Community College Research Initiatives

Credit When It’s Due

The Credit When It’s Due (CWID) initiative is a multi-foundation funded, multi-state initiative designed to facilitate the implementation of reverse transfer policies and processes that benefit college students who have transferred from the community college to the bachelor’s level and have not secured an associate’s degree at the time of transfer. 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. CCRI is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to research this initiative.

More information about CWID can be found below.

CWID Data Notes

Adopting and Adapting Competency-Based Education
Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio, is the lead of a three-state consortium with Austin Community College and Broward College, that adopted and adapted the Western Governors University competency-based education (CBE) model to accelerate information technology instruction.

Data Note 10: The Correlates of Credit Loss
September 2017
September 17, 2017 issue of The SOURCE by Matt Giani: CWID Data Note 10: The Correlates of Credit Loss, reports results of CWID data analysis that concludes the “loss of credits during transfer remains a significant issue.”

Data Note 9: Reverse Credit Transfer: Increasing State Associate’s Degree Attainment
April 2017
Data Note 9 shows 15,860 associate’s degrees conferred by 15 states after 3 years involvement in CWID. The number of associate’s degrees varied across states, with the most degrees conferred by Hawaii, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, and Texas.

Data Note 8: Degree Types Awarded Via Reverse Credit Transfer
April 2017
Using data from 7 states, Data Note 8 shows 95% of associate’s degrees conferred via reverse credit transfer are transfer degrees, mostly Associate of Arts (AA). Applied and other types of associate’s degrees are much less prominent.

Data Note 7: Transfer Research Questions that Matter: 2016 Transfer Scholar Meeting Recommendations
April 2016
Data Note 7 presents recommendations for future transfer research that emerged from a meeting of 18 transfer research scholars at the AERA 2016 meeting.

Data Note 6: Why Don’t Potentially Eligible Reverse Transfer Students Receive the Degree? Exploring the Outcomes of Reverse Transfer Degree Audits
March 2016
Data Note 6 analyzes factors influencing student eligibility for reverse credit transfer degrees in Minnesota, revealing that missing course requirements are a leading factor. Appropriately designed course substitutions and waivers can expand eligibility.

Data Note 5: The Influence of Reverse Transfer Eligibility Requirements
March 2016
Data Note 5 analyzes how the residency credit requirement and cumulative credits may influence student eligibility for reverse credit transfer. Results from Colorado suggest a decrease in cumulative credit requirements increases the number of eligible students.

Data Note 4: Increasing State Associate’s Degree Attainment: The Potential of Reverse Transfer
October 2015
Data Note 4 examines the varying number of students who earned an associate’s degrees from reverse credit transfer in 12 CWID states over the first 2-years of implementation. Policies and practices that may facilitate impact are discussed.

Data Note 3: Does the Associate’s Degree Matter? Evidence from Hawaii and Ohio
May 2015
Data Note 3 analyzes bachelor’s completion for transfer students with and without associate’s degrees in two states, revealing higher baccalaureate completion for students having the associate’s degree than students without. Bachelor’s completion varies by degree type.

Data Note 2: Reverse Transfer: The National Landscape
March 2015
Data Note 2 is a policy scan on state reverse transfer legislation showing 13 states have passed or have pending legislations; 36 states have at least one reverse transfer program between 2-year and 4-year institutions.

Data Note 1: Cumulative College Credits and Reverse Transfer Eligibility Policies
February 2015
Data Note 1: Data Note 1 analyzes two approaches to identifying students potentially eligible for reverse credit transfer degrees: “credit right now” and “credit when ready”, revealing “credit when ready” allows more students to access reverse transfer degrees.

Reports and Briefs

Reverse Credit Transfer Guiding Principles

Drawing on implementation and outcomes data gathered from 15 states that participated in Credit When It’s Due (CWID), this paper presents eight guiding principles to advance the implementation of reverse credit transfer by state systems: (1) state or system policy framework; (2) alignment with state or system transfer and articulation policies; (3) robust technology to support integration and automation; (4) institutional culture, policies, and capacity; (5) communication and awareness; (6) coordinated state, system, and institutional leadership; (7) research and data; and (8) student empowerment.

The Implementation and Outcomes of Credit When It’s Due (CWID) in 15 States

June 2017
A new comprehensive report describes results of a 4-year study of the implementation and outcomes of “reverse credit transfer” — known as Credit When It’s Due (CWID) — in 15 states receiving funding from the Helios Education Foundation, Kresge Foundation, Lumina Foundation, USA Funds, or Greater Texas Foundation. The lead author of this report is Dr. Jason Taylor, University of Utah, and the overall CWID research is led by Dr. Debra Bragg, Director of the Community College Research Initiative (CCRI) group at University of Washington Seattle. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation provided the generous funding to CCRI-UW to execute this large-scale study. The report provides state-by-state descriptions of the implementation and outcomes of reverse credit transfer from first implementation in fall 2012 through to summer 2016 during which nearly 16,000 students were awarded an associate’s degrees using a variety of state and institutional policy and program approaches.

The Potential of Degree Reclamation

May 2017
This brief focuses on evidence-based and equity-focused degree reclamation strategies that support potential college degree completers—students who have accumulated roughly two or more academic years’ worth of credit and have stopped out of an institution or transferred from a two-year to a four-year institution before receiving a degree—in attaining degrees that are meaningful to their education and career goals.

Reforming Transfer to Meet the Needs of “Post-Traditional” Transfer Students

June 2016
This brief situates reverse credit transfer in the larger context of state transfer and articulation agendas in 15 CWID states. Potential improvements are identified for the overall transfer function as well as reverse credit transfer.

What We’ve Learned, What We Still Need to Know: Insights from the Credit When It’s Due (CWID) Research Meeting in Salt Lake City

May 2016
This brief summarizes major insights from the CWID research team’s meeting at the University of Utah with representatives of 10 CWID states. The meeting included the sharing of lessons learned about the implementation of reverse credit transfer and on future research needs of states in the CWID network.

Optimizing Reverse Transfer Policies and Processes: Lessons From Twelve CWID States

January 2015
An in-depth look at the five dimensions of optimizing reverse transfer in efforts to maximize student eligibility without overextending resources.

Credit When It’s Due: Results From the Baseline Study

October 2013
This baseline study includes cross-sectional data from one cohort of potential transfer students who may be eligible to receive associate’s degrees, providing an informative data point concerning reverse transfer degree production as current CWID policies move forward in the states.