ECC Recognized in State Report for Credential Recovery Initiative | New
ECC Recognized in State Report for Credential Recovery Initiative
East Central College’s efforts to help students return to college to graduate were recognized by the state in a “White Paper” report released earlier this month.
ECC’s Finish Your Investment (FYI) degree recovery program is part of a national initiative – called Degrees When Due. The program is sponsored by the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) and supported by the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development (DHEWD).
ECC was the only community college recognized in the DHEWD report for its reclamation program in the 2020-21 academic year. The state agency applauded the communication and outreach of the ECC during the planning and impersonation of the FYI program.
The DHEWD also credited the ECC with creating a well-rounded campus-wide team to support the degree recovery program, which can be used as a model for other higher education institutes.
ECC’s FYI program was designed to guide students who have earned college credit in college to help them earn a degree.
There were 742 former students targeted, of which 39 were “self-educated” due to the number of credit hours they had already obtained. 31 other students applied for admission; 20 enrolled in courses; and five eventually graduated.
Laura Deason, Deputy Registrar, was recognized on June 14 by the ECC Board of Directors for her work in reviewing student files and then determining that the 39 “self-graduating” students were eligible for the diplomas.
“We strongly believe that for the students who have returned it is life changing,” said Robyn Walter, vice president of academic affairs, in the DHEWD publication.
The white paper told a story published by the ECC about Mercedes Mangrum, 26, who was motivated to finish school after a four-year hiatus. She was only 12 credit hours away from an associate degree.
“My decision to end this semester was only to give myself options for future endeavors. As an older student, I felt more focused and ready to graduate, ”Mangrum said.
According to the DHEWD, a key part of successful reclamation programs was building a campus team responsible for cross-campus collaborative strategies to retain current students and support adult re-engagement.
The ECC team was made up of about fifteen employees from various sectors of the College.
Plans call for the continuation of the FYI program at ECC, to help meet the needs of a diverse student population, including first-generation students, low-income students, single parents and veterans.