The University of Hawaii Community Colleges, a leader in innovative teaching, will receive $434,000 from the Kresge Foundation as part of a multi-state initiative called “Credit When It’s Due: Recognizing the Value of the Quality Associate Degree.”
The initiative is supported by five national foundations that have joined forces to award $6.4 million in grants to encourage partnerships of community colleges and universities to significantly expand programs that award associate degrees to transfer students when the student completes the requirements for the associate degree while pursuing a bachelor’s degree.
Hawaii is one of 12 states to receive funding support.
The grant money will be used to improve the “reverse transfer” pilot program and scale up activities to include all seven community colleges, the three public universities and some private universities.
John Morton, University of Hawaii vice president for community colleges, emphasized the importance of systemizing how the university award’s associate degrees.
“58 percent of community college students transfer to public universities in Hawaii without an associate’s degree,” Morton said. “With this grant, we will be able to improve and systemize the reverse transfer process to help individuals — especially those who stopped out of college before earning a bachelor’s degree — receive a college credential that they’ve already earned.”
Fall 2011 data indicated that 932 out of a total of 1,606 community college students transferred to either UH Manoa, UH Hilo or UH West Oahu without receiving an associate’s degree.
Peter Quigley, UH Community Colleges associate vice president for academic affairs, said: “We are fortunate to have Kresge Foundation’s support to take our reverse transfer process to the next level for the students in the University of Hawaii System. The campuses have worked hard to get us this far, and although we are one of the leaders in the nation in this area, we have much room for improvement. This grant will insure we have a model program.”