For 227 former Front Range Community College students, a college degree is within reach, thanks to the implementation this week of a new “reverse transfer” program in Colorado.
The 227 students earned at least 15 college-transfer credits at FRCC before transferring to a participating four-year college in Colorado, where they have continued to earn at least a combined total of 70 credits. That may make them eligible for a “Degree Within Reach,” Colorado’s new system that combines credits from two-year and four-year institutions and applies them toward an associate degree.
Beginning this week, the eligible students will be contacted to inform them they have a Degree Within Reach from FRCC. The student can choose to opt in or opt out. If they opt in, they fill out a web-based form and arrange to have an official transcript mailed to FRCC.
Depending on the courses taken and an evaluation of the transcript, FRCC will award an Associate of Science, Associate of Arts, or Associate of General Studies. Students can be awarded one degree from Degree Within Reach. The transfer must have taken place since summer semester 2012, which is as far back as data can be collected.
“This is a great benefit to students,” said Sandy Veltri, FRCC vice president for student and academic services. “Without the expense of taking additional classes, they earn an associate degree. Because plans to earn a bachelor’s degree sometimes can be delayed by life issues, having an associate degree shows completion of an academic goal.”
In academic year 2012-13, FRCC awarded 201 Associate of Science degrees, 757 Associate of Arts degrees, and 165 Associate of General Studies degrees, all earned the traditional way.
According to the Colorado Department of Higher Education, research shows that earning an associate degree en route to a bachelor’s degree can motivate students to fulfill their academic goals. An associate degree also boosts earning potential, allowing students to earn more money if they are working while going to college.
FRCC and other members of the Colorado Community College System are participating in Degree Within Reach, as are Colorado State University, Colorado State University-Global, Colorado State University-Pueblo, Metropolitan State University of Denver, Regis University, University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, University of Colorado-Denver, and Western State Colorado University.
By the end of 2014, all of Colorado’s colleges and universities will become part of Degree Within Reach, an initiative passed through legislation in 2012 and partially funded by a grant from the Lumina Foundation.
About Front Range Community College
FRCC is a member of the Colorado Community College System, the state’s largest system of higher education. CCCS serves more than 162,000 students annually. The system oversees career and academic programs in the 13 state community colleges and career and technical programs in more than 160 school districts and six other post-secondary institutions.