Albany – State University of
New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher today announced that SUNY has received a
$500,000 grant from Lumina Foundation to enhance student mobility within the
system by facilitating “reverse transfer” and installing state-of-the-art
software at all campuses that will help students and advisers with degree
The project will identify and
enable students currently enrolled at one of SUNY’s four-year institutions who
had previously transferred from a community college without completing their
associate’s degree to “reverse-transfer” their credits back to the community
college and be awarded the associate’s degree from the sending campus.
“We are deeply grateful to
Lumina Foundation for its support of this important, ground-breaking
initiative,” said Chancellor Zimpher. “This project will give our students
greater transfer opportunities within SUNY and dramatically enhance degree
planning services across our 64 campuses, increasing completion rates and
ensuring that students are equipped with the knowledge, tools, and
advisement they need to graduate on time.”
The Lumina grant, Credit
When It’s Due: Recognizing the Value of Quality Associate Degrees, was
established to encourage state education systems to explore and implement
consistent approaches to awarding reverse transfer associate degrees.
“There are many important
lessons to be learned by conducting research on the data to be collected
through the work of these states. The capacity of most projects, like that of
New York’s, to include community colleges and public universities statewide –
makes this a unique and major push to fully engage transfer associate degrees
as a key strategy within a state’s degree completion goal,” said Holly
Zanville, program director at Lumina Foundation, heading up the “Credit When
It’s Due” work.
The project will enable SUNY
campuses to implement DegreeWorks, a state-of-the-art software tool that has
the ability to perform a degree audit that compares course and general
education history to the degree requirements for the transfer path programs at
all campuses, conduct a “what if” degree analysis for up to three campuses
simultaneously, and access the course offerings at all campuses.
In order to become compliant
with the DegreeWorks software, SUNY will hire a reverse transfer coordinator to
assist the community colleges with training and technical support; allocate funds
to support on-campus staff as necessary; facilitate the sharing of course
catalogs among colleges; and develop a common database of course equivalencies.
Existing SUNY and DegreeWorks
data will be used to identify students who are matriculated at four-year SUNY
colleges and have transferred from a SUNY community college without first
obtaining an associate degree. Each community college will then determine if
the student has met all the campus graduation requirements for the associate’s
degree. If the student has met the requirements, the campus can award the
degree. If they have not, the campus can contact the student to outline the
additional steps necessary to obtain the degree.
Nearly 10,000 students
traditionally transfer from SUNY community colleges to four-year institutions
within the system each year. Of them, approximately 59 percent transfer before
receiving associate degree. In addition, approximately 11,000 students transfer
each year to community colleges from other SUNY community colleges or 4-year
institutions, 96 percent of whom transfer without the associate degree.
As a result of the project,
SUNY aims to award associate degrees to 5 percent of students who transfer
vertically from community colleges to four year colleges, and offer another 35
percent of students an opportunity to complete their degree.
About the State University
of New York
The State University of New
York is the largest comprehensive university system in the United States,
educating approximately 468,000 students in more than 7,500 degree and
certificate programs on 64 campuses with nearly 3 million alumni around the
globe. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit www.suny.edu.