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In celebration of 50 years of Adult Education, Upper Iowa is proudly recognizing the accomplishments and achievements of alumni who have graduated from the Self-Paced, Online, or Center learning experiences, all of which stemmed from the original Coordinated Off-Campus Degree Program, launched in 1973. New stories will be added to this page, UIU.EDU/50years.

About Upper Iowa’s Self-Paced Program

The Self-Paced degree program, designed in 1973 to provide educational opportunities to working adults wanting to earn a bachelor’s degree, has helped nearly 3,500 UIU alumni achieve their educational goals during its 50-year span. The program also created a blueprint for UIU’s foray into other expansions in adult- focused education.


James F. Odle ’80

James F. Odle graduated from UIU's Self-paced program in June 1980. Jim was made aware of this program by a co-worker while he served in a civilian capacity for the Air Force at Ramstein Air Base in Germany. He had previously earned an Associate Degree at Weber College, Ogden, Utah…

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Phil Matthews ’83

Phil Matthews ’83 looks back with pride at a journey that took him from being born a “poor country boy” in Durham, North Carolina to a nearly 40-year career with stops around the world in the early days of the modern telecommunications industry. Matthews began his long career with General Telephone…

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Merlin Sebastian ’76

After eight years toiling in the “computer room” at John Deere’s Quad Cities location, Merlin Sebastian ’76 knew that a college degree would be necessary to reach his goal of working in the company’s systems department. Originally from Postville, Sebastian was aware of Upper Iowa and took classes via UIU’s…

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