State University System to give Georgians retroactive degrees

The state’s university system is working to help some Georgians receive associate degrees they may not know they’ve earned.

The “Credit When It’s Due” program is designed to identify former students who may have completed enough college credits to earn the degree, but have not actually received it. The reverse-transfer project is part of the state’s Complete College Georgia goal to increase the number of residents with college credentials by 250,000 by 2020.

“Today there are thousands of Georgians who have invested some time in college without completion of enough courses to earn a bachelor’s degree,” said Barbara Brown, the University System of Georgia’s assistant vice chancellor for transitional and general education. “The courses these students did complete, however, may qualify them for their associate degree.”

The program is funded through a grant from the Lumina Foundation. The University System is partnering with Parchment, an academic credentials management system, to help obtain students’ consent to participate in the program, and it is requesting and sending students’ academic records.

Three University System schools — East Georgia State College, Georgia Southern University and Georgia Regents University — are the pilot institutions for the program, which will expand to all 30 system schools by early spring 2016. Up to 8,000 students each year may qualify for the retroactive associate degrees, officials estimate.

Eligible students will be contacted by mail and encouraged to apply for an associate degree. Once applied, their records will be exchanged through Parchment and their completed courses verified. There is no cost to students.

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