SUNY grant enables ‘reverse transfer’

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The State University of New York has received a $500,000 grant for facilitating “reverse transfer,” a process that allows students who have transferred from a community college to a four-year school to transfer their credits back and obtain an associate’s degree.

“Reverse transfer” might come in handy for a student who transfers to a four-year university but is unable to finish a bachelor’s degree, or a student who is working toward a bachelor’s degree but would be able to obtain a better job in the interim with an associate’s degree.

The Lumina Foundation grant will to also support the installation of state-of-the-art software at all campuses that will help students and advisers with degree planning.

“We are deeply grateful to Lumina Foundation for its support of this important, ground-breaking initiative,” SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher said in a statement. “This project will give our students greater transfer opportunities within SUNY and dramatically enhance degree planning services across our 64 campuses, increasing completion rates and ensuring that students are equipped with the knowledge, tools and advisement they need to graduate on time.”

The project will identify and enable students currently enrolled at one of SUNY’s four-year institutions who had previously transferred from a community college without completing their associate’s degree to “reverse-transfer” their credits back to the community college and be awarded the associate’s degree from the sending campus.

With the grant, SUNY will use DegreeWorks, a software tool that performs a degree audit that compares course and general education history to the degree requirements for the transfer path programs at all campuses and access the course offerings at all campuses.

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