New SHU Three Year Programs

BY Citlalli Godinez

Staff Reporter

Sacred Heart University is providing students with the opportunity to receive a Bachelor’s Degree in three years for some of its majors. Known as the Fast-Track Program, it is set to go into effect in the fall of 2020.

“There’s increasing interest on the part of students for great flexibility, and Sacred Heart University is trying always to meet the needs of students. This is another way to do that,” said Dr. Robin Cautin, the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

The College of Arts and Sciences includes many areas of study, both majors and minors, for students.

According to Sacred Heart’s press release, some majors that are in the program include: biology, communications, criminal justice, global studies, neuroscience, political science, psychology with a social work minor, and many more.

“Other colleges will put forward other majors. There are more in the pipeline. We want to make the process as easy as possible,” said Cautin.

Professor Joseph Alicastro, the director of the master’s program in Broadcast Journalism and Media Production, said the opportunity will be beneficial for some students.

“I really think it depends on the student. Some students need that fourth year to reach a full level of maturity. However, other students could benefit from the acceleration of the three-year program and even possibly enter into a master’s program for their fourth year,” said Alicastro.

Prof. Anthony Papa, who works in the department of government, said his department will offer three fast-track programs.

According to Papa, the fast-track programs include a three-year track to the Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice, and a “3 + 1” track, in which students can earn a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in Criminal Justice in three years rather than five or more years. Further, the department offers a “3 + 3” track program, for students who would like to earn a bachelor’s degree and Juris Doctorate degree from Seton Hall University School of Law in a total of six years instead of seven years.

If you are interested in the “3 + 3” program the Criminal Justice program has to offer, you can contact Dr. Gary Rose, Chair of the Department of Government.

“I can speak from experience about the program’s benefits because I personally fast-tracked my own law school education,” said Papa.  “It was extremely beneficial for me since I completed law school in a shorter amount of time. Once I graduated, my career options and earning potential increased dramatically.”

The Fast-Track Program is set to start in Fall 2020, but students do not have to decide before entering the university.

“You don’t need to come into the university as a fast track. You can decide to do it once you’re here. It depends on how motivated you are, but you will definitely be required to take summer courses, but how many depends on how many credits the student took their freshman year,” said Cautin.

For some, the cost of college tuition is a consideration.   

Having to pay four years of college tuition can play a role when deciding which university parents decide to send their children to. The Fast-Track Program saves families from one year of tuition.

“Receiving a bachelor’s in three years essentially saves a family one year of college tuition, which is beneficial. The student will also go out into the real world sooner,” said junior Alexandra Lombardo.   

“The individual increases their earning potential since they entered the workforce earlier than originally planned. They have the ability to see raises and promotions sooner in their professional career,” said Papa.   

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