Benefiting Students

USF signs an agreement with four colleges to make sure students receive credits for associate degrees.

USF President Judy Genshaft is joined by (from left), Timothy Beard, Vice President for Pasco-Hernando  Community College; Ken Atwater, president Hillsborough Community College; Eileen Holden, president Polk State College; and William Law, St. Petersburg College president. Photo: Aimee Blodgett | USF News

From USF News

TAMPA, Fla. (Feb. 4, 2013) – With the goal of addressing an increased demand for higher education and the need for more highly skilled professionals, the University of South Florida and colleges that are part of the Florida College System signed a pact Monday, creating a regional system of reverse credit transferring that will improve student access to two-year degrees. 

USF President Judy Genshaft was joined at the agreement signing at the Patel Center by the presidents of Hillsborough Community College, Pasco-Hernando Community College, Polk State College and St. Petersburg College.

Students who completed some academic coursework at a Florida College System school and USF, but did not complete a degree in either case, will now have those credits transferred back to them to go towards an associate degree. USF and the four colleges will work together to identify students who qualify under the criteria and have earned enough credits to be awarded an associate degree.  Students will then be notified that their degree has been conferred.

Students in the Tampa Bay area, local employers and the region’s overall economy all stand to benefit from the agreement.

“For many people, an associate degree is the difference in getting a good job or a promotion. This agreement removes a barrier to their future success,” Genshaft said. “We are making the process for awarding credit when credit is due seamless and easy. I hope thousands of people take advantage of this opportunity to establish their educational credentials and move forward in their professional lives.”

This agreement builds on a partnership established by USF, HCC, PHCC, and SPC in November 2011, to provide students with a clear pathway to earning associate and bachelor’s degrees.

It comes on the heels a report released in January by the National Commission on Higher Education Attainment, urging colleges and universities to find ways to provide students with credit for previously completed coursework, in hopes of improving graduation rates.