, we have learned and we continue to make adjustments which is good,” Bloom said. “This is the one that came up and we were able to go through channels and make that happen.”