'Berg, ONU 3+3 partnership = accelerated law degree

Heidelberg University and Ohio Northern University’s Claude W. Petit College of Law are partnering on a new pathway that accelerates entry into law school, and it’s a win-win situation for everyone.

On Monday, the two universities convened on ONU’s campus to formalize an agreement that creates a 3+3 pathway to streamline the process for ‘Berg students to complete a bachelor’s degree at HU and pursue their Juris Doctor degree at ONU in six years, instead of the traditional seven.

“The quality of students, staff and faculty from Heidelberg University makes this 3+3 partnership an exciting opportunity for all concerned,” said Dr. Charlie Rose, dean and law professor at ONU’s Claude W. Petit College of Law. “You don’t often find a win-win situation in higher education and we look forward to working with Heidelberg for the benefit of all of our students.”

Here’s how it works: ‘Berg students must complete a bachelor’s degree in any major and the Legal Studies minor for consideration into the ONU’s Juris Doctor program, earn 90 credit hours and meet ONU’s set GPA standard. They must take the LSAT and achieve a score set by ONU’s law program. If they complete these steps in three years and are accepted into the program, their first year in law school will simultaneously count as the final year of their bachelor’s degree at Heidelberg. They would then complete their J.D. degree at ONU in two more years. 

“Last year, over one-third of our incoming students brought in College Credit Plus credits, so they’re already on an accelerated path. This new 3+3 pathway can keep them moving ahead with an accelerated trajectory that’s more affordable,” said Dr. Courtney DeMayo Pugno, assistant vice president for Academic Affairs and executive director of the Owen Center for Teaching and Learning. Courtney and Dr. Bryan Smith, vice president for Academic Affairs and provost, represented Heidelberg at the signing ceremony. They joined hosts Dean Rose and ONU President Dr. Melissa J. Bauman for the ceremony.

Heidelberg has worked with schools similar in size and feel, knowing that ’Berg students tend to thrive on these types of campuses. “Our students love a small college atmosphere, getting to know their professors personally instead of being drowned out in a lecture hall with hundreds of students,” Courtney said. “ONU is very similar to Heidelberg in feel and size, and we have students who are already having a lot of success in their program, so those are the types of agreements we’re pursuing.”

Earlier this summer, Heidelberg signed a similar agreement with the University of Dayton School of Law.

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