3+3 Program = time and money saved

By Debra Talcott
Legal News

As colleges and universities across the state frustrate current and prospective students by announcing their latest tuition increases, some positive news is coming out of Cooley Law School – Auburn Hills and Oakland University.  The two institutions take pride in announcing their partnership agreement for a 3+3 Program that will allow students to complete their bachelor’s degree and law degree in just six years instead of the typical seven.

“Both Oakland University and Cooley Law School are proud to offer students this exciting opportunity,” said Susan Awbrey, interim senior vice president for Academic Affairs and Provost. “The 3+3 Program is making real strides in the education community, and we hope it gives students the help they need to attend law school.”

That help would come in the form of a full year of time and money saved for students enrolled in their last year of Oakland University’s integrative studies program. These students could begin taking first-year law courses at Cooley’s Auburn Hills campus.  They would take courses such as Contracts, Torts, Property, Criminal Law and Procedure, Civil Procedure, Research and Writing, and Professional Responsibility. The 24 credits they could earn at Cooley would be applied as credit toward the completion of their undergraduate degree at OU, essentially doing double duty.

Auburn Hills Dean John Nussbaumer is excited about the education value this new program offers.

“Student loan debt is a major issue in higher education today, and we have an obligation to creatively think outside the box to find ways to reduce that debt without compromising the education that students receive. Participating students will save a full year of tuition, room, board, and books, and this will make law school more accessible and more affordable,” says Nussbaumer.

Cooley and Oakland University collaborated on this program for almost two years to make sure it would be workable for OU students.  Dean Nussbaumer complimented OU Director of Integrative Studies Scott Crabill and Cooley Associate Dean Paul Zelinski for their contributions.

“Dr. Crabill and Dr. Zelinski really did most of the work on this, and what has resulted is a very workable plan for students to follow.”

Cooley Law School is known for its commitment to making law school accessible for students from diverse backgrounds, according to Nussbaumer.

“In the past five years, Cooley graduated more African American students than any other law school in the country, except for historically black schools Howard University and Texas Southern, and we ranked eighth in the country in Hispanic Latino graduates,” says Nussbaumer.

Cooley Auburn Hills is the exclusive educational partner law school of Oakland University. Graduates who meet Cooley’s admission requirements are given priority in selection of campus location and entering term of law school.  The two institutions have partnered on other initiatives such as the College Prelaw Summer Institute and the Just the Beginning Foundation High School Summer Legal Institute.  Additionally, Cooley and Oakland offer MBA-JD and MPA-JD dual degree programs for students who qualify.

Students interested in more information on the 3+3 Program may contact Cooley Enrollment and Student Services Coordinators Val Schnable (schnablv@cooley.edu) or Angela Tyszka (tyszkaa@cooley.edu).

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