Opportunities to learn and excel shouldn’t be limited by age, income, distance, or any other factor that can adversely influence the trajectory of an individual’s personal and career ambitions. That’s why the College of Arts and Sciences and Continuing and Distance Education at the University of Vermont have combined efforts to launch a new Online Degree Completion program. Starting this fall, students will have access to a 60-credit online degree program that provides a flexible, affordable and convenient pathway to a B.A. with a major in Anthropology and a minor in English or Writing. 

“We decided to start this online degree completion program for a few reasons,” said Bill Falls, Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. “One of which is to provide access to students throughout the region who have some fraction of a bachelor’s degree and for whatever reason, have not been able to complete their degree. So, providing a degree completion program gives those students access to this flagship institution and our outstanding faculty. They can complete their degree and advance in their careers.”

With access at the forefront of its design, UVM’s Online Degree Completion program provides a solution to the strong demand for skilled and educated college graduates needed to enter the workforce in a virtually countless variety of occupations and workplaces, while allowing participants to balance the demands of work, family and education.

“Whether you’ve been out of school for two years or 20, a degree completion program—especially one with the flexibility that online learning affords—can be the catalyst to career advancement and improved earnings,” said Cynthia Belliveau, Dean of Continuing and Distance Education at UVM. “This program is structured for working adults who didn’t manage to complete their degree but understand how valuable this educational credential can be to their future.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers with some college but no degree average only slightly more income per week ($62) than those with a high school diploma. College graduates make an average of $399 more per week than those workers who started but did not complete their undergraduate degree, or nearly $21,000 per year. The Chronicle of Higher Educationestimates this number to be much higher—$32,000 per year—a lifetime total of nearly $1.4 million. And this record-breaking earnings gap is only expected to increaseover time. 

“The real issue here is that we are providing access to a Bachelor’s Degree, and in that degree, students learn a host of skills that employers want,” explained Falls. “Things like critical thinking, written communication, teamwork, and cultural awareness. These are the things you can get from an Anthropology major as well as from the Bachelors of Art degree in general.”

The new Online Degree Completion program is ideal for students who were previously undergraduates at UVM but didn’t finish their degree, professionals with an associate degree, professionals with some Baccalaureate level college experience, veterans or active military, and community college students seeking a Bachelor’s Degree.

The first cohort of student applications is currently being accepted. Students can apply as a re-admitted UVM student or transfer student. Student advisors are standing by to support students through the process of finishing their degree. The fall semester begins on August 26. 




Nicole L’Huillier Fenton