As many as two million students could earn associate degrees through “reverse transfer,” with help from the National Student Clearinghouse. Using a Lumina grant, the Clearinghouse will design an automated system to identify students who’ve earned enough credits for a two-year degree.
Seventy-eight percent of students who transfer from community college to a four-year institution leave before completing an associate degree, according to a Lumina study. Some drop out before completing a bachelor’s degree but earn enough credits for an associate degree.
Reverse transfer of credits back to the two-year school allow students to earn a credential. It also boosts the community college’s completion rate.
Texas, Missouri, Ohio, and Tennessee have developed programs to encourage reverse transfer of credits. Others are expected to follow suit.
For its Reverse Transfer project, the Clearinghouse is creating a standardized, streamlined, and technologically enhanced process to assist four- and two-year institutions in transferring student credits more efficiently, securely, and successfully. There will be no fees for the service.
. . . four-year institutions will send academic data files to the Clearinghouse whenever a student who has provided consent reaches a specified number of credit hours, thus indicating his or her possible eligibility for an associate degree.
. . . Two-year institutions can download all records from all four-year institutions to which their students have transferred, for consideration of a reverse transfer degree.
The Clearinghouse is working with institutions in Missouri, Texas, and Wisconsin on the first stages of the project.