Lumina Foundation, Kresge Foundation, Helios Education Foundation, USA Funds and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are collaborating to support partnerships of community colleges/universities that significantly scale-up approaches to awarding associate degrees to the many students who transfer from community colleges to universities before receiving the associates degree when students demonstrate the learning required for the degree. This is an approach commonly known as “reverse transfer” or “transfer back.” Scale-up efforts will be supported in 12 states from 10/1/2012—9/30/2014. Projects were selected from a competitive grant process.

Arkansas Association of Two-Year Colleges─Grant of $500,000

Purpose:
Implement a fully automated reverse transfer system.
Scale:
All 22 community colleges and 11 public universities.
Context:
67% of Arkansas’ community college transfers to public universities transfer without the associate degree.
Approach:
Reverse Transfer Steering Committee; web-based interactive reverse transfer credit tracking and reverse transfer notification application; statewide rules for transfer system (e.g., if both community college and 4-year institution confer associate degrees, institution where student has completed 51% of degree-eligible courses will confer degree automatically, marking degree on transcript after degree audit and notifying student about degree award); marketing campaign; train academic advisors and faculty at 2- and 4-year institutions in best practices in promoting/advising students on reverse transfer; student notification system; automatic award of degree on transcript.
Degrees:
Award 1,680 associate degrees through reverse transfer over 2-year grant.

Colorado Department of Higher Education─Grant of $450,000

Purpose:
Create the infrastructure and technological supports to permit necessary seamless reverse transfer processes to enable swift and permanent scale up to all institutions in the state.
Scale:
All 13 community colleges, 4 public universities, 2 local district colleges (67% of higher education institutions) in Year 1; 100% scale-up in Year 2.
Context:
45% of Colorado’s community college transfers to public universities transfer without the associate degree.
Approach:
Implement fully automatic reverse transfer degree process; advisor training; develop automatic trigger in data system to alert when student earns 70 cumulative credits; marketing campaign; reverse transfer guide; examine student learning outcomes; added focus on “stop-out” population from universities with 70+ credits; award degree via automatic process; which includes student approval, research on associate degree awards.
Degrees: 
Award 1,400 associate degrees through reverse transfer over 2-year grant.

The Florida College System Foundation─Grant of $495,000

Purpose:
Increase degree attainment of Florida students through associate degrees awarded via reverse transfer.
Scale:
Includes nine (9) Florida College System institutions and four (4) State University System institutions (includes Miami Dade College with Florida International University) in year 1. Seeking additional college and university participation in year 2.
Context:
21% of Florida College System students transfer to state universities without the associate degree.
Approach:
Universities identify enrolled transfer students at 60+ credit hour threshold and match students meeting criteria with educational records from prior enrollment within Florida College System; colleges identify students with 15+ credits prior to transfer to meet residency requirements, conduct associate degree audit to determine who in pool meets general education requirements and eligibility for degree, and automatically post associate degrees and reports to partner university plus state data system; communications/messaging  to students eligible to receive degree award and/or notification for auto-awarded associate degrees.
Degrees:
Award 2,000 associate degrees through reverse transfer over 2-year grant period.

University of Hawaii─Grant of $434,000

Purpose:
Improve the pilot reverse transfer system and scale up activities.
Scale:
All seven community colleges, three public universities, some private universities.
Context:
58% of Hawaii’s community college students transfer to public universities without an associate degree.
Approach:
Improve reverse transfer pilot screening process to ensure all qualified enrolled students are informed of reverse transfer eligibility, plus review transcripts of transfer students who recently left UH with enough applicable credits to gain associate degree through the reverse transfer option; systemize the reverse transfer process by addressing integrated needs at the student and academic affairs, and leadership levels for the 2- and 4-year institutions; expand reach of reverse transfer to private institutions; and convert optional reverse transfer system to automatic process.
Degrees:
Award 1,380 associate degrees through reverse transfer over 2-year grant.

Maryland Higher Education Commission─Grant of $500,000

Purpose:
Apply lessons learned from the reverse transfer pilot program, ADAPT (Associate Degree for Pre-Degree Transfer Students), to scale up to statewide reverse transfer associate degree program.
Scale:
All 16 community colleges, all 13 public universities, 50% of independent 4-year institutions
Context:
92% of Maryland’s community college transfers to public universities transfer without the associate degree.
Approach:
Policy development including reverse transfer to be inserted in new 2013 Strategic Plan; MOU for all institutions engaging in reverse transfer ; statewide communications to stakeholders; data collection to inform scale-up; subgrants to institutions to develop/enhance capacity to implement and standardize awarding reverse transfer degrees, especially through developing the capacity for participation in the state’s automated transcript review tool (ARTSYS@RT); develop a standardized student release process an prototype form to address transcript-related FERPA concerns.
Degrees:
Award associate degrees to 70% of eligible community college transfers via reverse transfer over 2-year grant.

