Rewarding associate degrees retroactively

An interesting development in Michigan that I expect to see replicated in Tennessee.  As long as it's not too much work for the universities.  From Dave Murray, writing in The Grand Rapids Press.

GRCC and universities sign pact to award degrees retroactively, a move experts say could be replicated across the state
With lawmakers and business leaders looking on, presidents from GRCC and Davenport, Grand Valley State, Ferris State and Western Michigan universities signed an agreement to award transfer students associate degrees if they have at least 45 community college credits, and have earned at least 15 more at the other schools.

GVSU President Thomas Haas said students clearly benefit from the arrangement, but he said the region as a whole is helped by a better educated workforce.

“Look at the educational opportunities in Western Michigan all along the U.S. 131 corridor, from Western in Kalamazoo through Ferris State,” Haas said. “And we're here with business leaders working together to create the best workforce possible. Do I at GVSU benefit from this? Certainly, because the whole region benefits.”

GRCC President Steven Ender came up with the idea of awarding retroactive degrees as part of a brainstorming session with members of Talent 2025, a coalition of business leaders and educators.

Ender said the he noticed that nearly 3,000 GRCC students transferred to one of the four area universities, and about 700 had earned at least 45 credits toward an associate degree, but left before reaching the required 60 credits.

Under the plan, the universities would identify eligible students, and the community college would see if they are interested in accepting the degree.

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