Former Students May Have Earned a Degree and Not Know It

By Chris Hassan
Posted November 14, 2012 01:00 PM

Some people have earned degrees without knowing.
Some people have earned degrees without knowing.
There are people looking for work with nothing more than a high school diploma, wishing they had completed a higher level of education. But if they spent time taking courses at a community college, these individuals may already have an associate's degree and not even know it.

This is the case with many individuals who were enrolled at Florida community colleges, as a number of these institutions are reviewing their records to find former students who completed their program requirements but never received their degree, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

Valencia College is one school that identifies about 60 students a semester who should have earned their associate's degree. The students never received their credential because they failed to turn in the paperwork required for graduation. Overall, Valencia's efforts have helped the institution raise its fall graduation rate by 18% since it began this process three years ago.

This type of measure can only help Florida increase its number of bachelor's degree holders in the years ahead - which is one of the state's goals. According to recent research from the Board of Governors' Commission on Florida Higher Education Access and Degree Attainment, Florida must provide students with 90,000 bachelor's degrees by 2025 in order to keep the state's economy strong.

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