Alcorn lowers credit-hour requirements

Published 7:18 am Thursday, January 14, 2016

NATCHEZ — College is fabled to be some of the best four years of students’ lives, and Alcorn State University is hoping to keep it to four years by lowering the credit-hour requirements for undergraduates.

Starting in the 2016-2017 school year, students will be able to graduate with baccalaureate-level degrees by completing 120 credit hours instead of 124.

Schools across the nation are lowering the number to 120, Alcorn President Alfred Rankins Jr. said. Alcorn is doing the same, with the goal of minimizing student debt and increasing retention.

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“The more hours you have in a degree program and it takes longer for students to complete, that increases the probability students may stop or drop out,” Rankins said.

Most classes are worth three credit hours, although some are worth fewer. Having a lower hours requirement for a degree means students have to take fewer classes.

Lowering the hour requirements for the baccalaureate degrees was the second step in the school’s enrollment management plan to increase access, affordability and retention. The first step was when the college eliminated out-of-state tuition in the fall of 2015.

“We want to do everything that we can to get Alcorn to incentivize and encourage students to complete their degrees within four years so they can enter the workforce,” Rankins said.

Alcorn’s president said he and his team are constantly trying to increase access and affordability. As more initiatives are developed, more information will be made available to the public.

“This is an ongoing process,” Rankins said. “We’re not done, this is not the last.”