North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU) is developing a project that will lead to an increase in associate degrees awarded in North Carolina. NCICU has received a $30,000 grant from the Council of Independent Colleges, matched by $25,000 from the Lumina Foundation, and $5,000 from the reserve fund of the State Board of Community Colleges, for a total of $60,000 to implement a Reverse Transfer program.
Reverse Transfer is the transfer of credits from a four-year institution to a two-year institution from which a student transferred. If eligible, the student is awarded an associate degree. Often students at a two-year college transfer to a 4-year institution before graduating, but once they have taken the remaining required courses at the four-year institution, with this program, they can be awarded the associate degree by the two-year institution.
“The Reverse Transfer program will enable more students to earn associate degrees, thus making progress toward the state’s education attainment goal,” said NCICU President Hope Williams. “The program also will increase graduation rates at the two-year institutions and will provide incentives for the students to continue toward their bachelor’s degree.”
The grant will be used to make changes to student information systems so NCICU campuses can report course progress to the National Student Clearinghouse. When the student has completed enough courses to receive an associate degree, the Clearinghouse will notify the two-year college from which the student transferred, and the student can be awarded the degree.
“Students will benefit from the reverse transfer of credits, which will allow them to achieve the milestone of an associate degree on their way to a four-year degree,” said Peter Hans, president of the NC Community College System. “Having this credential can mean better career opportunities for students, and we’re pleased to join with the North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities in this important work. We believe the initiative will build momentum toward North Carolina’s myFutureNC educational attainment goal.”
Representatives from the National Student Clearinghouse recently discussed the Reverse Transfer program with NCICU Registrars and Information Technology directors at a meeting held at MCNC in the Research Triangle Park.