Missouri Looks to Ease College Transfer Rules

Ann McClure's picture

Some higher education leaders in Missouri are seeking to make it easier for students to transfer to another school, reasoning that some college is better than none and that transfer students shouldn’t be penalized by being forced to take duplicative classes to get their degrees.

A bill filed by state Sen. David Pearce, R- Warrensburg, calls for the creation of a “core transfer library” of at least 25 entry-level courses in English, math, science and other general education subjects that would be honored for credit at each of Missouri’s public colleges and universities.

The bill also requires Missouri’s Coordinating Board for Higher Education to adopt a statewide “reverse transfer” policy. That would let students at four-year schools receive associate degrees from community colleges once they’ve completed a two-year school’s requirements — even if they fail to complete the more advanced degree requirements, or have to put their college education on hold.

The lawmaker cites federal data showing that fewer than 46 percent of Missouri college students seeking bachelor’s degrees earn their diplomas after six years in school. And just 38 percent of the state’s workforce has a post-secondary degree — a number Gov Jay Nixon has said needs to increase to 60 percent over the next decade.

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