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UHV on board with national degree completion initiative

By Victoria Advocate
Oct. 7, 2012 at 5:07 a.m.

Phil Castille

The University of Houston-Victoria has joined with other colleges across the country in a new degree completion pledge.

The program is expected to help increase economic growth for decades to come.

UHV is one of the nearly 490 colleges and universities that pledged on Tuesday to boost the number of baccalaureate degrees by 3.8 million students to help the nation reach the goal of 60 percent of adults possessing a college degree by 2025.

"This is truly a commitment to the future," UHV president Phil Castille said. "We are proud to be part of this important national initiative."

Through Project Degree Completion: A Public University Initiative, the institutions will strive to increase the total number of degrees they award from about 14.6 million to 18.4 million during the next 14 years.

By 2018, labor market demand for post-secondary education is projected to rise to 63 percent.

The schools signing the pledge account for about 75 percent of all undergraduate students at four-year institutions.

As part of their commitment, universities and colleges are asked to look for ways to enhance academic quality, constrain per-student educational costs and reduce the time it takes to earn a degree.

The initiative also calls for a renewed partnership among public colleges and universities, the states and the federal government to work together to achieve the goals.

Jeffrey Cass, UHV provost and vice president for academic affairs, said he is looking forward to getting reports from the two higher-education associations regarding proven practices and innovative programs for degree completion.

"We have put in place a number of academic support mechanisms for our students," Cass said. "We will pay close attention to this new initiative as we continue to look for other ways to assist our students on the path to their degrees."

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