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ADCP students in the classroom

DEGREE DREAMS: Dr. Tina Root, director of the Adult Degree Completion Program, works with nontraditional students to help them achieve their goal of earning a college degree.

BT-Current | Bell Tower Magazine | Business and IndustryFebruary 14, 2022

ADCP Recognized with Prestigious Award

Written By: Dr. Judith Hansen

In October, the UAFS Adult Degree Completion Program, Dr. Tina Root, Dr. Kristin Tardif, and Dr. Ken Warden earned the prestigious Malcolm Knowles Award for outstanding adult education program leadership.  

The Adult Degree Completion Program began in the fall of 2019 with 19 students. In fall 2021, more than 100 students participated in the ADCP program. The program was honored for its innovative and robust assessment process for portfolio assessment, granting of credit for prior learning, and dedication to student success. 

“Serving our non-traditional students in new and innovative ways is core to the mission of UA Fort Smith, and the Adult Degree Completion Program is one of the many ways UAFS works to improve our community,” said Dr. Ken Warden, associate vice chancellor for compliance and legislative affairs. “I’m very proud to be a part of the ADCP program and (to receive) the Malcolm Knowles Award. This national recognition highlights the great work of the university and demonstrates how UAFS is a premier institution of higher education.”

Dedicated resources for ADCP students include

  • An advisor who works with them from admission through graduation.
  • An introductory course that guides students through the portfolio process and prepares them for a return to college classes.
  • Access to special accelerated sections of major and general education courses to increase the speed of degree completion.
  • Courses offered online and during the evening with instructors who are experts in adult education.

Melanie Gage, senior vice president and private banking manager, said the degree program has been an excellent option for her.

“By receiving credit for prior learning, I am on track to complete my degree in two years,” Gage said. “Dr. Root and her team have been so supportive of me through this process, and it has been clear to me how invested they are in my success. I am certain the relationships we have built will continue long after (graduation). The experience has been amazing, and the program has already helped me achieve a new career milestone with a recent promotion.”

Since 2019, 19 students have completed the Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership. An additional 13 students have completed Associate of General Studies degrees.