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Reverse Transfer Agreement
Pennsylvania Community Colleges
Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education
What will the Reverse Transfer Program do?
This program will provide an opportunity for students who have transferred from a community college in Pennsylvania to a State System university to receive an associate’s degree once they earn a total of at least 60 credits.
How will this program benefit students?
Obtaining an associate’s degree will enhance an individual’s earning potential, even as he or she continues working toward a bachelor’s degree or other certification or credential.
(Note: A recent study conducted by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce reported that by 2020, 60 percent of jobs in Pennsylvania will require at least some post-secondary education. A separate report from the Lumina Foundation, titled It’s Not Just the Money, identifies a host of other benefits that accrue from having a college education—everything from better health to a longer life expectancy.)
“Reverse transfer is particularly helpful for students called to military service, having long breaks from school can add stress to an already stressful situation and having this program promotes an easy transition from serving to studying.” – Jessica
“Reverse transfer gives me the satisfaction of accomplishing my first major college milestone and motivates me to continue my academic studies.” - Brett
Who will be eligible to participate in this program?
Students who began their post-secondary education at a community college in Pennsylvania and earned a minimum of 45 credits, including those earned through Prior Learning Assessment (PLA), Advanced Placement (AP), College Level Examination Program (CLEP), Credit by Exam and the military, before transferring to a State System university, from which they have earned at least 15 additional credits, excluding remedial and developmental credits.
Are there grade requirements?
The student must have earned a minimum GPA of 2.0 while attending community college within the last five years. The student also must have earned a GPA of 2.0 or higher at the State System university. Only grades of “C” or higher will transfer back to the community college for consideration toward an associate’s degree.
How will students know they are eligible to participate in this program?
Students meeting the initial criteria (earning 45 credits at a community college) will be identified upon completion of the minimum of 15 additional credits at the State System university. The university will contact the eligible students and invite them to participate in the Reverse Transfer Program once they have completed the minimum of 60 cumulative credits, then a second time at the end of the next semester.
How will the degrees be awarded?
Qualified students will fill out a Reverse Transfer Agreement Release form, which will allow transcripts and contact information to be sent to the community college for review. Once the review is complete, the community college will submit a new student transcript to the State System university that denotes the conferment of the associate’s degree.
"Reverse transfer has helped me finish the associate's degree that I started. I wasn't going to give up on my dream on receiving the first higher education degree in my family and no other student should." – Briana
Who will determine a student’s eligibility for receiving an associate’s degree?
The community college will review the eligible student’s transcripts and make that determination. It will use upper-level courses to fulfill the community college’s degree requirements when applicable. It also may determine if a student is eligible for an associate's degree in a program other than the intended program of study, based on courses completed at the State System university.
When will eligible students begin receiving their degrees?
The first degrees could be awarded as early as Summer 2016.
What costs will students incur with this program?
Students will not be charged a graduation or transcript fee by the community college or university.
How will the program be promoted?
Both the community colleges and the State System universities will publish reverse transfer information on their websites and provide related materials to students. Both groups will utilize social media to help “announce” the agreement.
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