The University of Montana and Carroll College are launching two partnerships they say will help students get their graduate degrees in less time and at a lower cost.
The collaboration between the public University of Montana, and the private Carroll College, is the first for both institutions.
Carroll President John Cech says public-private partnerships make perfect sense given the state’s aging population and shrinking workforce.
"It’s really going to involve everyone working together to help produce some of the talent that we’re going to need in Montana to fill not only the jobs being vacated due to retirement, but also the jobs that are going to be required due to a very strong and growing economy," Cech said.
One accelerated program partners Carroll with UM’s Alexander Blewett III School of Law to offer what’s called a “3+3” dual degree program. Participating students attend Carroll college for three years and then enroll at UM’s law school to complete their three-year law degrees. It enables Carroll students to complete both a baccalaureate degree and Juris Doctorate in six years rather than the typical seven.
A second collaboration allows students to complete their bachelor and Master of Public Administration Program in five years instead of the traditional six or more.
Carroll President John Cech say the programs will help both schools recruit and retain talented undergrads interested in legal careers.
He adds students will save money in the process.
“They can save a year’s worth of tuition, plus the expenses of attending a college or university which includes housing, food and books," said Cech. "Then you have to factor in that they’re going to be earning a living wage in that year that they’re not going to be in school.”
Cech says student interest in pre-law courses is spiking at Carroll and predicts these new accelerated degree programs will be a big hit this fall semester.