Students studying at Eckerd College can now obtain a law degree in just six years.
The degree is a part of partnership between Eckerd College
and Florida State University (FSU) College of Law
. Students complete the first three years of undergraduate study at Eckerd and then transfer to FSU as seniors. They then complete the usual coursework for a first-year law student, with the courses also counting for the senior year at Eckerd, essentially allowing them to skip a year. Students can then graduate with a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science from Eckerd and continue on at FSU to complete the final two years of law school.
Eckerd decided to move forward with the program after looking at the curriculum and realizing the courses would be accepted for both programs as transfer credits. The rising cost of higher education was also a determining factor.
"College costs have increased, yet a college degree is still tremendously important not only for someone’s future career success but also in terms of the way in which students develop during the four years they spend in college," says Suzan Harrison, PhD., dean of faculty for Eckerd College.
The program is designed for high achieving, ambitious students who know their career plans early and plan out their three years at Eckerd carefully, making sure they complete the correct requirements for their major. The benefits to the student are saving a year’s worth of tuition and being able to start their law careers sooner.
The program is brand new and could start as early as this fall, as students qualify. Students are already expressing interest.
The program is the third of its kind for FSU. Other programs exist at FSU and the University of Central Florida.
Writer: Megan Hendricks
Source: Suzan Harrison, PhD., Eckerd College