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Contacts:Jeff Lieberson, APLU, 202.478.6073David Edelson, APLU, 202.478.6072Troy Prestwood, APLU, 202.478. 6038
Washington, DC (Jan. 23, 2013) -- A commission of leading college and university presidents today called upon their colleagues to make retention and completion a critical campus priority to “stem the unacceptable loss of human potential represented by the number of students who never make it to graduation.”
The letter, issued by the National Commission on Higher Education Attainment, praises efforts already underway on many college and university campuses, but also highlights the need for additional action.
A۰P۰L۰U President Peter McPherson endorsed the call to action:
“As the national economy slowly emerges from the long recession, the evidence is clear: a college degree remains the single most important driver of opportunity and economic growth for individuals, communities, and the nation. In the global marketplace and the national economy, college educated workers more often experience economic success and upward mobility than those with only a high school diploma.”
“Today’s call by the National Commission on Higher Education Attainment to make retention and completion a critical campus priority makes common sense. While making college access available to all students is a moral imperative, ensuring students complete college is an economic imperative.”
“Nearly 500 of America’s public colleges and universities are already at work focusing on ways to improve student attainment through Project Degree Completion, an unprecedented pledge that will drive their instructional agenda in the years ahead. Over the next decade, public colleges and universities will use a variety of innovations and programs to expand student opportunity and increase student achievement, while emphasizing educational quality.”
Peter McPhersonPresident, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities
On October 2, 2012, nearly 500 four-year public colleges and universities pledged to increase college completion by 3.8 million bachelor’s degrees over the next 13 years through Project Degree Completion, a joint effort spearheaded by the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (A۰P۰L۰U) and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU). Collectively, public colleges and universities currently award more than 1 million degrees annually. Through Project Degree Completion, the institutions intend to increase the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded from an estimated 14.6 million to 18.4 million by 2025
About the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities:
Founded in 1887, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) is a research, action and advocacy organization of public research universities, land-grant institutions, and state university systems. As the nation’s oldest higher education association, APLU is dedicated to excellence in learning, discovery and engagement. Member campuses enroll more than 3.6 million undergraduate and 1.1 million graduate students, employ more than 670,000 faculty and administrators, and conduct nearly two-thirds of all university-based research, totaling more than $34 billion annually. For more information, visit www.aplu.org.
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