Demand and Supply
Marie Johnson is one of 13 students scheduled to graduate from the 3+1 Lewis University Criminal/Social Justice program in May. (Photo by Jim Svehla/special to College of DuPage)

3+1=Bachelor's Degree

“The fact that our partner universities recognize the integrity and rigor of our classes as credit equivalent for their 300-level classes is a testament to the academic quality of COD’s programs.”
—Dr. Joseph Collins, Executive Vice President, College of DuPage

In February 2011, College of DuPage and Lewis University announced their first-ever 3+1 program in Criminal/Social Justice. This innovative program allows students to complete their bachelor’s degree at College of DuPage at a significantly reduced tuition rate. COD courses are taught for the first three years, with partner university faculty teaching the fourth year at COD’s campus. Students receive their bachelor’s degree from the partnering university.
At the heart of the 3+1 is savings—students are able to obtain an affordable four-year degree for less than $34,000 without sacrificing academic quality and facing a lifetime of debt.
“COD President Robert L. Breuder said we needed to do something that would redefine the college experience—a signature program for transfer students that says this is better, this is different, this is student focused,” said Glenda Gallisath, Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs, College of DuPage. “That was the vision for the 3+1 program, and we have successfully built these partnerships on that premise.
“In Illinois, we’re the only community college partnering with universities for degree completion programs that use this unique approach. To make this concept work, we partnered with universities who are leaders in their given disciplines and also wanted to be a part of something meaningful and innovative.”
Lewis University President Brother James Gaffney, FSC, said this is a groundbreaking agreement for both institutions.
“This partnership exemplifies Lewis University’s mission of providing a learning experience that is practical, focused and relevant,” he said.
The Criminal/Social Justice program was the first of 12 new baccalaureate degree programs currently offered by universities at College of DuPage. More are planned. Today, 55 students are taking Lewis classes at COD. In May, 13 of those students anticipate graduating with their bachelor’s degree. One soon-to-be graduate, Marie Johnson, was finishing her associate’s degree when her COD instructor mentioned the 3+1 opportunity in class.
“I realized if I enrolled in the 3+1 program, I could earn my Lewis bachelor’s degree and not have any debt when I graduated. I was convinced this was the right decision for me,” Johnson said.
One of the reasons the 3+1 program works at College of DuPage is the school’s tradition of a strong, rigorous curriculum and a hands-on teaching approach.

Kelli Jones attends classes at COD’s Culinary & Hospitality Center during her junior year as part of the 3+1 Hospitality and Tourism Management program with partner institution Roosevelt University.  (Photo by Jim Svehla/special to College of DuPage)

“College of DuPage made me very prepared for the Roosevelt University courses,” said junior Kelli Jones, who is in the 3+1 Hospitality and Tourism Management program. “With the mix of hands-on learning and industry professionals who teach the COD classes, I am absolutely prepared to take on the challenge of the Roosevelt classes. The COD Hospitality Management courses enable students to practice business interactions that we will encounter once we are in the workplace.”
Likewise, Johnson noted that her classes at COD prepared her for the rigors of her fourth year of Lewis Criminal Justice courses.
 “In two of my Criminal Justice classes the instructor was a retired Chicago police officer,” Johnson said. “His course went way beyond course materials. He would share real situations that had happened to him and would ask us what we would do in given scenarios.”
Another strength of the 3+1 program is the academic plan. Students understand what they need to accomplish in order to earn a bachelor’s degree.
“In today’s economy people are unsure about going to college because they can’t afford the high price of tuition,” Jones said. “However, at College of DuPage you get a quality education at an affordable price. So it is the best of both worlds. I believe College of DuPage is pioneering a new concept in education that will benefit countless students in
the future.”