NKU partners with national coalition to help returning students complete their studies

Northern Kentucky University has joined a national coalition of universities and colleges that are putting an emphasis on helping students finish their credit hours and earn their degrees.


NKU is partnering with the Institute for Higher Education Policy to join that group’s Degrees When Due initiative.


The program shares best practices with the colleges to re-engage students who have paused their studies.


“Some of the biggest barriers keeping adults from finishing their degree are finances, time and resources,” says Amy Danzo, NKU’s director of Adult Learner Programs and Services. The Degrees When Due program “will give us even more tools to assist students on their dream to finishing their degree.”


The initiative aligns with NKU’s Success by Design strategy to support students returning to complete their university studies.


NKU announced Success by Design in April, a three-year framework to guide the university and serve as a roadmap to increase community access to the university, achieve higher levels of degree completion, and create opportunities for careers.

The strategy is guided by two fundamental principles: understanding the aspirations of NKU students and the Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati region -- and designing the programs, services, and learning experiences to help students succeed and the region to grow.


In August, NKU announced the creation of a $2 million Strategic Investment and Innovation Fund to support the implementation of Success by Design.


The nine-month Degrees When Due program provides online tools and resources to help audit previously earned and transfer credits to determine each student’s best pathway to graduation. More than 60,000 people in Kentucky have been identified as having some college credits but no degree.


By joining Degrees when Due, “NKU will increase student success, serve a diverse set of student populations, and join us in addressing one of higher education’s most pressing challenges: degree completion,” says Michelle Asha Cooper, president of the Institute for Higher Education Policy.


The Institute is a nonpartisan, nonprofit research and advocacy organization that is committed to promoting postsecondary access and success for all students.


The Kentucky Council on Post-Secondary Education facilitated NKU’s participation in the initiative.



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Read more articles by David Holthaus.

David Holthaus is the managing editor of NKY Thrives, an award-winning journalist, and a Cincinnati native. When not writing or editing, he's likely to be bicycling, hiking, reading or watching classic movies.