Students on Denver Campus

Many undergraduate students entering CU Denver enroll after earning an associate degree through the Colorado Community College System. Other students transfer to CU Denver before actually formally completing a program in the Community College System.

Colorado Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia recently announced a $450,000 grant to help implement ‘reverse transfer’ policies between Colorado’s public institutions of higher education as part of the statewide initiative: Credit When It’s Due: Recognizing the Value of the Quality Associate Degree.

“Creating pathways for degree attainment is critical to increasing the quality of the state’s workforce for today’s 21st century economy,” said Garcia.

The initiative targets students who begin their college education at a community college but transfer to a four-year institution for a bachelors’ degree before completing an associate degree. This partnership between community colleges and universities allows for the award of associate degrees to transfer students when the students complete the requirements for the associate degree while enrolled at the University. Specifically, the funds allocated to this effort are earmarked to enhance registrar monitoring and electronic recordkeeping as support for students’ ability to be awarded associate degrees by their community college.

The Colorado Commission on Higher Education (CCHE) is the grant recipient and, with support from College-In-Colorado, is partnering with the Colorado Community College System, Metropolitan State University of Denver, University of Colorado Colorado Springs, University of Colorado Denver and Colorado State University-Pueblo.

CU Denver’s portion of the grant is approximately $35,000 over two years. Michel Dahlin, senior project manager, Office of the Chancellor, explained that the funds will support the addition work by personnel the Registrar’s Office and IT Services.

“This is a good partnership,” Dahlin said. “It was an idea that we already had been working on, and it especially will help community colleges to award degrees to their students.”

Funding for the “reverse transfer” initiative is provided by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Helios Education Foundation, Kresge Foundation, Lumina Foundation and USWA Funds.

Another partnership with similar end goals of helping students earn four-year degrees but different parameters was announced earlier. The CC to CU Denver Admission Promise is initiated with students when they first enroll in community college to provide advising and ongoing contact to ensure students succeed in their pursuit of a four-year degree.

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