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Navigating Student Departure: 4 Key Insights From Dr. La’Tonya Rease Miles


40 million Americas. Some Credit, No Degree

In a recent episode of Friday 5 Live, I was fortunate to talk with Dr. La’Tonya “LT” Rease Miles about how institutions can think differently about addressing students stopping out. As we know, over 40 million Americans are considered “some credit no degree” meaning that they have completed some college coursework but not yet met degree or credential requirements. That number increased by a million from 2021 to 2022. 

Here are 4 takeaways and thoughts to ponder from our Friday 5 Live podcast on addressing student stop out:

1. Breaking Down Barriers: Balancing Priorities In Student Life

Students face many barriers to continued attendance including those that are systemic, structural, institutional. But many barriers are also individual - mental health, students juggling multiple responsibilities such as work or caring for family. It is ok for students to not be able to prioritize being a student as the #1 thing in their lives.

2. Pathways of Possibility: Welcoming Students Back To The Journey Of Degree Completion

Institutions need to craft clear pathways to returning to complete degrees so that students can easily and simply re-enroll to finish academic programs. Our messaging needs to remind students that they are always welcome at our institutions.

3. Breaking Free From Timelines: Challenging Stigmas In Higher Education

Why do we have the expectation that a 2 year degree is done in 2 years and a 4 year degree in 4 years? 11% of First Generation Low Income (FGLI) students graduate in 6 years. Why does higher education continue to support the stigma attached to not completing degrees in two or four years?

4. Amplifying Student Voices: Empowering Collaboration In Policy Making

We need to very intentionally listen to our students. One of our pitfalls as institutions is that we do not ask our students to help craft policies and procedures that could better support students from stopping out.

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By Meg Foster
Online Learning & Design Specialist - Consultant


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