A broad range of Tennessee institutions -- two-year and four-year, public and private -- are collaborating on a new "reverse transfer" program designed to allow students to receive associate degrees from their two-year college after they transfer to a four-year institution. A $400,000 grant from the Lumina Foundation will fund the program.
Each year, officials from the coalition of institutions said, about 2,300 of the students who transfer from Tennessee’s community colleges to four-year institutions are within 15 credit hours of the required 60 for an associate degree. The new online system will centralize transfer students’ academic histories, while mapping out an optional completion path toward obtaining the associate degree.
“We’re on the forefront of this technology, said Joe DiPietro, president of the University of Tennessee System. “We know that students who are awarded their associate’s degree while attending a four-year institution are more likely to receive their bachelor’s degree.”
The system, which doesn’t have a formal name yet, will let transfer students know when they have finished the associate degree requirements. As of now, nine public universities, 13 community colleges and eight private institutions are participating in this partnership. DiPietro said he expects the system to fully launch by spring of 2015.