By: Michele Thornal

Reverse Transfer Realizes the Value of an Associate Degree

Students who obtain a college degree have a competitive advantage in the workforce. And, those who are awarded their associate’s through reverse transfer are more likely to persist and graduate with their baccalaureate. According to a report released by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, 60% of jobs by 2018 will require a higher education credential. Completion is a win-win for everyone.

Building or expanding reverse transfer programs with best practices requires close institutional collaboration on degree requirements and transfer credit equivalencies. In addition, everything from student identification and consent to maintaining FERPA compliance to degree audit and conferral must be taken into consideration during the design and implementation phases.

In an undertaking with so many moving parts and an ever-increasing volume of audits, how can we alleviate the resulting institutional workload burdens and reduce the need for manual and labor-intensive processes?

The State of Tennessee chose technology infrastructure with robust workflow tools that assimilate data from multiple student information systems and provide an automated simulated degree audit. Their solution optimizes reverse transfer policies and processes to ease administrative encumbrances and maximize institutional collaborations. Community colleges are better able to award Credit When It’s Due and advise students who are on the cusp of earning a degree. Opportunities for four-year institutions to improve partnerships with local two-year schools have opened. Finally, advancing degree completion rates has helped Tennessee gain an increased advantage as economies and the labor market statewide can employ a better educated workforce.

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