Important info for advisors

Advisor/Registrar FAQ

Credit Hours | Degrees | Statute and application | Data|Governance

Credit Hours

Q: If a student has attended two community colleges and has completed 15 degree-applicable credit hours at each, which will be the granting institution?
A: The community college that the student has most recently attended will confer this degree.

Q: Do students need to complete 15 degree-applicable credit hours in total (at any number of community colleges) or is it 15 hours at one community college?
A: They must complete 15 degree-applicable credit hours at one community college. However, any degree-applicable credit hours earned in addition to the 15 may count toward their reverse transfer degree.

Q: How many credit hours must a student complete at the four-year institution?
A: A student must gain residency at four-year institution. For instance, at Metro, it is generally 30 credits but varies by degree and institution, and is guided by the institution’s accrediting organization. The student must have 70 credits in total (two-year credits plus four-year credits) in order to be considered for Reverse Transfer.

Q: Do concurrent enrollment/International Baccalaureate/Advanced Placement courses count toward the 70 total credit hours?
A: If these courses appear on the transcript (and are college-level, non-remedial courses), then yes. In addition, students claiming these courses must be classified as degree-seeking students.

Q: Would the credit hours counted for the 15 need to be those accepted for transfer?
A: Yes. These cannot be remedial or non-degree qualifying electives. These must be degree-applicable credits.


Q: What will the degree be? How will this be determined?
A: Degrees conferred will be Associate of Science, Associate of Arts or Associate of General Studies, to be determined via degree audit at the degree-granting community college. Students will be awarded the highest-level degree (AS, AA or AGS, in this order) for which they qualify. If the criteria for these degrees are not met, then the student will be notified about which courses they must complete to receive their Associate’s degree.

Q: Can students receive a second Associate’s degree through Reverse Transfer? For example, if a student moves to Colorado State University-Pueblo from Pueblo Community College having completed their AGS (the lowest Associate’s offered), but then goes on to complete requirements for the AS (the highest Associate’s offered), can they receive it through Reverse Transfer?
A: No. Students will be awarded only one degree via the Reverse Transfer process. If a student does not want the lower-level degree and wants to wait for a higher-level degree, the student must turn down the lower-level degree.

Q: If a student receives an Associate’s degree through Reverse Transfer, can the student then come back to the four-year institution and ask for their core to be cleared (after having started at the four-year)?
A: The decision will be left to the discretion of the four-year institution. There is no requirement that the core be cleared. The intention of Reverse Transfer is not to alter the student’s progress through their Bachelor’s degree, but rather to recognize the work the student has already completed toward their Associate’s degree. However, should an institution want to change the class standing of these students, it is free to do so.

Q: Will four-year institutions need to change the class standing of students receiving a Reverse Transfer degree?
A:Again, this decision is left to the discretion of the four-year institution. There is no expectation that the institution will change the class standing of these students unless it is appropriate and the student has the requisite qualifications. However, should an institution want to change the class standing of these students it is free to do so.
Q: Will there be an expectation that the four-year institution will receive data regarding which students have received Reverse Transfer degrees?
A: Students awarded a degree through Reverse Transfer will have a Reverse Transfer code, which will be submitted to the Department of Higher Education. It will also be noted on the transcript.

Q: Will Degrees with Designation be awarded through Reverse Transfer?
A: No. There will be no awarding of Degrees with Designation (DWD’s) through Reverse Transfer. We will only be awarding Associate of Science, Associate of Arts or Associate of General Studies (AS, AA, or AGS).

Q: What will students receive upon completion of the reverse transfer process? Will their degree come in the mail? Will they be allowed to participate in commencement exercises?
A: This will be left up to the discretion of the degree-granting institution. At a minimum, the student will receive via email official confirmation that the degree has been granted.

Statute and application

Q: What is the timeline for implementation of the Reverse Transfer statute C.R.S. 23-1-131: Commission directive – associate degree completion program?
A: “The notification process shall be implemented no later than the beginning of the 2013-14 academic year,” quoted from the Colorado Revised Statutes.

Q: What happens with Mesa State and Adams, which grant both two-year and four-year degrees?
A: Students who attend those institutions will also be eligible for a Reverse Transfer degree, but those institutions can transfer data from the two-year to the four-year programs through their own internal process. The Department of Higher Education will work with those institutions to determine how data will be reported, and assist with implementation if necessary.

Q: What does the workload look like for the four-year institutions (registrars, admissions offices, etc.) realistically?
A: The four-year institutions will send their current electronic catalog to Lauren Kordupleski at the Colorado Community College System in excel format upon request (this has already been completed for the institutions participating in Year 1 of the grant). Each year following the initial submission, four-year institutions will have to send an updated catalog with additions, deletions and changes highlighted each year, as we will have to account for all changes each year. Additionally, four-year institutions will want to do some student notifications and education regarding Reverse Transfer and its implementation at their respective institutions.


Q: How far back are we searching for enrollment in an Associate’s degree program when we’re pulling the data to consider students for Reverse Transfer?
A: We will not be doing an historical upload of course-level information at this time. Based on the fact that we have not collected course-level data at this point, it is not feasible to backfill historical courses prior to Metro State University of Denver’s (MSU Denver) pilot program. Going forward, the body of data will increase significantly and the number of students receiving Reverse Transfer degrees should increase.

Q: Given that there will not be historical data, will there be a manual process to allow students who meet the threshold, but who will not show up in the data, to receive an RT degree?
A: The Colorado Community College System does not have the capacity to develop a manual process systemwide.

Q: When did course-level collection begin?
A: Institutions began submitting course-level data to the DHE through SURDS in summer 2012


Q: Which four-year institutions are currently involved in the project?
A: Metropolitan State University of Denver; Colorado State University at Pueblo; University of Colorado Colorado Springs; University of Colorado Denver; Colorado State University; Colorado State University, Global Campus; Western State Colorado University; and Regis University.

Q: Which other states are participating in the Credit When It’s Due (CWID) reverse transfer grant? How can I learn more about them?
A: There are 12 states including Colorado: Arkansas, Florida, Hawaii, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, and Oregon. For more information, please see the CWID website:

Q: What are the subcommittees and who leads them?
A: Data Advisory: Dr. Beth W. Bean, assistant deputy director of research and information
Communication: Julie Poppen, communications officer for the Colorado Department of Higher Education
On Stop Out Students: Sierra Fleenor, research associate and program administrator at the Colorado Department of Higher Education.

Q: Who serves on the Reverse Transfer Task Force and what is its purpose?
A: The task force is comprised of members from several four-year institutions, the Colorado Community College System and the Department of Higher Education. This group guides the implementation of reverse transfer in Colorado, develops policies for the implementation and is developing a plan for sustainability.

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