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2016 November 24 - 06:14 am

New Transfer Rule Enacted For Alabama Colleges

Reverse Transfer Seen as Boost to Graduation Rates

OPELIKA, Ala. (AP) — Alabama students who attend two-year colleges with plans to transfer to a fouryear school will now be able to “reverse transfer” their four-year college credits toward an associate degree from the two-year school.

Every public university and Huntington College signed an agreement with the Alabama Community College System setting up a state-wide reverse transfer system.

Southern Union Community College has already set up similar agreements with Auburn University and others universities that see a high rate of transfer from the community college, according to Southern Union Interim President Glenda Colagross.

“Now this puts a state-wide emphasis on it, so we’ll be able to do it with any college,” Colagross said.

The Alabama Community College System also signed an agreement with the National Student Clearinghouse so transfer credits can be verified automatically, and two-year schools can notify students that they are eligible to receive an associate degree.

“A lot of our students that come to us and they’re in the transfer program,” Colagross said. “They come to us with one goal in mind, and that’s to transfer.”

Students will often transfer to a four-year school before earning all the credits required for an associate degree, which lowers graduation rates for the community college, Colagross said.

“This will be a way to quickly identify them electronically and award those degrees,” Colagross said.

Jimmy Baker, acting chancellor of the Alabama Community College System, praised the leadership of all of the universities involved in the agreement.

“In the state of Alabama, we desperately, desperately need strong leadership,” Baker said during the announcement of the agreement. “This is a room full of people that is providing that kind of leadership in this state in the activity of providing education. Education in most any form is going to be a plus.”

Colagross said research shows when transfer students who receive an associate degree through a reverse transfer are 10 percent more likely to complete their bachelor’s degree.

“(The students) know that the schools care about them,” Colagross said.

Students wanting to use a reverse transfer to obtain an associate degree must have earned at least 25 percent of the credits they need for a degree from a community college and have earned at least three semester hours from a four-year school that goes toward the associate degree they are seeking.

“This agreement exemplifies the way that Alabama’s education institutions can work together for the greater good,” Sen. Gerald Dial said in a press release about the agreement.

Information from: Opelika- Auburn News, http://www. oanow.com/

Also from JIM COOK, The Dothan Eagle

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