Higher ed officials believe reverse transfer policy will improve college completion

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. — The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission approved a reverse transfer policy Friday that will allow students who have transferred from a community college to a four-year school to receive their associate degree once enough credits are earned at the four-year school.

HEPC Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Dr. Corley Dennison said more and more community and technical college students are transferring to larger schools, a 40 percent increase in recent years, and reverse transfer will help with college completion in West Virginia.

“Studies have shown that transfer students who are issued an associates degree have a significantly better chance of finishing their four-year degree once that associates degree has been awarded,” Dennison said.

A system will be established where schools will enter agreements and keep track of the students. Organizers anticipate the agreements initially being made on a regional basis.

Dennison said reverse transfer can give a student the boost he or she needs. He said its difficult to transfer and sometimes students can get in a rut and decide to drop out before earning any type of degree.

“It gives them a sense of accomplishment. It gives them a marker and let’s them to know they’ve already accomplished a lot and motivates them to go ahead and complete the four-year degree,” he said.

The policy is out for a 30-day comment period.

The HEPC held its regular meeting Friday at Shepherd University.

(Graphic courtesy suny.edu)

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