Simpson program in need of better promotion and support


by Laura Wiersema, Reporter

How does a program prosper when it lacks proper promotion and support? Well, it doesn’t.

Simpson College harbors a program called SC in 3, allowing students coming in with 24 or more credits to graduate in three years rather than the usual four. It is offered to students majoring in Computer Information Systems, Computer Sciences, Criminal Justice, English, Independent Interdisciplinary Studies, Management, Marketing, Multimedia Journalism, Public Relations and Sociology.

Before their recent advertisement on the Simpson website, many students were unaware the program existed.

Amy Frakes and Angela Phipps, both students who are graduating this year after only three years, had no idea what it was before being asked about it.

“This is the first time I’m hearing about it,” Frakes said.

The idea of graduating early has multiple advantages such as not having another year of college payments, entering the workforce earlier and starting to gain experience in the workplace.

Despite this program, students have found that faculty and staff are often discouraging to those who want to graduate early.

“I was discouraged by professors and constantly asked ‘why would you want to graduate early?’” Phipps said.

Phipps, majoring in Integrated Marketing Communications, came in with 25 credits, making graduating in three years a little harder. She said she had to do all the planning herself, like calculating how many credits she needed per semester.

“I didn’t get the guidance or support from Simpson staff like I would have liked to,” she said.

According to students, if Simpson wants this program to be successful, they need to step up their game.

“Creating an awareness among students is a start,” Frakes said.

Jordan Rude, majoring in History and Political Science, is also graduating early. He thought taking advantage of the media available to students could help with promotion.

The Simpsonian is a great place to start in marketing the program, and Facebook might work as well,” he said.

But it’s not just about the students. Without being informed about opportunities, students are powerless. The college overall needs to be more supportive of the programs it tries to promote.

“Marketing will also need to change the perception among the Simpson community about graduating in three years; I found that professors were very discouraging when I said I wanted to graduate early,” Frakes said. “If this is a program Simpson wants to see succeed, they should create an environment that encourages acceleration rather than attempts to inhibit it.”

Professors and advisors also need to stay informed so they can help students if they’d like to follow this path.

“I think it starts with the advisors. They need to tell their students this program exists, so they know it’s an option,” Phipps said.

Some might be hesitant to take advantage of the program because it might take away from the college experience as a whole. Students graduating early say that’s not the case.

“I’ve definitely made the most of my three years at Simpson. Though I may miss out on experiences during what would have been my fourth year of college, I’ll be having new & exciting experiences in my professional life,” Frakes said. “We should all make the most out of what we do in life, regardless of our location or surroundings.”