I haven't read the thread, but I will tell you what is working for us.
Dd has a double major in Secondary Ed and Social Studies. All wanna-be high school teachers have to do this route. I remember my college roommate had to do the same at a different school in another state--her majors were Sec Ed and Math.
Dd wants to work with a Spanish-speaking population, and she is strongly considering a TESOL or ELL grad certification down the road. That means that in addition to her double major, she also has a double minor of Spanish and International Studies.
How to get all this in?
1--Dd amassed some college credit while in high school through a combination of dual enrollment w a community college, several AP exams, and CLEP exams. Let's face it, the gen ed requirements in college are really just a repetition of high school. Get 'em out of the way once, by using these options to take care of it in high school.
2--Dd tested out of some college requirements through her university's placement testing system. She was really bold about requesting the testing and giving it a try even when she was told it was probably beyond her reach. She knocked two classes out of the way by doing this.
3--Use the community college to your advantage, both for dual enrollment as a high school student and to make full use of summer sessions while a college student. Summer school at cc is soooo much cheaper than a semester at university. Taking just two classes per summer gets a lot of work done.
4--Dd is taking care of some of her coursework through study abroad options. Most of her Spanish and Int'l Studies will be done abroad. Her uni has a short session every May that offers tons of opportunities, and Dd will also use a summer to go to Spain. It's actually more efficient for her to do it this way at her uni--she gets more classes done in a shorter amount of time. Plus she has the advantage of learning and soaking up soooo much more by doing it in an international context--this will specifically help her double minor, but it's a fabulous perspective-shaping option for any student in any major.
The result? As of right now, Dd is on track to complete her uni degree--double major + double minor--in less than four years. Her workload each semester is average. It's not a work harder mentality--it's a work smarter and plan carefully mentality.
I'm really proud of her choices.