Credit When It’s Due: Recognizing the Value of Quality Associate Degrees

Kresge, Lumina Foundations Announce Grant Opportunity to Help Ensure Community College Transfer Students Receive Credit for Coursework

The Kresge Foundation and the Lumina Foundation have announced a new national grant program designed to help college students get credit and credentials for their coursework when they transfer to four-year institutions.

“Credit When It’s Due: Recognizing the Value of Quality Associate Degrees” aims to address a problem that affects community-college students who transfer to four-year institutions before receiving an associate degree with the intention of earning a four-year baccalaureate degree. For some, especially part-time students, earning that degree will take longer than traditional two- or four-year completion periods. While there are generally mechanisms in place for a four-year school to accept credits from a community college, there is no system for the community college to log the credits earned after a transfer. If such credits were logged, students would be awarded their associate degree by the community college. For students who go on to complete a baccalaureate degree, that would be an interim step helpful in the job market. For students who ultimately do not earn a four-year degree, it would provide some credential for their effort and investment.

The Kresge-Lumina program is designed to encourage state education systems to implement consistent approaches to awarding associate degrees to these kinds of transfer students, an approach commonly known as “reverse back” or “reverse transfer” degrees.

The grant opportunity is open to state higher-education executive offices; state systems of higher education representing two- and four-year institutions, four-year institutions, or community colleges; and partnerships of two- and/or four-year institutions with a designated lead public postsecondary institution or nonprofit organization as grant manager.

The partnership expects to collectively award eight to ten two-year grants ranging in amount between $200,000 and $600,000,based on the number of feeder community college/university partnerships needed to scale the project at the state level. Only one award will be made in any state. Each state-level project will be required to contribute cost-sharing.

Applications will be accepted by the Lumina Foundation. Visit the Lumina Web site for complete program guidelines and application materials.

Link to Complete RFP

Deadline: June 27, 2012.

Posted in Community College (13-14), Postsecondary (13-18), Students. Tags: , , . Comments Off on Credit When It’s Due: Recognizing the Value of Quality Associate Degrees