Antioch University has always been a student-centered institution that puts its students and their needs, experiences, and education first, but its latest offerings demonstrate how fully Antioch University responds to student needs.
Over the past years, Antioch administration heard students—Antioch students and potential Antioch students—continually discuss the same three topics: that education had become too expensive, and that they wanted the option to graduate with BA degrees in Management and Psychology. In response, Antioch has worked out a transfer agreement with Santa Barbara City College (SBCC), where students can do up to three years of coursework there and transfer to Antioch for their final year.
At the same time, students, whether they are part of the 3 + 1 model or not, can soon begin pursuing their degree in Management or Psychology.
Traditionally, transfer students study for two years at a city college, then transfer to a 4-year university for their last two years in what is called 2 + 2. However, Antioch University and SBCC have partnered up to offer a true 3 + 1 option. Antioch will accept more transfer units, allowing students to study for three years at SBCC, then seamlessly transfer to Antioch for their last year of classes to graduate with their Bachelor’s Degree from Antioch University.
Dr. Dawn Murray, Chair of the Undergraduate Studies Department, affirms that the 3 + 1 came out of student need, and emphasizes how it is also in line with Antioch’s commitment to social justice and the community. “There’s a social justice issue in terms of who can afford college,” she says, “and in who gets the support to go. ” The 3 + 1 model can make college a possibility for so many, including the first-generation college students who Antioch wants to have the opportunity to go to college, as it can save students thousands of dollars compared to the traditional 2 + 2 model. This partnership between Antioch and SBCC is “an on-going commitment that we have to make college tuition as accessible and affordable as possible,” Dr. Murray says.
Just a year old, the 3 + 1 program has already helped students. Maria Perez, who will graduate this spring and go on to do her Master’s in Education at Antioch, benefitted from the new partnership between SBCC and Antioch. She is thankful for the 3 + 1 as, when she arrived at Antioch, that “it was just a lot quicker, I saved money, and the classes were available with such ease. Instead of having to pay another 2-3 years, I was already ahead of the game when I just needed to finish one more year and that financially helped me a lot.” And though she has spent one year at Antioch, she “was able to get a lot of growth within this school year compared to how I was back in Santa Barbara City College. Antioch’s environment was able to bring me out of my shell.”
In addition to the 3 + 1, Antioch University, which has traditionally only offered a general Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts, will now offer a BA degree in Management. The curriculum for the program is rooted in Antioch’s commitment to social justice with the goal that students will come out with global and cultural awareness as well as be prepared to make change in the world. So, for example, an econ class will have a strong ethics component to it and a psychology class might address global issues of mental health. At the same time, classes in each program have experiential learning components to them, so that students learn soft skills, such as effective communication, presentation, collaboration, and problem-solving in the classroom setting.
It is possible to combine the 3 + 1 and graduate from Antioch with a BA in Management or in Psychology. Students who aim to do this will need to plan ahead during their time at SBCC, to make sure that they take the appropriate pre-requisites. Students can meet with an Antioch admissions counselor or academic advisor for a free transcript review before transferring from SBCC.
Additionally, another pathway to graduate education has opened up because of the BA in Management. Students can be accepted to BA in Management and to the MBA program at the same time. This way, undergraduate students can take graduate-level classes that will count toward both their BA and MBA programs, making their time in graduate school quicker and less expensive. Anna Kwong, Chair of Antioch’s MBA program, notes that “once students start their BA, they have our [the faculty’s] attention and we groom them for the management field. We don’t start when they come in as an MA, we start when they are in the BA program, we will figure out which industry that they are interested in and we will cater to that, expanding their networking.”
Responding to student demand has made Antioch University’s academic offerings more robust and accessible, proving that Antioch’s strength lies in its commitment to its students.