Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy





First Advisor

Lorenzo D. Baber


For nearly a decade, productivity within U.S. colleges and universities has been at the forefront of policy makers, politicians, business leaders, and researchers regarding the placement of college graduates when compared to other nations. Reports and data have pointed to a college completion crisis in the United States. According to the Lumina Foundation for Education, more than 22% of the adult population in the United States have attended college but did not complete a degree. In order to meet the growing demands for college completers and the nation’s workforce, community colleges must be a significant part in the national college completion agenda. A program that is becoming more popular in higher education is reverse credit transfer. The reverse credit transfer pathway enables community college students to retroactively receive a college credential after transfer to a four-year university once they earn the college-level credits necessary for an associate degree. In 2012, the State of Iowa implemented the Reverse Transfer Credit Program. Since its inception, 1,972 students have opted-in to participate in reverse credit transfer; nevertheless, to-date, only 162 associate degrees have been conferred. Research for this study was conducted as a qualitative case study to understand the challenges the State of Iowa’s Reverse Credit Transfer Program has faced since its implementation. Findings indicated that students could benefit from this program by earning a better living wage and gaining the confidence to complete the bachelor degree. To keep the program running efficiently it is important to strive and improve the program where necessary while keeping the stakeholders informed of the progress. By continuing to monitor the underpinnings of the program, the state can enhance the program to achieve the potential that was originally intended for reverse credit transfer.


Copyright Owner

Eric Neil Merten



File Format


File Size

135 pages