INDIANAPOLIS — The newly established Degree Completion Office at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis will host an open house Wednesday, Jan. 28, at its office in the Walker Plaza building, 719 Indiana Ave.
The open house will feature two sessions:
1 to 3 p.m. — Kathy E. Johnson, associate vice chancellor for the Division of Undergraduate Education, will discuss the importance of IUPUI providing high-quality service to students returning to complete their degrees. Increasing the percentage of college graduates in the state builds a stronger workforce, which has a positive impact on Indiana’s economy.
3 to 5 p.m. — Nasser Paydar, IUPUI’s executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer, will discuss the importance of education to the state’s and nation’s economies, as well as higher education’s obligation to provide excellent preparation for students and to help them succeed.
“The Degree Completion Office is focused on student success and will strengthen IUPUI’s support for students who are presently working and attending to life’s demands, as they pursue completion of their college degrees,” Paydar said. “Through the success of these students, as they become graduates, IUPUI’s Degree Completion Office will play a vital role in the economic competitiveness of our state.”
Launched in July as part of the Division of Undergraduate Education, the Degree Completion Office will provide a gamut of services — including admissions, career advising, academic coaching and peer mentoring — to returning students who have some college credits but no degree, known as degree completers.
The Degree Completion Office is aligned with the student success priorities outlined in IUPUI’s strategic plan and IU’s bicentennial strategic plan. The office supports the recruitment of degree completers into a select array of high-quality, primarily online degree programs that parallel their personal and professional goals.
“The Degree Completion Office provides services to Central Indiana students returning to complete a college degree by providing a holistic array of services that are tailored to the unique needs (and characteristics) of that population,” said Alison Bell, director of the Degree Completion Office.
For example, most degree completers have been out of college for more than two years and have both a high need and high willingness to learn. They also have a desire to use their practical experience to complement and enhance a degree. Many degree completers have full-time jobs and families, and because they have been working and managing life, they “want some credit for what they know,” Bell said.
Given these factors, innovative academic practices with flexible scheduling can accelerate a degree completer’s progress toward earning a degree.