A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

NKU Chase College of Law, Thomas More sign agreement to form joint Accelerated Law Program

Thomas More College President David A. Armstrong and Northern Kentucky University President Geoffrey S. Mearns have signed an agreement that will allow students to combine their final year of college with their first year of law school.

NKU’s Chase College of Law will offer the 3+3 Accelerated Law Program , which was created in 2015, to students at Thomas More College, as well as to NKU undergraduate students.

“We are committed to expanding access to education in our community, and we are proud to collaborate with Thomas More College on new opportunities for high-achieving undergraduate students to also pursue a law degree at Chase College of Law through our fast-growing 3+3 program,” said Mearns. “Students who participate in this program not only save tuition, but are also able to begin their legal careers a year sooner.”

The agreement was signed at Tuesday’s Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Eggs ‘N Issues meeting at Receptions in Erlanger.  Armstrong and Mearns were joined by Gateway Community & Technical College as panelist in a discussion of the state of higher education in Northern Kentucky.

The 3+3 program is named for three years of undergraduate studies and three years of law school. It allows eligible students to reduce their education costs by combining a final year of undergraduate college with a first year of law school.

Other law schools offer similar programs, but those are typically limited to undergraduates at the university of which the law school is a part. Expansion of the Chase program to include Thomas More College offers an additional pathway for high-performing students to enter Chase.

“Students in the 3+3 program, whether from NKU or Thomas More, have to be focused and disciplined,” said Chase Dean Jeffrey Standen. “Allowing them to join Chase students pursuing the same goals in law school a year earlier than they would otherwise will expand their opportunities, and provide a fast-track for students committed to a career in law. We are excited to partner with Thomas More College.”

For Chase College of Law in Highland Heights and Thomas More College in Crestview Hills, the program links institutions that are about nine miles apart near Interstate 275 in Northern Kentucky.

“As the future of higher education and legal education changes, the colleges and universities that are willing to collaborate will have the advantage over those who are not,” said Armstrong.  “This partnership with Northern Kentucky University’s Chase Law School is the kind of forward-thinking collaboration that will position our students and institutions well for future success.”

In order to be accepted into the program, undergraduates must have enough credits toward a baccalaureate degree by the end of their junior year to allow first-year courses at Chase to be counted as electives for completion of the undergraduate degree and also toward a law degree. Students in the program receive bachelor’s degrees from their undergraduate colleges after successfully completing their first year at Chase.

By combing the final year of undergraduate school with a first year at Chase, students are able to obtain both degrees in six years instead of the traditional seven. Completion of bachelor’s and law degrees through a 3+3 program satisfies education requirements for taking a bar examination in Kentucky and Ohio.

Students who wish to enroll at Chase through the 3+3 program must take the Law School Admission Test, which is required for all Chase applicants seeking a Juris Doctor. For information, click here .

Staff report

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