Community colleges across the country are responding to the call by many education experts to get the lead out and meaningfully decrease their students’ time to degree and program completion.

Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, for example, will change from the semester to a trimester class format this fall. Classes will run for 14 weeks instead of 16 weeks, and the summer term will have just as many course offerings as the fall and spring terms. While each class will be about 10 minutes longer, the most motivated students will be able to earn an associate degree just under a year and a half — compared to what had been the norm of two years (with a summer off).

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