The state Board of Regents approved a program that will allow community college students to earn an associate degree while pursuing their bachelor's degree after transferring into a Connecticut state college or university.
It's called the reverse transfer program.
Michael Rooke, dean of Academic Affairs at Tunxis Community College in Farmington, said the reverse transfer program will allow students who've earned at least forty-five community college credits to be eligible for an associate degree after they've earned at least fifteen credits at one of the four Connecticut state universities or Charter Oak State College.
The program has several benefits to students. "One of our motivations is that students don't often realize that by earning that associate degree they are making themselves more marketable, they may be able to get a pay increase," said Rooke. "And also research shows that students who complete that associate degree are more likely to finish their bachelor's degree."
By earning their associate degree early on, students can obtain higher paying jobs while working towards their bachelor's or have a leg up in the workforce if their plans for continued education fall through.
Rooke stressed the program benefits community colleges, too, because they are held accountable for the number of students they graduate.
Rooke said it's anticipated 1,100 students per year will be eligible for the reverse transfer program. Those students will receive an email to let them know about the program which is slated to begin this fall.
Naugatuck Valley and Tunxis Community colleges were among the first to adopt pilot versions of the program. With the Board of Regent's adoption, Connecticut joins more than a dozen other states with similar reverse transfer programs.