(Editor’s note: This news was originally shared by the West Virginia Community and Technical College System)
West Virginia community college students who transfer to West Virginia University before earning their associate degrees can now receive their credentials retroactively, thanks to a new partnership between the institution, the West Virginia Community and Technical College System (WVCTCS) and the National Student Clearinghouse.
The partnership, which uses the Clearinghouse’s Reverse Transfer Service, is focused on boosting college completion rates across West Virginia.
“Seeing more of our students earn postsecondary degrees is always our leading goal,” Dr. Sarah Tucker, WVCTCS Chancellor, said. “Through the reverse transfer process, we can give students the two-year credentials they’ve earned, while they continue pursuing a four-year degree. We’re proud to partner with WVU to make this possible, and to put even more of our students on track to strong and rewarding careers.”
"WVU is privileged to work with our state’s two-year institutions to provide earned credentials to our state’s students," said Paul Krieder, vice provost for academic strategies, curriculum and assessment. "This partnership solidifies a process of awarding degrees to students who have completed courses at WVU that can fulfill degree requirements where they began. That is important to the students, their earning potential, and will ultimately help the economy of the state of West Virginia.”
Under the agreement if a student goes to a community college, but transfers to WVU before earning an associate degree, the credits earned at WVU can be transferred back to the community technical college and the student will then have earn an associate degree while working toward a four-year one.
“The Clearinghouse is excited to work with the West Virginia Community and Technical College System to help more West Virginians be successful and earn a degree via reverse transfer,” said Michelle Blackwell, National Manager of Reverse Transfer at the Clearinghouse. “The Clearinghouse’s Reverse Transfer service supports eligible students’ ability to earn an associate degree and, thereby, enhance their employment opportunities and make more money. Studies show that completing an associate degree yields on average $4,640 to $7,160 per annum in extra earnings compared to entering college, but not finishing."
A memorandum of understanding between West Virginia’s nine community and technical colleges, WVU and the Higher Education Policy Commission paves the way for students who have transferred to WVU to begin the process of seeing if they’re eligible. To participate, students must agree to have their WVU transcripts sent back to their community colleges, which will determine whether the students’ university courses have met requirements for degrees or other credentials.
Students who are in good standing with their community college will be eligible for reverse transfer when they have earned at least 16 semester credit hours from the community college and at least three semester credit hours from WVU.
All of West Virginia’s community and technical colleges are participating: BridgeValley CTC, Blue Ridge CTC, Eastern WV CTC, Mountwest CTC, New River CTC, Pierpont CTC, Southern WV CTC, WV Northern Community College, and WVU at Parkersburg.
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