Michigan Community College Association─Grant of $500,000

Purpose:
Statewide Reverse Transfer Consortium will implement consistent approaches to awarding associate degrees to students who transfer from community colleges to 4-year institutions without associate degree.
Scale:
All 28 community colleges and 15 public universities.
Context:
79% of Michigan’s community college transfers to public universities transfer without the associate degree.
Approach:
The Michigan Center for Student Success, which is housed within the Michigan Community College, will partner with the Presidents Council State Universities of Michigan to coordinate local/state-level activities; clearinghouse for reverse transfer best practices; marketing/communication materials for schools to use for student outreach; and develop state-level data reporting on reverse transfer.
Degrees:
Award 2,400 associate degrees through reverse transfer over 2-year grant.

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities─Grant of $500,000

Purpose:
Implement a systemwide approach to reverse transfer to award associate degrees to students who transfer from community colleges to four-year institutions with the intention of earning a bachelor’s degree.
Scale:
All 25 community colleges, 7 state universities in MnSCU initially participate; University of Minnesota joins 2013.
Context:
68% of students who transfer from community/ technical colleges to public 4-year universities within Minnesota State Colleges & Universities and University of Minnesota transfer without the associate degree.
Approach:
Institutions update information in Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS) to ensure all courses from system institutions are included; increase awareness/utilization of u.select, a student and staff tool for degree auditing and identification of course equivalencies; transfer specialists at community colleges/state universities work with reverse transfer students identified through system-level automated degree audit process on progress toward associate degree completion; institutions participate in creating centralized, streamlined process for automatic degree conferral consistent with system policy and procedures for associate degree.
Degrees:
Award reverse transfer associate degrees to 3,350—3,900 over 2-year grant.

Missouri Department of Higher Education─Grant of $500,000

Purpose:
Create integrated statewide system for reverse transfer (each 4-year public institution and participating independent institutions can transfer student credits back to any public 2-year institution).
Scale:
All 27 public institutions of higher education, 8 independent institutions.
Context:
Half of Missouri’s transfers from community colleges to 4-year universities transfer without the associate degree.
Approach:
Develop statewide technology and communication infrastructure and appropriate supporting policies; provide venue for institutions to share information regarding best practices and barriers to implementation; provide guidance and direction to focus institutions on collaboration and cooperation in support of HB 1042 (law to foster reverse transfer for any student who has earned sufficient credits to be awarded an associate degree, and create statewide core transfer library of at least 25 courses across all institutions that are transferrable among all public higher education institutions).
Degrees:
Award reverse transfer associate degrees to 1,960 students over 2-year grant.

The Research Foundation of State University of New York─Grant of $500,000

Scale:
All 64 SUNY institutions (30 are community colleges).
Context:
Traditional transfer students total nearly 10,000/ year from SUNY community colleges to universities, of which 59% transfer before receiving associate degree. In addition, approximately 11,000 transfer each year to community colleges from other SUNY community colleges or 4-year institutions—and 96% transfer without the associate degree.
Purpose:
Develop/implement a systematic reverse transfer program within all SUNY institutions in order to award degrees for students who have earned them.
Approach:
Implement DegreeWorks (state-of-the-art integrated degree audit system) to perform degree audits that compare students’ course and general education history to degree requirements for the transfer path programs at all campuses;  work with community colleges to ensure that course equivalencies with other colleges are recorded in local student information systems to allow them to be accessed by DegreeWorks software; use DegreeWorks and existing SUNY data to identify students enrolled at a SUNY university who transferred from  community college prior to earning associate degree;  provide community colleges information on students who meet reverse transfer criteria; community colleges determine if student has met graduation requirements; community colleges award eligible students the degree −if degree cannot be awarded, provides options to outline what additional steps might be necessary.
Degrees:
The program aims to award associate degrees to 5% of students who transfer vertically from community colleges to four year colleges, with another 35% of students given the opportunity to complete their degree.

