College of Education

Office of Community College Research and Leadership (OCCRL)

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Reverse Transfer Illinois

This project has been completed and is no longer active.
However, we hope you are able to utilize its resources.

Reverse transfer is becoming an increasingly popular strategy to improve college completion and provide students with the credentials they have earned. As of March 2015, there was reverse transfer legislation in 13 states and were programs between two- and four-year institutions in 48 states (Garcia, 2015). Reverse transfer is a process by which students are awarded a credential from a two-year institution through any combination of credits earned at two-and four-year institutions. Most commonly reverse transfer occurs when a student transfers from a community college to a university prior to having completing the requirements for an associate’s degree, and transfers back to the community college credits earned at a university to apply toward an associate’s degree.


The Reverse Transfer Illinois project is an exploratory study of implementation of reverse transfer in the state of Illinois. OCCRL conducted research on reverse transfer through a separate multi-state project called  Credit When Its Due (CWID). Building on what was learned through CWID, OCCRL will investigate to what extent and how reverse transfer is being implemented in Illinois, a state that did not receive funding as part of the CWID project. The goal of this project is to bridge research and practice to improve transfer processes and promote positive outcomes for students.

Research Questions

  1. To what extent has reverse transfer been implemented in Illinois?
  2. How are students who may be eligible for reverse transfer identified?
  3. What are the processes for obtaining consent and auditing student records?
  4. How is information about the reverse transfer communicated with students?
  5. What supports are offered to students participating in the reverse transfer process?