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King University News :: King University, Virginia Highlands Reverse Transfer Agreement Will Help Students Earn Degrees

ABINGDON, Va., Jan. 12, 2015 – King University and Virginia Highlands Community College (VHCC) announced the signing of a reverse transfer agreement between the institutions during a meeting held Monday, Jan. 12, at Virginia Highlands’ campus in Abingdon, Va.

Beginning Monday, Jan. 12, 2015, the reverse transfer program will be available to VHCC students who have transferred to King University from VHCC prior to the completion of their associate degree program. 

“It is a blessing to further our partnership with Virginia Highlands Community College,” said Dr. Richard Ray, interim president at King University. “This is a tremendous 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 Virginia Highlands Community College will be eligible for the reverse transfer program. “The reverse transfer creates a mechanism to send information to VHCC from King so those students who first attended VHCC can be awarded their associate degree through remaining course requirements completed at King,” said Dr. Matt Roberts, vice president of Academic Affairs at King University.

“We’re excited to join King University in recognizing VHCC’s transfer students for this significant educational milestone,” said Dr. Gene C. Couch Jr., president at Virginia Highlands Community College. “Not only will this agreement provide students with another opportunity to earn a two-year degree, but I’m confident it will provide the momentum many need to continue working toward a bachelor’s degree and beyond. I applaud King for acknowledging the value of an associate’s degree and extending this tremendous opportunity to our students.”

King University and Virginia Highlands Community College have a longstanding partnership in helping students attain their baccalaureate degree. The existing articulation agreement, established in 1999 between the two schools, is designed to ensure a seamless transition for students transferring from community college to a bachelor’s-level institution.

Currently, King has articulation agreements with ten community colleges — seven in Tennessee and three 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. 

“Reverse transfer is a great opportunity for our students,” said John King, vice president of Development and Enrollment Management at King.  “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 2014 Articulation and Transfer Report, among private institutions in Tennessee, King University currently ranks number one in the number of transfers as a percent of the fall undergraduate enrollment for TICUA institutions. In 2013-14, King received the largest number of transfers from public institutions in Tennessee as well as from out-of-state schools.

“King has always enjoyed a wonderful working relationship with Virginia Highlands Community College,” said Roberts. “That spirit of cooperation continues with our reverse transfer agreement. As a result of the agreement, VHCC 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-affiliated, doctoral-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.