University of Memphis helps students re-enroll to finish their degrees

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Twenty-eight-year-old Camilla Harris knows life can get in the way of finishing college. It did for her back in 2006.

“I had to help my grandma take care of my little sister and it prolonged my schooling,” Harris said.

Now the mother of a 3-year-old is ready to finish what she started and get her degree in accounting.

“Not a lot of jobs opportunities out there that will make your life successful, just minimum wage jobs, and we are trying to do something better,” Harris said.

The University of Memphis’ Finish Line program is targeting previous students with at least 90 credit hours at U of M, but who abandoned their college dreams. Since last October, 45 re-enrolled and finished their degrees.

“It’s not always easy once you have left the university to find your way back. We felt it was important to have this coach walk alongside the student. and help them complete any paper work and steps needed,” says Tracy Robinson, project director of The Finish Line Program.

There are also scholarships available, but students have to meet the qualifications. If they do, The Finish Line can be their lifeline to better jobs, better pay, and a better future.

“Many students have told us they are passed over for promotions many times because they may have the experience, but they don’t have the degree,” Robinson said.

“A college degree is very important to being successful in life. You can’t get nowhere with a high school diploma,” Harris added.

The Workforce Investment Network or WIN also partners with community colleges to get students trained for specific jobs companies have to fill.

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