Alison Bell appointed director of IUPUI degree completion office

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Associate Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education Kathy E. Johnson has announced the appointment of Alison Bell as the director of IUPUI’s degree completion office, effective October 20. This is a new position created as part of IUPUI’s Division of Undergraduate Education and aligned with IUPUI strategic planning priorities related to supporting adult learners with some college credit but no degree in their goals for degree completion and career advancement. 

IUPUI launched the degree completion office in July, 2014 in order to support the recruitment of adult learners into a selected array of 15 high-quality degree programs that align with students’ personal and professional goals. The office will provide a holistic array of support services (admissions, academic and career advising, coaching, peer mentoring, and internship/job search) through a wrap-around service model, as well as advocate for evidence-based credit, innovative academic practices and flexible scheduling approaches that accelerate adult learners’ progress toward their degree goals. As director, Bell will be responsible for supervising academic and career advising staff and developing capacity for providing quality service, communication, and support to all adult degree completers. Bell will report to Dr. Cathy Buyarski, Executive Director of Student Success Initiatives in the Division of Undergraduate Education, and will work closely with the Division of Enrollment Management as well as those academic schools providing online and hybrid degrees targeted for accelerated degree completion. 

“Alison’s extensive professional experiences, as well as her astute grasp of the complex issues related to adult learner’s success in higher education, make her an ideal candidate for this position.” Buyarski said. “Her knowledge of adult student development coupled with her effective leadership and communication skills will ensure that our degree completion office attracts and retains adult learners from Indiana and beyond.”

"I am delighted to have this opportunity,” Bell said. “I have committed much of my professional life to the mission of helping adults succeed through education. I am honored to bring my passion and focus back home to IUPUI. I am excited about the impact our team will have by offering academic programs and student support to adult learners. IUPUI offers an incredible range of high-quality degree and certificate programs, coupled with opportunities to engage with internships and service learning to further enhance adults’ competitiveness in the workplace and I am energized to be a part of that. ”

Bell served as Assistant Director of Career Counseling Services at IUPUI from 2001 through 2007. She then served as a career management consultant, providing individualized coaching and career management to adults transitioning to new jobs through Right Management, a division of Manpower Group. Since 2010, Bell has served as General Manager of Operations for Western Governors University in Indiana, during which time she has led local operations and coordinated the recruitment and training of new employees. Bell holds a BA in psychology from Indiana University and an MA in Student Personnel Administration in Higher Education from Ball State University.