Two area universities struggling with declining enrollment are partnering in a program that officials describe as beneficial for both students and the institutions.
Lourdes University and the University of Toledo College of Law announced today that, effective this summer, bachelor-degree seeking Lourdes students can opt into the newly-established 3+3 Admissions Program that provides them a pathway to achieve both their bachelor’s and Doctor of Law degrees in six rather than the traditional seven years.
“It’s been a conversation with a number of people at the College of Law. Our associate dean, in particular, Geoff Rapp took the lead,” said Benjamin Barros, dean of the UT College of Law. “We’ve reached out to local potential partners about what we could do together. 3+3 programs provide a really great opportunity for both the undergraduate school and the College of Law.
“The opportunity for the College of Law is pretty clear — we get really good students. But the opportunity for the undergraduate partners is also there. They get to present to their students the opportunity to go through this accelerated program. Together, we get the opportunity to provide our students with a great education at a lower price.”
Lourdes has seen its enrollment plummet since reaching a high of more than 2,500 students in 2011-2012. School officials had expected enrollment to exceed 3,000 in 2015-2016. Instead, there are 1,364 students enrolled for the spring semester.
The UT College of Law has experienced a similar decline — it began the fall semester with 70 first-year students, down from 157 in 2010.
Students enrolled in the 3+3 Admissions Program will complete their first three years at Lourdes and then begin a three-year program at UT’s College of Law. The credits earned in the first year of law school will apply to the final 30 credit hours required for completion of a Lourdes University Bachelor of Arts or Science degree. Law school students who successfully complete the UT College of Law three-year program will then earn their law degree.