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New Program Allows Transfer Students at UT to Receive Associate Degrees

Category: Academics

KNOXVILLE—The Tennessee Reverse Transfer program, which rolled out at the University of Tennessee this month, makes it possible for students who transferred from a Tennessee community college before earning a two-year degree to retroactively receive that credential when requirements are met in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree.

The program represents a partnership involving the state’s three public and private higher education systems and is yet another example of Tennessee’s commitment to helping more students earn college degrees. Approximately 2,300 students transfer each year from Tennessee’s community colleges to four-year universities with at least 45 of the 60 credit hours required for most associate degrees.

UT Chattanooga, UT Knoxville and UT Martin are three of the seven four-year schools across the state implementing the program this semester, and full implementation among participating schools is expected by the end of 2015.

“The process allows students who early-transfer the opportunity to have their completed four-year courses and grades combined with their completed community college courses and grades to determine if they meet the requirements for an associate degree,” said Gloria Gammell, project coordinator for Tennessee Reverse Transfer and program manager for the University of Tennessee System.

Eligible transfer students are those currently enrolled at UT and who have earned a minimum of 15 college-level credits from a Tennessee community college, transferred before earning an associate degree, and completed a combined total of 60 college-level credits post-transfer.

More than 1,500 UT students were notified of their eligibility on Feb. 6, 2015 and invited to sign up for a free degree audit. So far, more than 250 UT students are participating. The deadline to opt in is Feb. 28.

About Tennessee Reverse Transfer

In July 2012, the UT System convened and charged a statewide taskforce with creating a reverse transfer process, at the recommendation of the legislature. In 2013, the governor’s budget included a one-time, $300,000 appropriation to partially underwrite start-up costs.

In 2014, Lumina Foundation awarded the UT System a $392,800 grant to further facilitate and accelerate creation of a reverse transfer process. Grant funding from Lumina’s “Credit When It’s Due” program was awarded to a total of 15 recipients, including the partnership involving public and private Tennessee higher education institutions.

A previous announcement about the program is available at

Participating students will be contacted in the spring by their former community college and notified if the degree will be awarded or if courses for an associate degree are lacking. Eligible transfer students will be identified and notified each semester.

“The benefits of a Tennessee Reverse Transfer degree include having a credential that matters in the world of work, serving as a motivator to complete the bachelor’s degree and having the satisfaction of receiving a degree already earned,” said Gammell. The program is funded by a state of Tennessee appropriation and a “Credit When It’s Due” grant from Lumina Foundation, an Indianapolis-based private foundation dedicated to expanding access to and success in education beyond high school.

For more information about Tennessee Reverse Transfer, Students who have questions should contact their UT advisors or Gloria Gammell at



Gina Stafford
(865) 974-0741

Ellie Amador
(865) 974-1177


Category: Academics