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University of Wisconsin Madison
Projects & Initiatives

Project Degree Completion Award

APLU established the Project Degree Completion Award to achieve the following:

  • Reward and bolster the current efforts of public universities that are successfully improving the retention and graduation of students;
  • Collect effective campus-based models from successful public universities for other institutions to use to increase student retention and graduation; and
  • Mobilize all colleges and universities to prioritize improving student retention and graduation outcomes.

The award is open only to APLU institutions and serves to advance Project Degree Completion (PDC), a joint effort between APLU and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) in which nearly 500 public colleges and universities have pledged to collectively award 3.8 million more degrees by 2025. Together, this increase will represent the public four-year institutions' contribution toward the national goal of having 60 percent of working age adults in the U.S. possess a college degree.

Apply for the 2018 PDC Award

EligibilityAll APLU member institutions are invited to submit an application for the 2018 PDC Award. Initiatives and programs that have improved the institution’s retention and/or graduation rate(s) at any time in the last three academic years will be considered. Previous award recipients are not eligible in the two years immediately following receipt of the PDC Award (formerly MVP Trailblazer and Opportunity Awards).

The 2018 Award Application will become available in late March and the deadline to submit a letter of intent to apply will be in April.  The winner will be announced during the APLU Annual Meeting on November 11-12 in New Orleans, LA.  Additionally, up to five finalists for the award will be showcased at a prominent session during the APLU Annual Meeting at which a representative from each institution will present an overview of their work and sit on a panel to discuss innovative degree completion practices.