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A College Degree in Three Years? Why America Needs to Get on Board

Three-year degree programs save money and help students get on with their lives, but American students aren't signing up. They should be.

You'd think that given the spiraling cost of college, American students would jump at the chance to finish up school in three years instead of the typical four. With a three-year accelerated degree, parents have to fork over less cash for tuition and room and board, the family's loan burden is lighter, and students can get on with their career plans earlier. How does this not make sense? But despite the best efforts of both public and private universities to promote accelerated programs, students are sticking with the four-year college tradition. That's too bad because a three-year degree is a smart idea that we should be adopting.

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That AP Class You Took Might Have Been a Fraud

Schools are slapping AP labels on dumbed-down classes that don't deserve it, and cheating kids into thinking they're learning AP when they're not.


Are AP classes a fraud? According to "High School Classes May Be Advanced in Name Only" in Monday's New York Times, it's a real possibility. It turns out that just as colleges engage in grade inflation to boost their reputations, our nation's high schools might be caving to pressure to enroll more kids in AP courses. Schools dumbing down the curriculum and slapping an AP label on a class just to look good is problem enough. But the real losers in this scenario are the students who think they're learning AP material when they're actually not.

Back in 1990 (when being an honors student was still prestigious enough), only 5 percent of students enrolled in AP classes. By 2010 the number of students taking supposedly more challenging AP classes rose to 13 percent. The percentage of kids taking AP exams has also almost tripled over the past decade, from 1.2 million in 2000 to 3.1 million in 2010.

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Could One Hour of Therapy Boost Black Student Achievement?

A new study suggests confidence building psychological exercises can help close the achievement gap


Could one hour—the amount of time it takes to watch American Idol—make black college freshman more likely to succeed in college and close the racial achievement gap? Two Stanford University professors say yes, as long those students spend that hour doing confidence building psychological exercises that make them feel like they actually belong on campus.

In a new paper published in the March 18 edition of Science, Gregory Walton, an assistant professor of psychology, and Geoffrey Cohen, a professor of psychology and education, say a sense of belonging is especially essential for black students who are underrepresented on campus and face a slew of negative stereotypes about their intelligence. Walton told the Stanford News that when a student comes from a minority background,

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