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September 12, 2014

Missouri launching new program to help more students earn two-year degrees

Missouri’s newest program to increase the number of students earning a college degree will be launched statewide Tuesday, Sept. 16, in Jefferson City. More than 100 higher education officials from colleges and universities across the state are expected to attend the rollout of the Missouri Reverse Transfer program.

After a successful year-long pilot project, the program is being expanded to include all public colleges and universities and participating independent higher education institutions in Missouri. During the pilot project, 50 students received associate degrees.

The program allows students who have earned at least 15 transferable credit hours at a qualifying two-year college and have transferred to a four-year college or university to transfer hours back to the two-year college to receive an associate degree.

“Earning an associate degree can provide students with more job opportunities and higher pay and pave the way for continuing their education,” said David Russell, Missouri commissioner of higher education.

Legislation calling for Missouri to create a reverse transfer program was approved by the General Assembly in 2012. A steering committee of officials from higher education institutions in the state worked together to create the program and conduct the pilot, which paired up two- and four-year colleges and universities.

Speakers for the rollout event include Rep. Mike Thompson, one of the sponsors of the legislation that established the Missouri Reverse Transfer program, and Russell. Several students who earned associate degrees during the pilot program also will attend the event.

“Establishing the Reverse Transfer program required unprecedented collaboration among the state’s two- and four-year colleges and universities,” Russell said. “This type of collaboration benefits Missouri students and our higher education system.”

  • Colleges and universities that were paired up for the pilot program include:
  • Columbia College and Moberly Area Community College
  • Missouri State University and Missouri State University–West Plains
  • Missouri State University and Ozarks Technical Community College
  • Missouri Western State University and Metropolitan Community College
  • Missouri Western State University and North Central Missouri College
  • Northwest Missouri State University and Metropolitan Community College
  • University of Missouri (Columbia) and Moberly Area Community College
  • University of Missouri–St. Louis and St. Louis Community College

The Reverse Transfer program is one way the Department of Higher Education is working to help increase the percentage of Missourians with a degree. The department has set a goal – Missouri’s Big Goal for Higher Education, which calls for 60 percent of the adult working-age population to have a two- or four-year degree or professional certificate by the year 2025.

For more information about the Missouri Reverse Transfer program, visit http://dhe.mo.gov/MOReverseTransfer.php.



 Note to media: The Missouri Reverse Transfer program launch will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 16, at Capitol Plaza Hotel in Jefferson City. If you would like to attend the event, please contact Liz Coleman at liz.coleman@dhe.mo.gov or 573-522-1463.