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University of Utah’s Degree-Plus Program Renews the Debate about what a Degree Should Provide

Posted by Brian Sorenson

Topics: Workforce Development, Trends in Higher Education, Student Expectations

From Inside Higher Ed comes news about a unique new program at the University of Utah that’s sure to continue the long running debate about liberal arts education and the role of higher education in preparing students for jobs.

Dubbed Degree Plus, the program provides students from liberal arts backgrounds with additional courses that would impart technical skills. Students can receive certificates (though not credit) in a number of disciplines, including instructional design, operations analysis, content marketing and management, and more. These certificates, the thinking goes, would increase students’ employability and open career doorways that might otherwise not have been available.

Full Degree Plus certificates cost $1,499 and on average can be completed in seven to eight weeks, equating to approximately 60 hours of instruction.

As a college education becomes increasingly essential for securing meaningful, well-paying employment, the debate about what a college degree should prepare graduating students to accomplish is sure to increase. As the University of Utah’s endeavor proves, colleges and universities are now adding a new dynamic to the conversation. 

To read Inside Higher Ed’s coverage of University of Utah’s Degree Plus program, click here.

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