Credit When It’s Due


The Credit When It’s Due (CWID) initiative is a national grant program designed to facilitate the implementation and improve the process of “reverse transfer” degree programs. CWID represents a joint venture of several foundations: Lumina Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, USA FundsThe Helios Education Foundation, and Greater Texas Foundation. The following 15 states have been awarded CWID grants: Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, and Texas. As explained in the CWID grant announcement, “The initiative is designed to encourage partnerships of community colleges and universities to significantly expand programs that award associate degrees to transfer students when students complete the requirements for the associate degree while pursuing a bachelor’s degree.” Lumina Foundation and the Gates Foundation are supporting OCCRL to conduct the research for the CWID initiative. OCCRL’s research design consists of three related studies: Baseline Study, Policy Implementation and Data Capacity Study, and Impact Study. As the CWID research progresses, OCCRL will release a series of interim reports and products that will be available on this web page.

  • Conduct a baseline study that documents and analyzes pre-CWID policies and data related to reverse transfer
  • Conduct a policy implementation and data capacity study that documents the development and implementation of reverse transfer-related policies and practices
  • Conduct an impact study to track students longitudinally to determine the impact of CWID and reverse transfer programs
  • Facilitate and support communications and among CWID states, funders, and the public
What is reverse transfer?

In the context of Credit When It’s Due, “reverse transfer” refers to “programs that award associate degrees to transfer students when the student completes the requirements for the associate degree while pursuing a bachelor’s degree.”

How does reverse transfer work?

In the most simplistic form, reverse transfer programs are intended for students who transfer from a community college to a university without earning the associate’s degree. College credits earned at the university are then transferred back to the community college where a degree audit is conducted and students are awarded an associate degree’s if all degree requirements are met. CWID states are implementing reverse transfer in different ways, and as these approaches are developed and implemented we will report them on this website and in other venues.


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