American Council on Education Unveils Alternative Credit Project Course Pool

UofM Participating in Initiative to Help Nontraditional Learners Earn College Degrees

October 21, 2015 - The American Council on Education (ACE) today announced the pool of courses selected as part of ACE's Alternative Credit Project,™ a groundbreaking initiative to boost the ability of millions of nontraditional learners to gain a college degree.

The 111 low- or no-cost, lower-division general education online courses were submitted by a group of non-accredited course providers chosen to participate in the Alternative Credit Project. The University of Memphis, along with the 39 other colleges, universities and systems taking part in the project, has agreed to grant credit for a large number of these courses, which include disciplines such as business, critical thinking and writing, foreign language, humanities, mathematics and natural and physical sciences.

"We are proud to be the only institution in the state of Tennessee selected for participation in this project," said UofM Provost Karen Weddle-West. "The University's involvement illustrates our commitment to improving access, affordability and accelerated adult student degree completion as part of the Governor's Drive to 55 initiative."

Dr. Richard Irwin, vice provost for Academic Innovation and Student Support, added, "Participation in this project significantly enhances our ability to serve the large volume of returning adult students who left the University for a host of non-academic reasons, including financial challenges and family obligations."

"This is an important step for an initiative that already has significantly increased our body of knowledge about the most effective ways to increase the number of Americans able to earn a college degree or credential by using education, training and life experiences gained outside a formal classroom," said ACE President Molly Corbett Broad.

ACE will be collecting anonymized data from the UofM and the other participating institutions regarding the number of credits each institution accepts through this project as well as progress and success rates of students who transfer in consortium-approved courses. The project is made possible by a $1.89 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

About ACE

Founded in 1918, ACE is the major coordinating body for all the nation's higher education institutions, representing more than 1,600 college and university presidents and related associations. It provides leadership on key higher education issues and influences public policy through advocacy. For more information, please visit www.acenet.edu or follow ACE on Twitter @ACEducation.

Contact: Jon Riskind


Gabrielle Maxey