King University and Northeast State Community College announced the signing of a reverse transfer agreement between the institutions during a news conference held Thursday. The announcement was made at the Northeast State at Bristol teaching site located in the historic City Central building at 620 State Street in downtown Bristol, Tenn.
The reverse transfer program will be available to Northeast State students who have transferred to King University from Northeast State prior to the completion of their associate degree program.
“The reverse transfer creates a mechanism to send back information to Northeast State from King so those students who first attended Northeast State can be awarded their associate degree through remaining course requirements completed at King,” stated Matt Roberts, chief academic officer and dean of academic affairs for King University. “The reverse transfer is a win-win for both institutions and a win for our students as well.”
Upon transfer to King University, students who have completed a minimum of 21 semester hours toward their associate degree at any Northeast State location will be eligible for the reverse transfer program.
“We are delighted to further extend the collaborative and long-standing relationship we have enjoyed with Northeast State,” said Dr. Greg Jordan, president of King University. “What makes this agreement truly unique is that King is a private institution. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first instance of a private university in the state of Tennessee to sign a reverse transfer agreement with a public institution. The benefits for King and Northeast State, as well as the surrounding community, are significant.”
King University and Northeast State have partnered for the past 16 years though an articulation agreement. This agreement is designed to ensure a seamless transition for students transitioning from community college to a bachelor’s-level institution.
Since 2008, 1,044 students from Northeast State have transferred to King University to continue their academic path, a 57.6 percent increase from the previous five years.
“This is a significant step forward in the partnership between King University and Northeast State,” said Dr. Janice Gilliam, president of Northeast State. “This agreement will enable our students, who transfer prior to earning an associate degree, to acquire that credential based on work completed at King. This is a great opportunity for students to achieve their dreams of college completion, and we are very pleased with King’s support of this initiative.”
Currently, King has articulation agreements with nine community colleges — five in Tennessee and four in Virginia— including Northeast State Community College, Walters State Community College, Pellissippi State Community College, Roane State Community College, Nashville State Community College, Virginia Highlands Community College, Mountain Empire Community College, Southwest Virginia Community College and Wytheville Community College.
According to a June 2011 article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, “Reverse Transfer Programs Reward Students and Colleges Alike,” authors Donna Ekal and Paula M. Krebs stated, “Up go the graduation rates at the community college, up goes the self-esteem of the newly credentialed student, and up goes the retention rate at the university: It’s the ultimate win-win situation.”
According to the Tennessee Higher Education Commission’s 2012 Articulation and Transfer Report, among private institutions in Tennessee, King currently ranks number one in the receipt of transfer students from community colleges and number three in the total number of transfers received.
In a January 2013 news release, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam commented on his new higher education initiative, Drive to 55.
“Over the past six months, I’ve spent a lot of time learning from experts in our state and across the country about the challenges we face in higher education,” Haslam said. “Only 32 percent of our state’s adult population has a post-secondary degree, but if we are going to have a workforce that’s job-ready, we need to be at 55 percent by 2025. The conversation needs to be about K (kindergarten) to J with the ‘J’ meaning jobs.”
“King has always enjoyed a wonderful working relationship with Northeast State,” added Roberts. “That spirit of cooperation continues with our reverse transfer agreement. As a result of the agreement, Northeast will see an increase in its graduation rate; King should see its retention rate increase, and our students will earn a valuable credential on their way to the completion of a bachelor degree. Also, this agreement will not only provide for an exceptional education for students, but it will improve economic development for the region.”