University of California, Davis: UC Davis Aims to Turn ‘Stop-Outs’ Into Graduates

UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education is playing a central role in the UC system’s new Degree Completion Program, which will provide support to “stop-outs” — students who leave college without a degree — in their efforts to complete their studies.

The program is a strategy of the university’s 2030 Capacity Plan, released July 21, which aims to increase UC enrollment by 23,000 students over the next eight years — the equivalent of adding another campus.

The UC Degree Completion Program serves two populations: UC students with incomplete degrees and California residents with some college and no degree attainment. It aims to reengage adults through extension programs, or, as they are called collectively at UC Davis, continuing and professional education.

According to a recent survey by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, California has the greatest proportion of stop-outs in the United States: 17.5%, or more than 6.3 million people.
$4.85M in state funding
UC Davis partnered with its extension counterpart at UC Riverside to develop the UC Degree Completion Program, and both schools will enroll the pilot cohort of students in winter 2023. UC has allocated more than $4.85 million in state funds to support the program for two years.

The Davis and Riverside extension units are collaborating with existing degree completion programs at UC Merced and UC Santa Barbara. The four campuses have come together as the UC Reengagement Consortium.

“The UC Degree Completion Program empowers adult learners by helping them address the barriers that prevent them from successfully completing their degree,” said Susan Catron, dean of UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education. “We are excited to partner with our colleagues at UC Riverside Extension, and the larger UC community, to serve Californians who lack the credentials needed to advance their personal career goals.”

Flexible model
The program model is designed to be as flexible as possible to support working professionals, and unemployed and underemployed adults by helping with application fees, offering strong advising support, providing access to available UC-approved online courses, and alleviating challenges associated with familial and professional obligations that impede degree completion, transfer eligibility and certificate attainment.

UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education and UC Riverside University Extension will not confer degrees directly but will provide pre-reentry college credit coursework and advising to students seeking readmission or transfer. Although the primary focus is re-entry and degree completion, under this program adults may also opt to complete professional certificate programs at the four collaborating campuses.

The Degree Completion Program is looking to support nearly 800 students in its first two years.

The UC Davis recruitment campaign will target 3,862 students in good standing, including 1,716 (44%) first-generation students and 1,095 (28%) underrepresented students. This includes both first-time freshman as well as transfer students in good standing with at least a two-quarter lapse and who have not yet earned their degrees.

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