Adventures in ADP

School of Professional & Continuing Education (SPCE)


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This spring, the Adult Degree Program had its highest number of graduating students in the history of the program. Over 100 adult learners completed their bachelors’ degrees and had the opportunity to participate in university commencement ceremonies. Many of the graduates who attended commencement were visiting JMU’s campus for the very first time.

In order to honor the achievement of our graduates, the School of Continuing and Professional Education hosted a celebratory brunch, complete with a champagne toast, in the Hall of Presidents locate in the center of JMU’s campus. Graduates and their families received remarks from SPCE Dean Dr. Nick Swartz, and Director of the Adult Degree Program, Mr. Daniel Robinson, noting the diligence, effort and support that lead to their current and continued success.

During the brunch, ADP inducted its inaugural class of students into Alpha Sigma Lambda, the national honors society for adult students. Twenty-two students, representing the top 20% by GPA of the student body in the Adult Degree Program were awarded this honor. The graduates attending the brunch received a certificate of induction, and cords to be worn with academic regalia to symbolize this honor. The Honorable Richard Bell, 1989 alumnus of ADP, former VA State Delegate, and current member of JMU’s Board of Visitors was presented with an honorary membership into ASL, recognizing his outstanding achievement and consistent support for the program.


In February, the Adult Degree Program was asked to give a presentation on the work we do and students we serve to the Academic Excellence Committee of Board of Visitors. The JMU Board of Visitors is the governing body that oversees the operation of the university on behalf of the state of Virginia. Members of the board are leaders from various sectors across the state, ranging from business, to law and education and are appointed by the governor to serve four-year terms. Board members also serve on special committees as part of their service.

The Academic Excellence Committee is a group the works with the division of Academic Affairs at JMU and makes recommendations to the full board regarding change in curriculum and faculty, staff and student needs and concerns as they relate to academics.

During this presentation, SPCE Dean Nick Swartz gave an overview of School and how the Adult Degree Program fits into the full SPCE portfolio. ADP Director and Academic Unit Head Daniel Robinson gave an overview of the program, our student body and strategic vision. Members also heard from ADP alumnus Donna Garber, and current student Pam Sloan on their experiences as students, and in Garber’s case, graduate of the program. Both students gave eloquent remarks on the broad impact the program has had on their lives and the direct takeaways of their academic work.

During the question-and-answer period, members of the Board focused on the student panelists, drawing attention to the unique dedication and perseverance it takes to complete a bachelors degree as an adult learning. Board members were also clear in their admiration and support for adult learning at JMU.

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Published: Saturday, August 26, 2023

Last Updated: Friday, June 14, 2024

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