Posted: October 10, 2012

Contact: Doug Anderson, doug.anderson@MinnState.edu, 651-201-1426

Program Aimed at Increasing Completion of Associate Degrees

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) has been awarded a $500,000 grant as part of a national initiative to help students who have transferred from community colleges to four-year universities complete their associate degrees. Five national foundations – The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Helios Education Foundation, Kresge Foundation, Lumina Foundation, and USA Funds – have joined forces in the initiative, “Credit When It’s Due: Recognizing the Value of the Quality Associate Degree.”

The foundations’ initiative is designed to encourage partnerships between community colleges and universities to significantly expand programs that award associate degrees to transfer students when the students complete the requirements for the associate degree while pursuing a bachelor’s degree. This approach is commonly known as “reverse transfer.” The MnSCU project was selected from a nationally competitive grant proposal process.

“We greatly appreciate these leading foundations financially supporting our commitment to student success,” said MnSCU Chancellor Steven Rosenstone. “Our initiative will increase the number of graduates with the credentials needed to advance Minnesota’s competitiveness. This will help more students begin their professions and provide Minnesota business and industry with the workforce it needs to advance our state’s economic prosperity.”

The reverse transfer program is one of several MnSCU initiatives aimed at addressing Minnesota’s workforce requirements by: increasing the number of students enrolling in post-secondary education, particularly in high-demand occupations; accelerating students’ completion of certificate, diploma and degree programs; and increasing the number of graduates with both the skills required to advance Minnesota’s competitiveness and an aptitude for life-long learning.

Lumina Foundation is an Indianapolis-based private foundation dedicated to expanding access to and success in education beyond high school.