Many students who transferred from a Tennessee community college to pursue a bachelor’s degree may be eligible to retroactively receive the associate degree they started through the state’s new reverse transfer program.
Of the 606 eligible students at UTC, 149 opted in to pursue an associate’s degree.
More than 7,500 students currently enrolled at participating public and private four-year schools across the state were notified in August of their potential eligibility and invited to sign up for a free degree audit. About 23 percent or 1,755 opted in this semester and will be told in December if the courses they’ve completed meet graduation requirements for a two-year degree.
Tennessee Reverse Transfer is a unique partnership involving the state’s public and private higher education systems and investments totaling almost $700,000 from the state and Lumina Foundation, an Indianapolis-based independent, private foundation committed to increasing the proportion of Americans with high-quality degrees, certificates and other credentials.
The program also signifies a shared commitment to helping more Tennesseans earn college degrees and aligns with the state’s Drive to 55 initiative. Currently, only 33 percent of Tennesseans have certificates or degrees beyond high school, and studies show that by 2025, that number must be 55 percent to meet workforce demands.
Reverse Transfer rolled out across the state during the spring 2015 semester at 14 participating two- and four-year schools. Even in partial implementation, 341 reverse transfer degrees were awarded in June.
Fourteen more colleges and universities came on board in August. To date, 28 schools are participating in the program—making Tennessee one of a handful of states in the country creating reverse transfer programs on this scale.
Eligible transfer students are identified and notified each semester. Students who opt in but do not meet requirements are told the courses they lack and contacted again the next semester.
Criteria for eligibility:
- Currently enrolled at a participating public or private four-year Tennessee school
- Have earned a minimum of 15 college-level credits from a Tennessee community college
- Transferred from a Tennessee community college before earning an associate degree
- Completed a combined total of 60 college-level credits post-transfer
An associate degree is seen as a valuable job-seeking credential for undergraduate students working their way through college.
More information about the program is available at www.tnreversetransfer.org, and questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students who transferred to UTC from the following community colleges may be eligible.
Community Colleges Currently Participating:
- Chattanooga State Community College
- Cleveland State Community College
- Columbia State Community College
- Dyersburg State Community College
- Jackson State Community College
- Motlow State Community College
- Nashville State Community College
- Northeast State Community College
- Pellissippi State Community College
- Roane State Community College
- Southwest Tennessee Community College
- Vol State Community College
- Walters State Community College
About Tennessee Reverse Transfer:
In July 2012, the UT System convened and charged a statewide taskforce with creating a reverse transfer process, at the recommendation of the Legislature. In 2013, the governor’s budget included a one-time, $300,000 appropriation to partially underwrite start-up costs.
In 2014, Lumina Foundation awarded the UT System a $392,800 grant to further facilitate and accelerate creation of a reverse transfer process. Grant funding from Lumina’s “Credit When It’s Due” program was awarded to a total of 15 recipients, including the partnership involving public and private Tennessee higher education institutions.