Continuing Education 101

I can't believe this is a hot topic nowadays.  We were doing this with our adult degree completion programs 15 years ago.  But I shouldn't belittle it.  It's just another example, I suppose, of universities becoming more like continuing education units.

For over a decade, the University of New Mexico has worked methodically to remove barriers that stand in the way of adults who might otherwise return to college to complete their degrees. Its efforts illustrate that obstacles facing former students and their colleges can be surmounted, but that it takes a campus working together to make it happen.

The university's Graduation Project identifies former students who had senior standing and were within a few courses of completing a bachelor's degree. They also needed to have left with at least a 2.0 grade-point average to participate.

To date, 2,816 students have come back to the university. Of those, about 2,000 have already graduated, a 71-percent graduation rate. That compares with New Mexico's six-year graduation rate of 43 percent.

The project's success has a lot to do with its "cut through the red tape" approach, according to university officials. "We basically act as the middleman," said Vanessa Shields, the program's manager.

Former students reapply using a special, short application form, and tuition assistance is offered to those with financial need. The university provides students with reports that outline the classes they need to graduate and works with them when their transcripts don't match well with current degree requirements.


Thanks for the information your posted in your blog.

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