BHC, WIU partner to help students complete degrees

Dr. Bettie Truitt, Black Hawk College vice president for instructional services, and Dr. Joe Rives, vice president for Quad Cities and planning, Western Illinois University, sign the Reverse Transfer Agreement between the two schools.

Black Hawk College and Western Illinois University are partnering to help WIU students complete an associate degree.

Officials from both schools recently signed a Reverse Transfer Agreement that will allow WIU students to transfer credits to Black Hawk College to complete an Associate in Arts, Associate in Fine Arts or Associate in Science degree.

The agreement is in response to President Obama and Gov. Pat Quinn’s charges to increase degree completion among college students. Although the students’ aspirations may be to complete a bachelor’s degree from WIU, transfer students who complete an associate degree have a four-year graduation rate of 79 percent compared to 53 percent for students without an associate degree.

The agreement will allow any student enrolled at WIU to transfer up to 45 credit hours to Black Hawk College toward meeting graduation requirements for an associate degree. The reverse transfer will not guarantee that students have met the graduation requirements for the associate degree, and students are still required to have a minimum of 24 credit hours of Black Hawk College coursework.

“More and more students are transitioning back and forth between community colleges and universities as they move toward completing a degree,” said Dr. Thomas Baynum, president of Black Hawk College.

“We are here to serve students. This agreement will make it easier for students to finish an associate degree while they pursue a bachelor’s degree,” he said.

“We want to have an educated population to meet workforce needs,” said Dr. Bettie Truitt, vice president for instructional services at Black Hawk College.

“This gives students more educational opportunity,” said Dr. Joe Rives, vice president for Quad Cities and planning, Western Illinois University. He noted that BHC and WIU have advanced beyond competition to collaboration.

“It is another great addition to the long list of partnerships between Western Illinois University and Black Hawk College that benefit students and the region,” Rives said.

Last updated 6/10/2013