Lone Star College is into reverse transfer is a big way, but most everything is big in Texas. Lone Star College serves more than 95,000 students in a service area that’s 1,400 square miles. Jamie Posey, Associate Vice Chancellor for the Office of Completion and Connie Garrick, Systems Director Records & Enrollment Services/Registrar, for Lone Star College shared their challenges and successes at the 2016 AACRAO Tech & Transfer Conference in Anaheim, CA.
In the past, many thought of reverse transfer as a student who started at a four-year institution and then transferred to a two-year institution. As many institutions have begun to focus on credential completion, reverse transfer has been redefined to mean a student who transfers to a four-year institution prior to earning an associate degree at the community college then transfers university credit back to the community college to complete an associate degree while still pursuing the baccalaureate.
Lone Star successfully established partnerships with area universities to which their students transferred. The volume of transcripts they received for potential reverse transfer graduates was overwhelming. They quickly learned that central support was needed to supplement the transcript evaluation efforts of their regional campuses.
Another challenge was a lack of best practices. Posey and Garrick suggested the following:
· Develop a system in the institutions ERP system to quickly identify reverse transfer records.
· Establish good communication between your institution and your four-year partners.
· Establish preferred methods of transcript receipt.
· Gain buy-in from all involved.
· Training, training, training.
· Have measureable data.
Although Lone Star is approaching 2000 reverse transfer degrees awarded, they still have challenges. They continue to work on staff to adequately support their efforts and to refine their best practices. Working out timing with their partner institutions on transcript delivery is another challenge. Transcripts arrive throughout the year and are held until they can be addressed. Outdated student contact information is a challenge as well.
Buy-in from the campuses is critical. Through training, Lone Star is working to improve the consistency of business practices related to reverse transfer across all their institutions. Campuses are setting completion goals as part of their institutional effectiveness plans which helps to highlight the importance of reverse transfer.
Through solid partnerships with four-year institutions and a vision for student completion, Lone Star College has rolled out a successful and growing reverse transfer program. It’s not without challenges, but they have overcome, worked around, or are still addressing those for the success of their students.
Download handouts from the Sunday afternoon (2:15 p.m.) session here.