A degree must be more than a credential; it must represent an educational milestone. Without more underserved students completing college, demands for “quality” are elitist. Without quality, defined as meaningful educational attainment through high-impact practices, “completion” is empty.
Through the Dual Degree Program (DDP), Governors State University partners with eight local community colleges.
The university provides substantial financial incentives for community college students to attend full-time, requires that students achieve the associate’s degree before transferring, and promotes a sense of community among DDP students and with the faculty and staff at both the community college and university. . . .
Instead of wandering through incoherent courses, DDP students learn more and spend less on their way to a quality degree, Maimon writes.
“The completion agenda is steaming ahead without setting either goals or markers for educational quality,” writes Carol Geary Schneider, president of the Association of American Colleges & Universities in Liberal Education. “When we create incentive systems for enhanced degree production, with no questions asked about the sufficiency of learning, the door is literally wide open to choices that deplete rather than build educational quality.”