Northeastern State University has been selected to join Degrees When Due, a national initiative of the Institute for Higher Education Policy, with the goal of assisting students with some college credit to complete their degrees.
As one of eight colleges and universities selected from Oklahoma, NSU will participate in best practices in degree reclamation and will provide targeted support while re-engaging students who have paused or dropped out of their studies. NSU's participation in the initiative is facilitated through the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. Oklahoma is one of 20 states participating in the nationwide initiative.
"NSU is pleased to join the Degrees When Due completion initiative, helping Oklahomans overcome many obstacles so they can complete their degree," said NSU President Steve Turner. "Together, through affordable and accessible education opportunities, we transform lives, families and businesses in our state and beyond."
Degrees When Due will grant NSU access to a variety of resources to assist with auditing students' previously earned credits in order to determine the students' most efficient pathway to graduation.
"Our Degrees When Due institutional and state partners are building a strong pathway to degree attainment for all students, including by providing an on-ramp for those who have paused their studies or stopped out," said IHEP President Michelle Asha Cooper. "IHEP enthusiastically welcome the selected institutions and states to this effort. Through this initiative, they will increase student success, serve as a diverse set of student populations and join us in addressing on of higher education's most pressing challenges: degree completion."
The program will benefit the many Oklahomans identified as having some college credit but no degree.
"Returning to college to finish a degree can be a huge challenge for adults with jobs, families and other obligations," said NSU Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Deborah Landry. "NSU is leading the way in making that process attainable through the Reach Higher program and the Degrees When Due initiative. Through Degrees When Due, we strive to increase the number of college graduates in our state by helping the approximately 47,000 near completers reach completion of their bachelor's degree. According to United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, 37 percent of jobs created in Oklahoma by 2020 will require an associate degree, bachelor's degree or higher."
Other Oklahoma institutions participating in the initiative include Connors State College, Murray State College, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College, Oklahoma City Community College, Oklahoma Panhandle State University, Redlands Community College, and the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.