INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Associate Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education Kathy E. Johnson has announced the appointment of Alison Bell as the director of IUPUI’s Degree Completion Office effective October 20.
The Degree Completion Office, which launched in July 2014, is aligned with the student success priorities outlined in both IUPUI’s strategic plan and IU’s bicentennial strategic plan. The office supports the recruitment of degree completers (learners who have some college credits but no degree) into a select array of high-quality, primarily online degree programs that parallel their personal and professional goals.
The office provides a comprehensive scope of support services, such as admissions, academic and career advising, coaching, peer mentoring and internship/job search; and advocates for evidence-based credit, innovative academic practices and flexible scheduling approaches that accelerate learners’ progress toward the completion of bachelor’s degree.
As director of the Degree Completion Office, Bell will oversee operations and supervise academic and career advising staff, as well as develop capacity for providing quality service, communication and support to all degree completers. Bell will also ensure these students have a successful beginning at IUPUI, from point of inquiry through course enrollment; support students through the admissions process by helping to provide consultation on previous college credit transferability; improve the effectiveness of retention efforts by ensuring that students receive individual advising and mentoring on a variety of topics and processes; and evaluate enrollment processes and make the appropriate recommendations to aid in retention and acclimation of students.
“Alison’s extensive professional experiences, as well as her astute grasp of the complex issues related to returning students’ success in higher education, make her an ideal candidate for this position,” said Cathy Buyarski, executive director of student success initiatives in the Division of Undergraduate Education, to whom Bell will report. “Her knowledge of adult student development coupled with her effective leadership and communication skills will ensure that IUPUI’s Degree Completion Office attracts and retains adult learners from Indiana and beyond.”
Bell served as assistant director of Career Counseling Services at IUPUI from 2001 through 2007. She then served as a career management consultant and provided individualized coaching and career management to adults transitioning to new jobs through Right Management, a division of Manpower Group. Since 2010, Bell has served as general manager of operations for Western Governors University in Indiana, where she led local operations and coordinated the recruitment and training of new employees.
“I have committed much of my professional life to the mission of helping adults succeed through education, so I am delighted to have this opportunity and honored to bring my passion and focus back home to IUPUI,” Bell said. “I am energized to be a part of an institution that will further our students’ competitiveness in the workplace through an incredible range of high-quality degree and certificate programs and opportunities to engage in internships and service learning.”
Bell holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Indiana University and a Master of Arts in student personnel administration in higher education from Ball State University.