Click to hear KMZU’s Kristie Cross speak with Director of Communications and Marketing Liz Coleman:
The Missouri Department of Higher Education is launching a new program today. Coleman explained how the announcement will benefit Missouri residents. “The Reverse Transfer Program is Missouri’s newest program to help more students earn an associate’s degree,” said Coleman, “Students who have earned at least 15 hours at a qualifying two-year college and have transferred to a four-year college could be eligible to transfer hours that they’ve earned at the four year college back to the two-year college and receive an associate degree.”
This effort is part of the Department’s goal to have 60% of the adult working-age population with a two-or-four-year degree or professional certificate by the year 2025. “Earning an associate degree can provide students with more job opportunities, hirer pay, and it can also pave the way for them to continue their education,” said Coleman, “So, even though they may still be in school working toward a bachelor degree, there still is value in that associate degree. If, for some reason, they’re not able to finish their bachelor degree right away, they will still have the associate degree that could benefit them.”
The reverse transfer program is retroactive in some instances. Students and former students are encouraged to contact the reverse transfer coordinator at their school to determine if they meet the program’s qualifications. More information can be found by visiting the Missouri Department of Higher Education website.
Missouri’s newest program to increase the number of students earning a college degree will be launched statewide Tuesday, Sept. 16, in Jefferson City. More than 100 higher education officials from colleges and universities across the state are expected to attend the rollout of the Missouri Reverse Transfer program.
After a successful year-long pilot project, the program is being expanded to include all public colleges and universities and participating independent higher education institutions in Missouri. During the pilot project, 50 students received associate degrees. The program allows students who have earned at least 15 transferable hours at a qualifying two-year college and have transferred to a four-year college or university to transfer hours back to the two-year college to receive an associate degree.
“Earning an associate degree can provide students with more job opportunities and higher pay and pave the way for continuing their education,” said David Russell, Missouri commissioner of higher education.
Legislation calling for Missouri to create a reverse transfer program was approved by the General Assembly in 2012. A steering committee of officials from higher education institutions in the state worked together to create the program and conduct the pilot, which paired up two-and four-year colleges and universities.
Speakers for the rollout event include Rep. Mike Thompson, one of the sponsors of the legislation that established the Missouri Reverse Transfer program, and Russell. Several students who earned associate degrees during the pilot program also will attend the event.
“Establishing the Reverse Transfer program required unprecedented collaboration among the state’s two-and four -year colleges and universities,” said Russell. “This type of collaboration benefits Missouri students and our higher education system.”
Colleges and universities that were paired up for the pilot program include:
- Columbia College and Moberly Area Community College
- Missouri State University and Missouri State University-West Plains
- Missouri State University and Ozarks Technical Community College
- Missouri Western State University and Metropolitan Community College
- Missouri Western State University and North Central Missouri College
- Northwest Missouri State University and Metropolitan Community College
- University of Missouri (Columbia) and Moberly Area Community College
- University of Missouri-St. Louis and St. Louis Community College
The Reverse Transfer program is one way the Department of Higher Education is working to help increase the percentage of Missourians with a degree. The department has set a goal – Missouri’s Big Goal for High Education, which calls for 60 percent of the adult working-age population to have a two or hour-year degree or professional certificate by the year 2015.
For more information about the Missouri Reverse Transfer Program, visit http:dhe.mo.gov/MoReverseTransfer.php.