Troy University Chancellor applauds new statewide reverse transfer agreement

Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., Chancellor of Troy University, speaks during Alabama Community College System's statewide reverse transfer signing ceremony.

Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., Chancellor of Troy University, speaks during Alabama Community College System's statewide reverse transfer signing ceremony.

Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., Chancellor of Troy University, called Wednesday’s statewide reverse transfer agreement between the Alabama Community College System (ACCS), the state’s public universities and Montgomery’s Huntingdon College a big win for the students of Alabama.

The reverse transfer agreement allows students to transfer credits from four-year institutions back to a two-year institution in order to complete their associate’s degree. In helping students get degrees from two-year colleges, the reverse transfer agreement improves completion rates and helps to increase the number of Alabamians receiving college degrees.

“I think that anytime we can partner the two- and four-year institutions in Alabama it is a plus for the students of our state,” Dr. Hawkins said following the ceremony at the ACCS offices in Montgomery. “Our interest is obviously educating the people of Alabama, but it is also about having an impact on the economic development within our state.”

Prior to Wednesday agreement, Troy University already had reverse transfer agreements in place with Southern Union State Community College, Lurleen B. Wallace Community College, Wallace Community College, Enterprise State Community College, Chattahoochee Valley Community College and Trenholm State Community College and Central Alabama Community College.

“ I think what we have achieved here today really does put into place an agreement that will facilitate many more degrees being awarded to students who truly deserve them,” Dr. Hawkins said. “We live in a mobile society, and many students will attend as many as five different institutions before they receive their degrees. We have had reverse transfer agreements with more than half a dozen two-year institutions in place at TROY for the last three years, and our experience is that it has worked well and been a tremendous benefit to students.”

Long a leader in partnering with the state’s two-year college system, Troy University, in the 1990s, developed the Statewide Transfer and Articulation Reporting System (STARS), a database system which provides guidance and direction for prospective transfer students in the State of Alabama. The system is now under the oversight and monitoring of the Alabama Articulation and General Studies Committee.

“Today takes me back 20 years ago to STARS and that legislation that I believe was in the best interest of the public,” Dr. Hawkins said. “Those who have been in education for a while might remember that program was developed at TROY, and I knew that it was good public policy to make it apply to all two and four year institutions. As we have seen STARS expand and serve so many thousands of students, we know that we can truly do so much more together than we can individually.”

State Sen. Gerald Dial, who also serves as president pro-tem of the Troy University Board of Trustees, has been a driving force behind the establishment of a statewide reverse transfer agreement.

“This agreement exemplifies the way that Alabama’s educational institutions can work together for the greater good,” Sen. Dial said. “It demonstrates our collective commitment to giving our students every opportunity to succeed.”

ACCS Acting Chancellor Jimmy Baker said Wednesday agreement will open doors for Alabama’s students.

“Many people understand that you can take courses at community colleges, transfer those credits to a university, and apply them toward a four-year degree,” Baker said. “Our new agreement makes it possible for students to transfer credits in the other direction, too, heling them to attain a recognized credential they can use in the workplace or as they further their education.”

Wednesday’s agreement was reached with support of the National Student Clearinghouse to ensure a seamless transition. To be eligible for a reverse transfer, students must have earned at least 25 percent of the credits they need for a degree from a community college and have earned at least three semester hours from the four-year institution as part of the overall associate degree requirements.