University of North Carolina─Grant of $450,000

Purpose:
Make the transition from two-year to four-year institutions more seamless, reach the North Carolina Community College Sytem goal of doubling the number of postsecondary credential completers by 2020, and better serve transfer students by implementing a process to award postsecondary credentials with proven currency in the workplace.
Scale:
19 institutions (12 of NC’s 58 community colleges and 8 of NC’s 16 public universities). These universities enroll 78% of early transfers and community colleges send 60% of early transfers.
Context:
57.9% of North Carolina Community College transfer students transferred to public universities in this partnership without the associates degree.
Approach:
Planning/gap analysis to develop a shared technology solution (web-based automated degree audit system) for the community college/university systems ; develop technical tools to assist community colleges in accessing university transcript information and importing to degree audit software; beta-test technology solutions; expand university-to-college course crosswalks/degree map; revise Comprehensive Articulation Agreement to align changes in general education curriculum among all institutions; professional development/training; automatic notification process for students at university when degree requirements to be completed; eliminate community college graduation fee as condition to full scale-up of automatic degree conferral; annual report on reverse transfer for Board report on transfer student success.
Degrees:
Award 2,094 associate degrees through reverse transfer over 2-year grant (once scaled-up to all institutions post-grant, 4,400 associate degrees to be awarded per year).

Ohio Board of Regents─$500,000

Purpose:
Develop systematic approach for awarding associate degrees to reverse-transfer students and promote value of obtaining various completion credentials along education pathway (latter aligns with Success Roadmap which aims to develop systemic approaches to award interim credentials earned along the way to a bachelor’s degree).
Scale:
All 23 community colleges, all 13 public universities offering broad range of degrees, 5 regional campuses.
Context:
75% of 49,758 students enrolled in Ohio’s public universities after attending a community college transferred before receiving associate degree.
Approach:
Create/adapt data reports to generate pool of eligible students who meet reverse transfer criteria; staff training on the process and technology modifications; marketing strategy to encourage students to release transcripts and pursue reverse transfer degrees; universities send e-transcripts to community college via Articulation/Transfer Clearinghouse for routing to degree audit process; community colleges award degrees automatically to students who meet requirements; community colleges report awards through standard state reporting process; annual completion report for reverse transfer awards.
Degrees:
Award 1,300 associate degrees through reverse transfer over 2-year grant.

Oregon Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development─Grant of $450,000

Purpose:
Scale up approaches to awarding reverse-back associate degrees to students who transfer from community colleges without the associate degree when students demonstrate they have acquired the learning required for the associate degree at the university.
Scale:
10 of 17 community colleges, all 7 of public 4-year institutions.
Context:
70% of Oregon’s community college transfers to public universities transfer without the associate degree.
Approach:
Implement improvements in registrar procedures including updating and automating campus record systems to ensure the accuracy of coursework from all colleges; train advisors from partnered 2- and 4-year institutions to ensure consistent, effective delivery of information to students about elements/benefits of reverse transfer; provide orientations for transfer students regarding reverse transfer; examine student learning outcomes, persistence, and degree completion at the associate’s and bachelor’s levels through CWID and realted DQP project.
Degrees:
Award nearly 1,000 associate degrees through reverse transfer over 2-year grant.

Office of Community College Research & Leadership, University of Illinois—Urbana-Champaign─Contract of $610,000

Purpose:
Support research and impact assessment for CWID to include research on reverse transfer, development/dissemination of briefing papers, assistance in planning/conducting grantee learning community convenings to share best practices and policies, and facilitating communications
Categories: Grants | Tagged: ,

8 Responses to Credit When It’s Due: Recognizing the Value of Quality Associate degrees

  1. Community colleges to expand reverse transfer program : University … | The Colleges Place Blog says:

    [...] initiative, called Credit When It’s Due: Recognizing the Value of the Quality Associate Degree, is supported by five national foundations that have joined forces to encourage partnerships of [...]

  2. [...] The grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Helios Foundation, Kresge Foundation, Lumina Foundation, and USA Funds is a part of a multi-state, $6.4 million initiative, “Credit When It’s Due: Recognizing the Value of the Quality Associate Degree.” [...]

  3. [...] more information, visit Credit When It’s Due. JamesMore Posts – Website This entry was posted in Jacksonville News. Bookmark the permalink. [...]

  4. [...] Deadline 6/27/2012: “The Kresge Foundation and the Lumina Foundation have announced a new national grant program designed to help college students get credit and credentials for their coursework when they transfer to four-year institutions.” For more information, click here. [...]

  5. [...] notice, as have Complete College America and the Lumina Foundation, which recently announced a grant program to encourage reverse transfer at a larger scale. In the past, most successful reverse transfer [...]