Reverse Transfer

Author: F. McQuarrie | Published: Feb 01, 2022

Reverse transfer has been part of the United States post-secondary landscape for more than a decade, in the form of statewide, system-wide, regional, and institutional transfer agreements. Reverse transfer agreements, as structured in the US, allow a college student in an associate degree program who transfers to a university before completing the associate degree to transfer credit “back” to the college, and receive the college’s associate degree while staying enrolled at the university.

Reverse transfer can benefit students by expanding their educational and career options, and, motivating them to continue their studies. It can also benefit post-secondary institutions by improving credential completion rates.

The British Columbia post-secondary system has included two associate degree programs, the Associate of Arts (AA) and Associate of Science (AS), since the mid 1990s. This report explores the potential for reverse transfer in the BC Transfer System. The report focuses primarily on the potential for reverse transfer in BC involving associate degrees. However, reverse transfer agreements can also facilitate students’ completion of credentials such as diplomas and certificates.

The report reviews published research on reverse transfer agreements, and describes the characteristics of reverse transfer agreements in the US. The report reviews the features of BC’s associate degree programs, and then presents data that may indicate student interest in, and demand for, reverse transfer in BC. It provides system-wide and institutional recommendations around the potential for reverse transfer in BC.