Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin today announced the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (Commission) and the West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education (Council) have adopted a joint resolution, which paves the way for a more seamless process for students transferring credits from one public higher education institution to another.
According to data from the Commission and Council, the percentage of undergraduate transfers from West Virginia community and technical colleges to four-year institutions has increased by 39.5 percent throughout the last five years. Gov. Tomblin, in his State of the State Address earlier this year, issued a challenge to colleges and universities across the state to ease this process for students and avoid costly setbacks in degree completion.
"The collective agreement reached today by community and technical colleges and four-year institutions is the first step toward making the credit transfer process easier for students across West Virginia," Gov. Tomblin said. "Our ultimate goal is to help students earn their degrees without delay - and start building the bright future they've worked so hard to achieve."
In the joint resolution, the Commission and Council affirm that public institutions of higher education must make every effort possible to accept credit hours earned at any other public higher education in West Virginia, while sustaining the integrity of academic programs. To accomplish this, the four- and two-year systems will collaborate to develop and implement a statewide agreement for alignment of associate programs to be accepted and fully credited to a related baccalaureate degree program.
In addition, the Commission and Council will develop a reverse transfer policy that facilitates associate degree completion by allowing students who earn their final credits at a four-year institution to have those credits sent back to and credited by the community college where they started. The entities also will create a joint commission to hear and resolve issues related to transfer disagreements between students and institutions.