Finding Common Ground with the 3+3 Articulation Program
By the start of his senior year of high school, Jordan Pond knew he wanted to be a chiropractor and could not wait to get started. Luckily, there was a program in place, designed for people just like him.
Jordan’s guidance counselor at Northview High School in Brazil, Ind., told Jordan about the 3+3 articulation program, in which students complete their first three years of undergraduate study (at least 90 semester hours of specific coursework including physics, chemistry and biology) at their undergraduate home institution, then transfer to a chiropractic college to start their Doctor of Chiropractic program.
By the end of their first year in the Doctor of Chiropractic program, these students earn the credit hours needed to receive their bachelor’s degrees from undergraduate colleges while satisfying the basic science requirements and completing their first year of graduate studies leading to the Doctor of Chiropractic degree.
The guidance counselor pointed Jordan to Logan College of Chiropractic/University Programs, which has a 3+3 articulation agreement with the University of Southern Indiana (USI). Today, Jordan has a bachelor’s degree in biology from USI and is a Tri-7
student on track to graduate a year earlier than if he hadn’t enrolled in the 3+3 program.
Jordan’s journey from high school to USI to Logan through the 3+3 program is a prime example of how a successful articulation agreement can work: academic institutions working side-by-side in the best interest of the student.
“To me, the 3+3 meant less debt overall and quicker turnover to doing something I love,” he said. “It was definitely the right decision for me financially and timing wise.”
More Options for Students
Though 3+3 agreements have existed at Logan since the early 1990s, Logan’s admissions team has been taking a more strategic approach to the program throughout the past year and is further developing a national presence.
“What we are trying to do now is really cultivate the agreements and build up the existing program,” said Mary Nagle, assistant director of admissions. “The biggest advantage in partnering with colleges and universities is that it allows them to market to high
Nagle said that forming a partnership with these institutions demonstrates a home institution’s willingness to diversify its curriculum and embrace chiropractic.
Logan currently has 3+3 articulation agreements with 50 colleges and universities across 23 states. The most recent
institution to join the roster is Benedictine University at Springfield in Illinois. Logan and Benedictine University’s agreement stemmed from a relationship built between Dr. Todd Lafrenz, Director of Pre-Professional Health Programs at Benedictine University at Springfield, and Logan’s Director of Admissions Steve Held. Throughout the years, Logan had received many Benedictine University graduates, and Held was already engaged with Benedictine, serving on a health care professionals’ panel.
“Health science is one of the fastest-growing areas for enrollment,” Dr. Lafrenz said. “With our recent additions of biology and health science degree programs, the articulation agreement with Logan made perfect sense. It gives Benedictine the advantage of offering students another career path to achieve their educational and career objectives while saving them time and resources.”
Students Jordan and Amanda Smith couldn't agree more.
“Logan’s 3+3 program was very convenient for me,” said Smith, a Tri-7 student who started her education at Hannibal-LaGrange University in Hannibal, Mo. “I was able to combine one year of undergraduate school with the beginning of my graduate education. This saved me money as well. I’ve also enjoyed the convenience of finishing school a year sooner than my fellow students since
everyone else attended four years of undergraduate school before attending Logan. I loved being able to attend the two schools of my choice. At both institutions, I experienced many personal and educational benefits while saving time and money.”
Ongoing communication was key throughout Jordan Pond’s time at USI and during his transition to Logan. He said it was the guidance and encouragement he received along the way from both institutions that gave him the confidence to stick with the rigorous curriculum.
“My advisor did everything in his power to make sure I was put in the classes I needed to continue on in the 3+3 program and was very supportive of it the whole time,” he said. “At the end of my first year at Logan, an admissions counselor contacted me to see how I was doing.”
Jordan said he would recommend the 3+3 program to anyone who is confident that chiropractic is the profession they want to pursue. “It saves you money, especially if you are attending an expensive undergraduate school," he said. "Plus, it allows you to move through the laborious educational curriculum a year earlier, taking you just one step closer to your goal."
The 3+3 Edge
In addition to giving students a competitive and financial advantage, the 3+3 program offers similar benefits to the institutions. In this day and age, Held said, it's a win-win for both.
"Colleges and universities are seeing the big picture and are receptive," he said. "The 3+3 partnership requires no financial commitment - it's an academic agreement that serves the student."
The articulation world has truly changed the cost of education. For students, it is economical to start their chiropractic education before setting foot on campus; at the same time, the home institutions are broadening their prospective student base by offering more career options.
On Logan's campus, it's bringing students with a passion for chiropractic one step closer to their goal of providing exceptional patient care while also forming partnerships with new institutions whose educational missions align with Logan's mission.
Fortunately, at Benedictine it was just a matter of plugging Logan’s curriculum into Benedictine’s health science degrees. From a
curricula and a geographic perspective, the partnership was a perfect fit.
Of all articulation agreements that Benedictine University at Springfield and its parent, Benedictine University at Lisle, have with partner institutions, the 3+3 partnership with Logan is the only one where students earn both a Bachelor of Science and a doctorate degree—just another aspect of the program that Benedictine can tout.
A cohesive partnership
Dr. Lafrenz looks forward to boosting awareness of the 3+3 agreement with Logan and positioning Benedictine as an
avenue toward a chiropractic degree.
“Our goal is to build the relationship much earlier on, exposing incoming freshmen to options and possibilities so we can fine-tune a path for them,” he said. “One of the ways we’ll be doing that is through a letter of intent, which tells us which freshman students may be interested in this particular career path.”
Held also is working on a plan that will target three areas of the 3+3 program: focusing on institutions in close geographical
proximity to Logan, forming partnerships with institutions that consistently send students to Logan, and further strengthening and
leveraging Logan’s existing partnerships within the 3+3 program.
“It’s important that we stay in close communication with our partner colleges and universities,” he said. “The 3+3 program is
built around giving students at a home institution a solid path to Logan. In a partner institution where we have that close
connection, students have the greatest opportunity for success.”