WVU part of nationwide coalition endeavoring to increase number of U.S. college degrees by 3.8 million
West Virginia University has joined nearly 500 public universities and colleges across the country committed to Project Degree Completion, an initiative intended to increase the number of baccalaureate degrees in the U.S. by 3.8 million, the University announced today (Oct. 5).
Members of the Association of Public Land-Grant Universities and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities committed to increase the number of undergraduate baccalaureate degrees by 2025, to help bring the country’s degree attainment up to 60 percent.
The commitment entails providing excellent, affordable education, reaching out to former students who did not graduate, reducing the average time to degree, constrain costs, supporting area economic growth and working with the Pre-K-12 and community college systems especially in critical need areas such as science and engineering.
Muriel Howard, president of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, said the goal of increased bachelor’s degrees would not only benefit the country, but the individuals who would benefit from increased participation in the economy and a higher quality of life.
“Even in difficult economic times, individuals who have a college degree are doing much better than those who do not have a college degree in securing a job in today’s economy,” she said.
WVU has begun several initiatives in the last few years with the goal of increasing the population of degree holders both within and outside of West Virginia.
Earlier this year, the University began a partnership with West Virginia’s community colleges to assist residents throughout the state in completing their bachelor’s degree online while remaining in their home communities.
“The goal of the Blueprint for Student Success is to promote success for all students through the creation and implementation of initiatives and special programs,” said Elizabeth Dooley, WVU’s associate provost for Undergraduate Academic Affairs. “Students have access to a myriad of coordinated programs, resources and services that will enable successful matriculation.
“As a collaborative team, individuals from academic and student affairs offer improved customer service, academic bridge programs for incoming first year students and students continuing into their second year and academic success coaches for first- and second-year students.”
Some of these programs are: First Year Academy, a comprehensive welcome to incoming freshman that connects them with resources; academic themes in residence halls; early alert program to catch students who are struggling with academics and connect them to tutoring and other services; and WVU Communities, which hosts events that focus on diversity, inclusion and promoting increased access to educational opportunities for first generation students and students of color.
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