The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that next fall the University of Pennsylvania will become the first Ivy League school to offer an online bachelor’s degree.
Take a minute. Let that sentence sink in.
Wait, there’s more. The program will include a residency requirement that consists of a writing course “designed to be completed over a weekend” (no joke). According to Penn officials, the compressed weekend format will necessitate that student papers be limited to one-syllable words that begin with letters in the first half of the alphabet (A through M). Students who wish to develop multi-syllable proficiency, and become familiar with N through Z words, will be eligible to enroll in the school’s online MFA Program in Creative Writing, which will commence in Fall 2020.
The Penn bachelor’s program will provide individualized, online graduation ceremonies for all students, broadcast from an Elvis wedding chapel in Las Vegas, where an Associate Provost will be available 24 hours a day.
Diplomas, delivered to recipients via drones, will be “Currency Green” in color, signifying the win-win nature of the program:
— Students will save money because online course tuition is lower than on-campus tuition
— Penn will make lots of money due to overall growth in the number of students enrolled at the University
How valuable will these online degrees actually be to those who obtain them? “That remains to be seen,” observes a high-ranking Penn administrator who wishes to remain anonymous. “But the intrinsic gratification one derives from having an Ivy League credential should never be underestimated, even if that pride doesn’t necessarily translate into enhanced earnings. You just feel better about yourself. Showing your Penn diploma to a co-worker at Jiffy Lube who dropped out of high school is certain to provide one with an opioid rush that you can’t put a price tag on.”
Step aside, Philly Cheese Steak, there’s a new taste in town. The UPenn online bachelor’s program is in the house.