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. That challenge — and opportunity — presents an urgent need for collaboration among institutions in a time of crisis.
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. This is about fulfilling our mission to serve West Tennessee by educating and engaging its citizens.
Stopouts who find themselves years out of school and with different needs and goals than when they first enrolled have the difficult task of navigating a complex landscape of completion options. Often, students with some college credit and no degree have new career ambitions since stopping out and, in some cases, can’t return to their original institution because the program or modality they are now looking for is not available. In other cases, relocation makes returning to their original institution inconvenient or impossible.
Our network was created to fill this gap between motivated stopouts and the higher education institutions who seek to support these learners.