TOPEKA – The Kansas Association of Community College Trustees (KACCT) and the Kansas Independent College Association (KICA) announced the successful negotiation of a global reverse transfer agreement between all eighteen private colleges and all nineteen community colleges. The agreement is expected to significantly boost the number of Kansans who earn at least an associate’s degree, which has been linked to higher lifetime incomes, lower unemployment, better health outcomes, and increased community involvement.
Any student who earns at least 45 credit hours from a Kansas community college or 2-year private college, and then transfers to one of Kansas’ private, non-profit institutions may choose to take advantage of the global reverse transfer agreement. At the end of each academic year, the private, non-profit colleges send the transcripts of those students back to their most recent Kansas community college. If the student has completed the relevant and sufficient credit hours at the private, non-profit college, the community college then mails the student his or her associate’s degree.
Even if the student does not complete a four-year bachelor’s degree, they will still have earned at least an associate’s degree. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, annual median incomes
for associate’s degree holders are $2,600 higher than those with some college but no degree, and $6,500 more than those with only a high school diploma. The unemployment rate among associate’s degree holders is also 1.6 percentage points lower than for those with some college but no degree, and 2.1 points lower than those with only a high school diploma.
“We are pleased to announce this agreement with our Independent College colleagues”, said Dr. Carl Heilman, President of Barton Community College and the KACCT Council of Presidents. “The agreement maintains our focus on students being our first consideration and will help them achieve completion of an associate’s degree on their path to bachelor’s degree or higher. As well, this student benefit will lead to timely completion of a four-year degree, greater lifetime incomes, lower unemployment, better health outcomes, and increased community involvement.”
“This agreement makes sense for those of us in the private colleges. Nearly 20% of our students come from Kansas’ community colleges, often because our learning environment with a personal approach and smaller class sizes is exactly what transfer students are looking for,” said Dr. Ed Leonard, III, President of Bethany College in Lindsborg, KS and Chair of the KICA Board of Directors. “What this agreement does is give us and our community college partners one more tool to help each individual student find success and be able to access the benefits of the degree which they have already earned.”
The agreement will go into effect in the 2015-2016 academic year.