Students at Lehman College to ‘go forward in reverse’

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Students attending Lehman College can now earn credits toward their associate’s degrees. 

On June 3, the presidents of Lehman College, Bronx Community College and Hostos Community College announced the start of the first “Reverse Transfer System” in New York State, known as Going Forward in Reverse.  All three colleges are part of the City University of New York (CUNY).

Within the system, students who have transferred to Lehman after completing 30 or more credits at either BCC or HCC can report the additional credits back to their community college and obtain an associate’s degree while working toward a bachelor’s degree. 

Lehman College President Ricardo Fernández called the move “historic.”

“We think that this could be a model for other community colleges in CUNY and maybe even beyond CUNY,” he said. 

Along with allowing students to complete both degrees in a shorter time frame, the system will allow those who do not complete or take a break from completing their bachelor’s degrees at Lehman College to apply their credits toward an associate’s degree at one of the two community colleges. 

HCC President Felix Matos Rodriguez said many students at the three schools work part- time or full-time. Obtaining an associate’s degree before a bachelor’s would allow them to get or keep a job while they complete their studies. 

“That might be the difference between staying in school and not staying in school,” said Mr. Rodriguez. 

Plans for the collaboration began in April 2013, when Lehman Provost Anny Morrobel-Sosa brought University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) Provost Donna Ekal to campus to introduce the concept, which has been in place at UTEP for over ten years. 

Mr. Fernández said that there is no risk to students in participating in the system, and said earning an associate degree before a bachelor’s degree has been shown to improve credit completion and graduation rates. 

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