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Chancellor Zimpher

2012 Year in Review – Lumina Foundation Grant

As we enter the new year, we thought we’d share some of the SUNY news you may have missed during 2012.

DegreeWorks transfer processIn October, SUNY received a grant enabling an easier transfer process for students between system campuses. The $500,000 Lumina Foundation grant will be used to enhance the “reverse transfer” process and install a high-tech software program, called DegreeWorks, at all SUNY campuses.  The software will provide advisers and students with better, more complete information necessary for degree planning.

This grant will be used for two main projects.  The first is to identify current students at 4-year SUNY institutions that had transferred from a SUNY community college before earning a degree to “reverse-transfer” credits back, allowing them to be awarded an associate’s degree from their previous institution.

Lumina Foundation logo

The second project will help fund the DegreeWorks program, a software tool with multi-functional capabilities, including the ability to perform a degree audit that compares course and general education history to degree requirements at all campuses, conduct a “what if” analysis, and access course offerings at all campuses.  To support the DegreeWorks initiative, SUNY will hire a reverse transfer coordinator to assist the community colleges with training and technical support; allocate funds to support on-campus staff as necessary; facilitate the sharing of course catalogs among colleges; and develop a common database of course equivalencies.

Nearly 10,000 students traditionally transfer from SUNY community colleges to four-year institutions within the system each year. Of them, approximately 59 percent transfer before receiving associate degree. In addition, approximately 11,000 students transfer each year to community colleges from other SUNY community colleges or 4-year institutions, 96 percent of whom transfer without the associate degree.

As a result of the project, SUNY aims to award associate degrees to 5 percent of students who transfer vertically from community colleges to four year colleges, and offer another 35 percent of students an opportunity to complete their degree.

Chancellor Zimpher said of the grant, “We are deeply grateful to Lumina Foundation for its support of this important, ground-breaking initiative.  This project will give our students greater transfer opportunities within SUNY and dramatically enhance degree planning services across our 64 campuses, increasing completion rates and ensuring that students are equipped with the knowledge, tools, and advisement they need to graduate on time.”


To read more about the Lumina Foundation grant, click here.

To see the list of the grant awardees, click here.


    Emily Schwartz

      Written by Emily Schwartz

      Emily Schwartz is the Coordinator of Open SUNY Communication and Projects.

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