In 1972, after a great deal of planning on the part of committees which guidance counselors, high school administrators and college personnel comprised, the college received a three year Carnegie grant to fund a time-shortened degree program. The year of combined high school and college credit was to be possible upon the acceptance for college credit of two courses taken in the high school and acceptance for graduation requirements of courses taken at the college. Extensive evaluation of the high school math and science courses to be accepted for college credit was done by college faculty with input from both the central administration of SUNY and the State Education Department. The first class of 3-1-3 students graduated from their 3-1-3 year in 1973.
Though the very early years saw classes of 100 or so students, as high school enrollments have dropped, 3-1-3 classes have ranged from 35 to 55 students from six to sixteen schools. Schools whose students have participated in the program have included: Brocton, Cardinal Mindszenty, Cassadaga Valley, Cattaraugus, Clymer, Dunkirk, Forestville, Fredonia, Gowanda, Lake Shore, Mayville, Pine Valley, Randolph, Ripley, Sherman, Silver Creek and Westfield Academy.
From the beginning the program was predicated on the unique value of an experience which combined high school classes taken with a student's familiar friends and faculty and on-campus college courses where the 3-1-3 student meets exactly the some demands as a full-time college freshman. So, essentially, the 3-1-3 program is not simply about college credit on a transcript, though that, of course, is an important benefit. This program is, at its heart, about preparation for future success, both academic and personal.
The early plan was to provide transportation for 3-1-3 students to the college on each high school's BOCES buses but this was never possible, due to the wide individual variation in schedules. What was true in 1972-73 is still true: a variety of individually tailored schedules is still the salient characteristic of 3-1-3, so no general transportation system is possible. However, many students from distant schools do commute together.
From the beginning, the admissions standards have been the same for 3-1-3 students as for incoming freshmen. Thus, students admitted to 3-1-3 are fully admitted students who may, and often do, continue at Fredonia without having to reapply. Dr. Walter Schultze administered the original grant through its first three years, Dr. Sarah Looney, director of Academic Advising, became the director in 1976, Katie Hayes-Sugarman, also Academic Advising director, was the 3-1-3 director for four years, and the program has been led by Penelope Deakin, Learning Center director, since 1984. In 1994, Learning Center staff members Michael Conley and Liza Smith joined Penelope Deakin as 3-1-3 advisers to ensure that the individualized attention which has always been one of the hallmarks of the program continues, even with the increasing number of 3-1-3 participants.
Today, Liza Smith serves as director of the Learning Center and the 3-1-3 program. The rest of Learning Center staff (Kim Mead-Colgrove and Adam Hino) also serve as 3-1-3 advisors.