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 Rogers Park Golf Course and the Hillborough River from above. - Julie Branaman
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USF, New College Pledge: Award More Degrees

The University of South Florida and New College of Florida are among just under 500 public colleges and universities across the nation pledging to raise the number of bachelor's degrees awarded by the year 2025.

Project Degree Completion, a joint program of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU), joins with the Lumina Foundation and other national organizations to increase the number of Americans with college degrees by 3.8 million, or to 60 percent of the U.S. adult population.

Among other things, the commitment pledges the institutions to reach out to students who took classes in the past but didn't finish their degree. A similar local effort began in March of this year as part of the Graduate Tampa Bay initiative led by the Tampa Bay Partnership.

"By signing on to Project Degree Completion, we publicly commit USF to doing its part to achieve these goals and add our collective voice to others calling for a renewed partnership between colleges and universities, states and federal government to restore 'best in the world' status to American higher education,'' says Dr. Paul Dosal, VP for student success at the University of South Florida.

The institutions signing the commitment also agreed to minimize expenses while making sure educational quality is enhanced, uphold quality student access, success and diversity, reduce the amount of time it takes to graduate and to support economic growth in the local regions including research and innovation. 

AASCU is highlighting innovative partnerships and programs on its website through initiatives such as the Innovations Exchange, an online forum for sharing information.

"New College of Florida is committed to providing students with a high quality, affordable, public liberal arts education which allows them to uniquely impact the world around them. The College has several initiatives underway to improve student success and thus help with the larger goal of reaching 60 percent degree attainment for the country,'' says Dr. Raymonda Burgman, associate provost for New College of Florida.

Writer: Megan Hendricks
Sources: Paul Dosal, USF; Raymonda Burgman, New College of Florida
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