Private and community colleges strike a deal

The Kansas Association of Community College Trustees and the Kansas Independent College Asso?ciation announced the successful negotiation of a global reverse transfer agreement between all 18 private colleges and all 19 community colleges.

The agreement is expected to boost the number of Kan?sans who earn at least an associate?s degree?which has been linked to higher life?time incomes, lower unem?ployment, better health outcomes and increased community involvement.

Any student who earns at least 45 credit hours from a Kansas community college or two-year private college, and then transfers to one of the state?s private, non-profit institutions, may take advantage of the global reverse transfer agreement.

At the end of each academic year, the private, nonprofit colleges send the transcripts of those students to their most recent Kansas community college.

If the student has completed the relevant and sufficient credit hours at the private, non-profit college, the community college then mails the student his or her associate?s degree.

Even if the student does not complete a four-year bachelor?s degree, he or she will still have earned at least an associate?s degree.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, annual median incomes for associate?s degree holders are $2,600 higher than those with some college but no degree, and $6,500 more than those with only a high school diploma.

Also, the unemployment rate among associate?s degree holders is 1.6 percentage points lower than for those with some college but no degree, and 2.1 points lower than those with only a high school diploma.

?This agreement makes sense for those of us in the private colleges,? said Ed Leonard III, president of Bethany College in Lindsborg and chair of the KICA Board of Directors.

?Nearly 20 percent of our students come from Kansas? community colleges, often because our learning environment with a personal approach and smaller class sizes is exactly what transfer students are looking for.?

The agreement will go into effect in the 2015-16 academic year.

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