SAN FRANCISCO, June 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Students who have some college experience but no degree have a new path to graduation, thanks to a national initiative launched today by thirteen colleges including Eastern Michigan University, University of Idaho, Brandman University, and University of Tennessee, Martin. The first-of-its-kind initiative, called the ReUp Network, will enable students to complete their degree from one of 300 academic programs at partner institutions, to start, regardless of where they began their college studies.
"Far too many students start college and never complete. But earning a degree can have a dramatic impact on their employability, earnings, and resilience during an economic downturn," said Dr. Mary Hawkins, President of Bellevue University. "That challenge -- and opportunity -- presents an urgent need for collaboration among institutions in a time of crisis."
More than 36 million Americans have attended college but have not finished their intended degree, creating a completion crisis with massive implications for social and economic mobility. Since workers without degrees are often the most likely to lose their jobs during economic downturns -- and the last to be hired in an upswing -- college completion can have an outsized employment impact during periods of economic uncertainty.
"The completion crisis facing higher education requires an innovative response that breaks down barriers to help students re-enroll in college. Stopout students have historically been left behind, and we want to change that," said Dr. Philip Cavalier, Provost at University of Tennessee, Martin. "This is about fulfilling our mission to serve West Tennessee by educating and engaging its citizens."
Powered by ReUp Education, the ReUp Network will provide students with access to over 300 academic programs in high-demand fields like health care, IT, and business -- two-thirds of which are available online for students juggling multiple demands. Through ReUp's unique combination of data science, analytics-informed communication, and hands-on coaching, students will be able to find a college or university, whether their original school or a new one, that is the right fit for their life today -- and receive the support to ensure they graduate.
The founding ReUp Network includes Arkansas Tech University; Bellevue University; Brandman University; California University of Pennsylvania and Clarion University of Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education; Ducere Global Business School; Eastern Michigan University; Excelsior College; Old Dominion University; Salem University; University of Idaho; University of Tennessee, Martin; and Texas A&M University - Central Texas.
"An estimated 8 million students who have stopped out of college face barriers to re-entry because the school they initially attended may no longer be a fit," said Sarah Horn, CEO of ReUp Education. "The design of the Network will enable colleges and universities to not only share best practices and insights, but also create a national onramp to expand access to flexible, affordable pathways to college completion."