STEUBENVILLE - Eastern Gateway Community College is participating in a national grant initiative, "Credit When It's Due," designed to implement "reverse-transfer."
This process awards associate degrees to students who earned credits that satisfied residency requirements at a community college, did not earn their associate degree and transferred to a four-year institution where they are currently enrolled.
Eastern Gateway is among 23 community colleges, 13 public universities and five regional campuses in Ohio taking part in this initiative.
"We are encouraging all our former students whether they are enrolled in a university now or have credits with us to contact the college to review what is needed to receive a reverse-transfer associate degree or to finish the degree program they started with us," said Patty Sturch, dean of enrollment management.
The Ohio Board of Regents' Credit When It's Due process identifies students who:
Enrolled in one of Ohio's public universities to pursue a bachelor's degree in the fall 2012 semester.
Have earned at least 45 college-level semester credit hours at Ohio public universities or colleges.
Have earned at least 20 college-level semester credit hours from a participating two-year institution.
Have a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 2.0 at their current university.
Have not received an associate or a bachelor's degree from Ohio public institutions.
The identified students will be contacted by their current university to begin the process of being considered for an associate degree from their previous college. If the student grants permission for academic records to be shared between the institutions, the student's records will be reviewed to determine eligibility for a degree, according to officials.
The community college considering the associate degree award will let the student know the review results. A student who qualifies for the degree will be awarded the credential.
A student who does not yet qualify for an associate degree will be given information on what outstanding items may be resolved to receive an associate degree, officials said.
The No. 1 reason a student should consider this opportunity is the degree is already earned, officials said. There are some cases where having an associate degree allows students to seek employment sooner while still working to obtain a bachelor's degree. An associate degree also can serve as some "insurance" in the case that life events delay progress toward a bachelor's degree.
This initiative is not asking students to re-enroll or take more courses at their previous institution, officials said. The intention is to use what is already completed toward the degree. Courses to be completed at the current university may be applied later to the degree at the previous college.
No fee will be charged for a reverse transfer associate degree through the Credit When It's Due initiative. Fees for requesting copies of a transcript or for petitioning for an associate degree will be waived for students identified by and participating in this initiative.
Participating in graduation ceremonies is optional. Colleges will provide graduation information and procedures when notifying students that they have received a degree.
Getting an associate degree for work already completed will not impact federal, state or institutional financial aid, officials said.
All of Ohio's public colleges and universities are members of the Servicemembers Opportunity College Consortium and will work with veterans and current service members to determine what knowledge from military experience can be assessed and credited toward a degree.
Former students of Eastern Gateway or Jefferson Community College may call (800) 68-COLLEGE, extension 111, for information.