Project Win-Win helping students gain earned associate degrees
Contact: Rene Abadie
HAMMOND – A national pilot program designed to recognize former college students who have earned enough credits for an associate degree and to find others who are close to the achievement has been instituted at Southeastern Louisiana University.
Project Win-Win, an initiative sponsored by the Education Trust, a national education policy organization, and the National Association of System Heads, is designed to identify students who may have stopped attending college for personal reasons but who otherwise have met university criteria for an associate degree.
In addition to Southeastern, two other University of Louisiana System institutions are participating in the program: McNeese State University and Northwestern State University.
“In today’s employment environment, job-seekers need as many factors in their favor as possible,” said Southeastern President John L. Crain. “We recognize that a fair number of students make considerable academic progress while in college but various circumstances can sometimes cause them to discontinue their education. In some cases, these students have earned enough college credit to merit an associate degree.”
After reviewing its records and evaluating transcripts going back to 2003, Southeastern has identified more than 270 former students who are no longer enrolled in higher education but who have earned sufficient credits to be awarded an associate degree, said Enrollment Services Director Lori Fairburn.
She said the university is contacting these former students by mail to encourage them to complete the process to be awarded a general studies associate degree at future Southeastern commencement ceremonies.
Fairburn said the university is also identifying former students who are short of earning a degree by nine or fewer hours and informing those students of opportunities to complete degree requirements.
In total, the three UL System universities have identified more than 750 former students eligible to receive a degree and a considerable number considered “potentials” for completing degree requirements.
UL System President Randy Moffett expressed strong support for Project Win-Win.
“Sometimes life gets in the way of completing a university degree,” he said. “Project Win-Win is an innovative approach to seek out students who are not aware they have earned enough credit to merit a credential. Reconnecting with these former students to award their degrees is a win for the student and a win for the university.”