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Been there; doing that

Written by Mike Thee
February 26, 2010

On Feb. 22, The New York Times reported that the University of North Carolina at Greensboro is allowing “highly motivated students” to graduate in three years. Sound familiar?

It should because Seattle University’s Matteo Ricci College has been doing that for more than three decades, a fact that Associate Dean Jodi Kelly pointed out in a comment she posted on the story. Kelly wrote:

Seattle University, a Jesuit school on the west coast, has been offering a 3-year bachelor of arts degree for 35 years through the Matteo Ricci College. In its original form, created through a partnership with its sister Jesuit school Seattle Prep, students went to high school three years and university three years. In 1988, the university opened the three year degree to students from 5 local schools who completed a set of college courses during their senior year of high school. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the first graduating class. It is also the 400th anniversary of the death of the college¹s namesake Matteo Ricci. As reported in the NYT last month, the Library of Congress unveiled a special showing of one of Ricci’s original maps of the world. Might be a good year to investigate this school that bears his name and has been offering a three-year bachelor of arts degree long before this recession and for much stronger reasons—sound academics.

Kelly says the college is planning a celebration of the 30th anniversary of the college’s first graduating class and the 400th anniversary of Matteo Ricci’s death. Stay tuned for more details.