HELENA — Individuals who attended college but weren’t able to complete their degree for any number of reasons have a new path towards getting a degree with Helena College.
The Montana Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) is partnering with Helena College for the Become an Alum (BAA) program. The state program aims to help former students of any college, university or certification program who left school before attaining a degree or credential and help them return to college.
“It’s a really exciting way for people who started their college education and for whatever reason weren’t able to complete,” said Helena College Dean/CEO Dr. Sandra Bauman. “They’re able to take advantage of some additional support and services provided by Job Service in order to look at coming back to college in order to finish their degree.”
Depending on the need and available resources, assistance may be available with the cost of books, supplies, tools or other fees associated with finishing a degree.
Job Service Helena staff have begun engaging in outreach and re-enrollment activities to link with potential students. Over 1,150 former students have been contacted and provided with information on how the program can help them finish their degree.
The BAA program can also help individuals find a new career path suited to available employment in the area.
“Job Service has worked with Helena College for a long time and both of us have been in touch with the employer community to see what kind of skills and what kind of education are our employers looking for,” said Job Service Helena Manager Carol Rule. “Someone participating in the become and Alum program would have a designated person to work with. An individual to be there for them and guide them through the process with our partners at Helena College.”
The programs available at Helena College range from nursing to finance to industrial and trade like welding and diesel technology.
Bauman says admissions staff can also help with transferring students get applicable credits for courses already taken at other institutions.
Helena College also offers various online classes and flexible scheduling to assist non-traditional students and working professionals as they finish their degrees. The college recognizes that it is common for students to have a job, family, or other responsibilities as they attend college part-time and complete a degree at their own pace.
A degree in higher education can be a powerful tool in changing the economic situation of an individual and their family. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics an associates or bachelor degree can increase the earning potential of an individual by hundreds of dollars each week. A degree can also help shrink the number of competitors in your job market.
The first enrollees of BAA for Helena College are expected to start classes at with the upcoming spring semester on January 25. The spring semester application deadline is Friday, January 15.