By Jackie Glosniak
January 30, 2013
Dominican University frequently draws students from neighboring community college Triton College and a new partnership between the two schools may only help Dominican’s population grow larger.
Earlier this month President Donna Carroll, announced to faculty and staff via email that the two schools have declared a partnership, in which Triton students will be able to take Dominican courses in order to receive a bachelor’s degree in legal studies from Dominican.
The program, which would be spearheaded by Dominican’s School for Professional and Continuing Studies, is set to launch in the fall of 2013.
Courses that would count towards the degree could be taken by students either online or on Dominican’s campus. Along with students having the flexibility of where to take classes, the program was also designed to add the convenience of having a Dominican satellite office in Triton’s University Center.
The program aims to provide adult students from Triton with a smooth transition into a strong and local four-year institution.
Carroll recognizes the opportunities that such a new program may provide to an already close connection Dominican shares with Triton.
“Our partnership with Triton College and its University Center opens the door to exciting, new opportunities for both of our institutions to collaborate more effectively in meeting the needs of Triton students who want to pursue a bachelor’s degree from Dominican University,” Carroll said.
While the program has officially been established, some questions still remain with faculty around Dominican.
Martha Jacob, a professor with the departments of criminology and sociology, has some confusion over what the term “legal studies” exactly means. She believes the title of the program may be confusing to some, as legal studies often refers to technical studies for careers such as a paralegal program.
Jacob also notes that the program does not seem to require all of the core area requirements, which all Dominican undergraduates are required to fulfill prior to graduation, including courses in theology, philosophy and fine arts.
“Maybe this is a good program, but it does not sound like it’s a Dominican Bachelor of Arts degree and that concerns me,” Jacob explained.
“I’d like to see more of the core and [the program] should add a liberal arts and studies core curriculum.”
David Dolence, professor in the political science department, thinks that while the partnership with a community college is a good thing, the program is not exactly one of Dominican’s typical student culture.
“Any time a community college can create a relationship with a four-year college, it’s a benefit to everyone,” Dolence said.
Dolence, who started off his studies at a community college, believes that the program is a great way to help community college students get on the path to achieving a four-year degree. Like Jacob, however, he also feels as if the degree Dominican is offering is not exactly a degree earned in the traditional Dominican experience.
“I do agree it’s not a true Dominican bachelor’s degree, but we were never selling it as that,” Dolence mentioned.
“It’s a different student body that we’re aiming to reach.”