Drexel University will end programs that allowed students to earn four-year degrees at discounted tuition rates without leaving their community college campuses.

Offered at community colleges in Delaware, Montgomery, and Burlington Counties, the program sent Drexel faculty and staff members to teach courses there.

Drexel did not offer a reason for the end of its program. A spokeswoman said the university would focus on encouraging community college students to transfer to its campus in Philadelphia.

"We now believe that students are best served by completing their degree on Drexel's campus," spokeswoman Niki Gianakaris wrote in a statement, "where they will have access to the full Drexel experience."

Students at Burlington County College, where Drexel has offered the program since 2006, were notified of the change last week.

About 300 students are enrolled in Drexel at Burlington County College. The college announced that the approximately 100 full-time students will be able to compete their Drexel degrees at the discounted tuition rates they were promised. Tuition for the Drexel program at BCC is about two-thirds that at Drexel's main campus, where annual tuition is more than $46,000.

Drexel will also end similar partnerships with Montgomery County Community College and Delaware County Community College that began in the last year and were modeled on the Burlington County program.

"It's unfortunate that Drexel decided to reimagine or reenvision the program," said Victoria Bastecki-Perez, vice president of academic affairs and provost at the Montgomery County college. "They believed it was not sustainable in the long term."

The partnerships between Drexel and the community colleges allowed students to earn associate's degrees before entering the Drexel programs to complete four-year degrees at discounted rates.

MCCC signed an agreement with Drexel to launch the program in January. About 40 students enrolled and began taking classes in September, Bastecki-Perez said. By the end of October, the community college learned that the program would be discontinued.

Some classes continued, Bastecki-Perez said, and some students immediately switched to online course work or began traveling to Drexel's campus in Philadelphia. Individual plans were made for each student, she said, and the students will be required to pay only 75 percent of Drexel's full tuition, as promised in the agreement between the two schools.

Delaware County Community College announced the start of a similar program last December. Drexel announced that it would also end.

"We are strengthening our partnerships with select community colleges," Drexel's spokeswoman wrote. But with the end of courses at community colleges, those partnerships will focus on transferring students from community colleges to the campus in University City.

@Lmccrystal