Finishing an associate degree may be a bit less complicated, thanks to an agreement signed by Kansas college presidents, including Seward County Community College/Area Technical School President Duane Dunn, June 19. The presidents pledged to implement a new Kansas Board of Regents policy designed to help students apply credits in reverse to complete their associate degrees after transferring to Kansas state universities.
The agreement means SCCC/ATS students will have another way to get the most value from the coursework they complete in Seward County.
“This provides another avenue for students to complete their degrees,” Dunn said, noting the two-year degree serves as a kind of insurance against the unpredictable nature of adult life.
Often, students transfer from SCCC/ATS with just a few credits remaining toward their associate degree; they plan to complete a bachelor’s degree. If something occurs to change that plan, they are left without any degree credentials.
“The reverse transfer provides such students with the chance to transfer university courses back to SCCC/ATS,” Dunn said. “A formalized agreement establishes better communication between the university and our college, and the final result is that the student achieves a lifetime goal.”
With its vision the creation of a “seamless educational system,” the reverse transfer agreement strengthens ties between 32 Kansas state universities, community colleges, technical colleges and Washburn University and Washburn Institute of Technology. The institutions agreed “to work together to develop a process to assist students to complete coursework for and attain all certificates and degrees for which they are eligible.”
Within a student’s first semester, each university will now notify all students who transfer coursework from a community college or technical college if they are eligible to be considered for reverse transfer degree status. Universities will also specify which courses such students must complete to finish the related degree. The process will be administered automatically by correspondence between the university and community college or technical college the student last attended.
“I was one credit short of receiving my associate’s degree when I transferred from Johnson County Community College to Washburn University,” said Briana Lewis, a recent graduate from the Washburn College of Arts and Sciences. “It would have been so rewarding to have been issued that degree, after putting forth so much hard work, time and money. This is a great thing.”
Statewide reverse transfer policies are now in effect in 20 U.S. states: Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia.
The Kansas Board of Regents is the governing board of the state’s six universities and the statewide coordinating board for the state’s 32 public higher education institutions (seven public universities, 19 community colleges, and six technical colleges). In addition, the board administers the state’s student financial aid, adult education, GED, and career and technical education programs. The board also authorizes private proprietary schools and out-of- state institutions to operate in Kansas.