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Graduates Awarded Kent State University Degrees through Project Win-Win

Some of the graduates who walked across the stage during Kent State University at Stark’s fall commencement ceremony this past December haven’t taken a college course in quite a few semesters, yet they qualified to receive an associate degree.

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Graduates Awarded Kent State University Degrees through Project Win-Win

Posted Jan. 9, 2012

Graduating students at Kent State University at Stark participate in the fall 2011 commencement ceremony.

Some of the graduates who walked across the stage during Kent State University at Stark’s fall commencement ceremony this past December haven’t taken a college course in quite a few semesters, yet they qualified to receive an associate degree.

Here’s why. Kent State Stark is one of three Ohio regional campuses included in Project Win-Win, a national program that authorizes institutions to identify former students – no longer enrolled anywhere and never awarded any degree – whose records qualify them for an associate degree and grant it to them retroactively. The institutions are also encouraged to find former students who are “academically short” of an associate degree by no more than nine to 12 credits and urge them back to complete the degree.

Fifteen of the 26 associate degree candidates who accepted their diplomas on the commencement stage during Kent State Stark’s ceremony were identified through Project Win-Win. More than 70 students accepted the offer when contacted about the program and received their Kent State University associate degree.

“Project Win-Win positively impacts the educational attainment of our region, providing individuals with a degree that not only makes them more marketable to potential employers, but also can encourage them to pursue additional courses to obtain their bachelor’s degree,” says Walter F. Wagor, Ph.D., dean of Kent State Stark.

The Institute of Higher Education Policy instituted Project Win-Win to encourage college completion by adults with prior college credits but no degree. The organization expects to award 6,000 associate degrees by August 2013.

Eric Smer, executive director of the Stark County Hunger Task Force and Kent State Stark alumnus, delivered the address at Kent State Stark’s 2011 fall Commencement Ceremony.