College Considers “Low-Residency” Programs

DYSTOPIA–Dystopia College is considering the feasibility of establishing  “low-residency” bachelor’s-degree programs in several liberal-arts disciplines, Provost Eddina Field said today.

She said the college is researching how the low-residency model, which is used by a number of MFA (master of fine arts) programs, might be applied to undergraduate degree programs.

She emphasized that the college’s consideration of establishing such programs is “purely in the exploratory stage” at this point, with no decisions made and no timeline established.

In the low-residency model used by the graduate programs, students typically meet periodically on campus for a few weeks but do most of their work remotely.  The model has the advantage of allowing for graduate study by people who are tied to a particular place by work or family or other obligations and can’t “go away” somewhere to pursue a graduate degree.

In the bachelor’s degree version envisioned by Dystopia, incoming freshman would visit the campus for orientation, provide the college with a credit card, and then return home to “study independently.”  The college would  randomly bill the student’s credit card account for inexplicable charges over a four-year period and then send students a printable .pdf diploma.

The only substantive difference between Dystopia’s traditional residential undergraduate programs and the low-residency programs being considered is that in the low-residency model, students would “do their partying on their own turf rather than ours,” and thus the college “wouldn’t be responsible for feeding them, sheltering them, cleaning up their puke, and transporting them to the hospital on a regular basis.”

But if the low-residency model ever became the dominant educational mode for the college, what would professors actually do?  “The same thing they’ve always done, I suppose,” Field said, “though I have to confess I have no idea what that is.”

“In fact,” she added, I don’t think I’ve been inside a classroom since 1978.”

Copyright 2016

T. Allen Culpepper

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