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King University News :: King University, Pellissippi State Reverse Transfer Agreement Will Help Students Earn Degrees

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – King University and Pellissippi State Community College (PSCC) announced the signing of a reverse transfer agreement between the institutions during a meeting held Friday, Nov. 22, at King’s Hardin Valley campus in Knoxville, Tenn. 

The reverse transfer program will be available to PSCC students who have transferred to King University from PSCC prior to the completion of their associate degree program. 

“We are delighted to further extend the collaborative and long-standing relationship we have enjoyed with our partners at Pellissippi State Community College,” says Dr. Greg Jordan, president of King University. “This is an excellent opportunity for students to achieve their dreams of college completion at both the associate and baccalaureate levels.”

Upon transfer to King University, students who have completed a minimum of 21 semester hours toward their associate degree at any Pellissippi State Community College location will be eligible for the reverse transfer program.

“At Pellissippi State, we are always looking for ways of enhancing the transfer opportunities for our graduates,” says Dr. Anthony Wise, president of Pellissippi State Community College. “Our partnership with King University allows our students to make a successful transition between institutions and to complete an associate’s degree on the path to a bachelor’s degree. We are glad to partner with our colleagues at King in increasing the number of Tennesseans with post-secondary degrees.” 

King University and Pellissippi State have a proven partnership since 2009 in helping students attain their baccalaureate degree. King has offered classes on Pellissippi State’s Strawberry Plains campus since 2012. In June 2013, the two schools extended their partnership to include PSCC’s Blount County campus in Friendsville. The existing articulation agreement between the two schools is designed to ensure a seamless transition for students transferring from community college to a bachelor’s-level institution.

“The reverse transfer creates a mechanism to send information to PSCC from King so those students who first attended PSCC can be awarded their associate degree through remaining course requirements completed at King,” says Matt Roberts, chief academic officer and dean of Academic Affairs for King University.

Currently, King has articulation agreements with nine community colleges — five in Tennessee and four in Virginia — including Northeast State Community College, Walters State Community College, Pellissippi State Community College, Roane State Community College, Nashville State Community College, Volunteer State Community College, Cleveland State Community College, Virginia Highlands Community College, Mountain Empire Community College, Southwest Virginia Community College and Wytheville Community College. 

“Reverse transfer is a great opportunity for our students,” says Jon Harr, associate dean for Academic Affairs and campus dean for Knoxville at King University.  “The student earns another credential, and retention rates are higher for students who receive an associate degree through reverse transfer.”

According to a June 2011 article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, “Reverse Transfer Programs Reward Students and Colleges Alike,” authors Donna Ekal and Paula M. Krebs state, “Up go the graduation rates at the community college, up goes the self-esteem of the newly credentialed student, and up goes the retention rate at the university: It's the ultimate win-win situation.” 

According to the Tennessee Higher Education Commission’s 2012 Articulation and Transfer Report, among private institutions in Tennessee, King currently ranks number one in the receipt of transfer students from community colleges and number three in the total number of transfers received. 

In a January 2013 news release, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam commented on his new higher education initiative, Drive to 55.  

“Over the past six months, I’ve spent a lot of time learning from experts in our state and across the country about the challenges we face in higher education,” Haslam said. “Only 32 percent of our state’s adult population has a post-secondary degree, but if we are going to have a workforce that’s job-ready, we need to be at 55 percent by 2025. The conversation needs to be about K (kindergarten) to J with the ‘J’ meaning jobs.”

“King has always enjoyed a wonderful working relationship with Pellissippi State Community College,” says Roberts. “That spirit of cooperation continues with our reverse transfer agreement. As a result of the agreement, PSCC will see an increase in its graduation rate, King should see its retention rate increase, and our students will earn a valuable credential on their way to the completion of a bachelor’s degree. Also, this agreement will not only provide for an exceptional education for students, but it will improve economic development for the region.”


King University is a Presbyterian, master's-level comprehensive university. Founded in 1867 as King College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health sciences, pharmacy, digital media, education, and humanities.  Graduate programs are offered in business administration, education, and nursing.  A number of research, off-campus learning opportunities, and travel destinations are also available. King University is a NCAA Division II and a Conference Carolinas member with 25 varsity athletic teams. For more information about King University, visit King University does not discriminate against academically qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability. King University is certified by SCHEV to operate locations in Virginia. For more information, contact the King University office at Southwest Virginia Community College, 309 College Road, Richlands, VA 24641.