Iowa Central Community College has adopted a new reverse transfer program that will give its students the ability to earn an associate degree even if they transfer to an Iowa public university before graduating.
"This gives them the ability to transfer those credits back to get their degree from Iowa Central, so they'll have their two-year degree," ICCC President Dan Kinney said.
A reverse transfer means that a student starting at a community college who transfers to a state public university, but hasn't graduated yet, can have the regents send a transcript to the community college showing hours have been completed. The community college would then award an associate degree.
"It helps students to complete that degree," Kinney said.
The statewide program was instituted by the Regents Committee on Education Relations. Kinney served as a co-chair of the team working with RECR.
Kinney said he had benefited from a similar program when he was a student. He was nine hours short of graduating from community college when he transferred to a state university, and had no intentions of transferring back.
"Let's say a student has nine hours left to take before they graduate from us. Are they going to stay for a full semester, just for nine hours, and then transfer?" he said. "This will allow them to transfer their degree back and get those nine hours to move forward."
Kinney said this will allow students to move forward in their education in a public university, while also receiving a two-year degree.
"They'll come here for a year, but may be short anywhere up to 18 hours, maybe a semester short of graduating," he said. "And it's easier for them those students, I believe, to get started and go ahead to regents institutions at the beginning of the year."
The program will be a benefit to students while increasing the services Iowa Central offers, Kinney said.
"It's the ability to work with our students a little better, and to complete their degree," Kinney said. "One of the big goals that's been out there, and President Obama says it, is to get more graduates, more completers. And this will allow community colleges to do that."
Kinney said there are no common guidelines for the program, and each community college will have a different system for transferring credits. At Iowa Central, the last hour must be taken from them before graduation, which can be taken online. This is still being looked at, though, Kinney said.
The program took effect on July 1, and will be helpful to students hoping to graduate from Iowa Central in December or next May.
For more information on the program, visit www.transferiniowa.org.
Contact Brandon L. Summers at (515) 573-2141 or firstname.lastname@example.org