Reverse Transfer Project Seeks to Increase Associate Degrees

The National Student Clearinghouse was awarded a Lumina Foundation grant for a project that will offer the first national automated system for exchanging reverse transfer student data, reports The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Reverse transfer of credits occurs when a four-year institution transfers student credits back to any two-year institution from which a student has transferred. It does not matter if the student transferred to another associate degree granting institution first or a bachelor's level institution, attended public or private institutions, or transferred across state, the Clearinghouse noted in a press release. If eligible, the student is then awarded an associate's degree.

According to the Lumina Foundation, 78 percent of students transfer from a community college to a four-year institution without a degree. Lumina seeks to encourage partnerships between community colleges and universities and expand programs that award associate's degrees to transfer students who meet requirements for the associate degree while pursuing a bachelor's, according to the Clearinghouse press release.

The Clearinghouse will begin the project working with colleges in Missouri, Texas, and Wisconsin. During the initial phase, four-year schools will send academic data files to the Clearinghouse whenever a student who has provided consent reaches a specific number of credit hours. The Clearinghouse then notifies appropriate two-year institutions that the record is available for downloading. The two-year schools can then consider offering a reverse transfer degree.

The project will be presented at the 2014 AACRAO Strategic Enrollment Management Conference in Los Angeles on Oct. 28.


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The Chronicle of Higher Education