POSTED: Friday, June 22, 2012 - 4:00am
UPDATED: Friday, June 22, 2012 - 4:04am
New Orleans, LA — With nearly 5000 students who have left the University without completing their degrees, Southern University at New Orleans is reaching out to those former students with “Operation Callback”. The initiative is designed to bring students back into the classroom and ease the transition from the workforce back into the classroom.
“The face of the college student is changing,” said Chancellor Victor Ukpolo. “Just 40 percent of students nationwide receive their degrees within six years and 45 percent of students at the University level are working at least 20 hours per week. In many occasions these students are faced with a choice between working and their education and they are choosing to work. It is our job to help them be able to do both so that they are given greater career options and in turn have an increased opportunity to improve their lives. We want them to come home to SUNO and this program can help make that possible.”
Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs David Adegboye added, “Our mission with ‘Operation Callback’ is to communicate very clearly the importance of completing a degree program. We have to provide that push so that these former students feel welcome and supported in completing their educations. Once they are able to visualize a path to a diploma they can also envision how to find a career that they will feel passionate about. SUNO is also able to accommodate different schedules to make resuming an education easier with evening and online classes. It is not too late to come back to school.”
National data shows that a college diploma has become increasingly more valuable. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median annual income for those with bachelor’s degrees is nearly twice that of high school graduates. Those with only a high school diploma were also twice as likely to be unemployed.
This past weekend, SUNO sent out thousands of postcards to those students encouraging them to contact the University. It is also following up with an extensive phone banking effort. University officials have committed to making this an ongoing effort.