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Reverse Transfer Agreement Signed


(Via CONNECT Chronice) Early this summer, the CONNECT CEOs signed a Memorandum of understanding to implement a Reverse Transfer program. This program will allow students from Bristol, Cape Cod, and Massasoit Community Colleges who transfer to Bridgewater State, Mass Maritime, and UMass Dartmouth to earn Associate’s degrees as they progress through their Baccalaureate programs.

Reverse Transfer programs have been shown to improve retention in four-year degree programs by allowing students to earn the important credential of an Associate’s degree. By obtaining this degree whilst pursuing other interests, students become more attractive in the job market should they need to work through school or if progress towards their Bachelor’s degree is interrupted.

Dr. Charles Wall, president of Massasoit Community College, notes that rewarding the Associate’s degree retroactively allows credit to be given to the community colleges and paints a more accurate picture of the ways that residents progress through the commonwealth’s higher education system. Prior to the Reverse Transfer Agreement, students who moved on to four year institutions before obtaining their Associate’s degree were actually counted as failures for the community college they previously attended. In reality, this is far from the truth.  Allowing students to earn their Associate’s degree as they continue their education not only benefits them, but also fixes a statistical grey area that was detrimental to the schools that were used as stepping stones to four year institutions.

This proposal was formed by the CONNECT Registrars through the early part of 2012 as they looked to design a process to make reverse transfer possible. Southeastern Massachusetts is the second region in the Commonwealth to implement such an agreement, following Worcester County where a similar Reverse Transfer program was recently signed upon as well.