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August 30, 2010 4:31 PM A Very Small Win

By Daniel Luzer

There’s a new program to help people who don’t quite have a diploma take that extra step to finally get a degree. According to an article by Patrick Boyle in Youth Today:

A new project announced [last week] seeks to boost the number of college degrees awarded in the United States by finding people who earned enough credits for an associate’s degree but didn’t get one, and giving it to them.
Doing that nationwide could increase the number of associate’s degrees by 12 percent, says the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP).

This project is part of a deliberate attempt to increase the number of people with college degrees, to help fulfill President Obama’s goal of making the world leader in the proportion of the population who are college graduates by 2020.

Technical fulfillment of obscure distribution requirements is probably not really what the Obama administration had in mind. This initiative, called Project Win-Win, seems to be based on the idea once one picks up a college diploma, suddenly the doors magically open up and there are all sorts of job opportunities available. This isn’t really true.

If you’re just a few credits short of an associate diploma—or you’ve already earned enough credits but just didn’t bother to pick up the piece of paper—realistically you already have one. Getting the diploma isn’t going to change things much.

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer