Increasing Degree Pathways for Stop-Out Students Webcast Recording



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Many stop-out programs settle for offering a limited number of degrees and little flexibility concerning the timelines for degree completion. The leadership at the University of Memphis reached higher, building a comprehensive, decentralized program that offers returning students more degree options that can be attained more quickly.

Join us in an online training to learn more about the University of Memphis’ premier stop-out program, including the steps, challenges, and opportunities addressed throughout its development. You will leave with tips on:

  • Building an entrepreneurial culture for degree completion
  • Establishing defined roles and responsibilities
  • Strengthening partnership to develop credit granting options
  • Securing required resources

Who Should Attend

Academic and adult education program leadership charged with more effectively addressing returning adult students will benefit from this online training by learning a comprehensive approach to improved collaboration and expansion in stop-out programs.

Learning Outcome

After participating in this online training, you will be able to improve your stop out programming by partnering with various academic units.


  • Introduction of University of Memphis Finish Line Program
  • Building an institutional culture for engaging stop-out students
  • Establishing role of academic personnel
    • Deans and department chairs
    • Faculty
    • Advisors
  • Partnering to develop credit options
    • Prior learning assessment
    • Credit for experiential learning
    • Evaluating independent study options
    • Utilizing credit by exam
  • Securing resources
  • Steps to launching pilot projects
  • Evaluation and improvement


Dr. Richard Irwin, Interim Vice Provost, Academic Innovation and Support Services, University of Memphis

Dr. Irwin was recently appointed to his current position after serving as associate dean for University College since 2010. In his previous capacity Dr. Irwin was responsible for reinvigorating a number of prior learning assessment (PLA) functions—most notably the college’s experiential learning credit program. As interim vice provost, one of Dr. Irwin’s major responsibilities is to oversee the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning which provides support for faculty and students on experiential and prior learning.

In 2011, he was awarded a three-year Access and Diversity Grant from the Tennessee Board of Regents to support the program redesign of the institution’s prior learning assessment program targeting returning adult students. Dr. Irwin was also appointed to represent the University on the Tennessee Higher Education Commission’s Prior Learning Assessment Task Force, a statewide initiative to enhance PLA usage across Tennessee’s higher education systems. He also chaired the university’s Competency-Based Education Task Force.


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