NIU, Elgin Community College ink reverse transfer agreement

NIU-ECC handshake
ECC President David Sam shakes the hand of NIU President Doug Baker following the ceremonial signing.

Northern Illinois University President Doug Baker and Elgin Community College President David Sam signed an innovative reverse transfer agreement during a Tuesday afternoon ceremony in Elgin. The agreement allows eligible NIU students who transferred from ECC without associate degrees to earn the two-year degree using credit from NIU courses.

“Postsecondary education is a powerful force for career advancement, and a skilled workforce helps the region maintain its competitive advantage,” Baker said. “This partnership provides affordable access to high-quality educational opportunities that prepare students for their lives and careers by eliminating barriers and fostering innovative educational paths between levels of higher education.”

A 2014 NIU Center for Governmental Studies report to the Illinois Community College Board found that an Illinois community college education increases earnings for workers, add skills to the state’s workforce and boosts the state’s competitiveness. An Illinois community college graduate can expect a total lifetime earnings gain of over $570,000 – a 44 percent increase over the average total lifetime earnings of those not completing a community college program.

NIU-ECC signing“I am really excited about the opportunities presented by this reverse transfer agreement with NIU,” said Dr. David Sam, president of ECC. “We know an associate degree is a meaningful credential that increases one’s employability. If our former students can achieve that while pursuing a bachelor’s degree at NIU, it’s a win-win for everyone.”

This reverse transfer option is beneficial for students who have transferred from ECC to Northern Illinois before earning their associate’s degree. Credits completed at NIU are transferred back to ECC and used to satisfy the degree requirements for an associate’s degree, similar to how credit is transferred from a community college to NIU, just in reverse.

“Public higher education institutions in the state to think of innovative ways to efficiently deliver a high-quality, affordable education,” added Baker. “Building upon synergies such as those we have with ECC into partnerships such as this reverse articulation agreement create new learning opportunities, help reduce costs and enhance access to four-year baccalaureate and graduate degrees.”

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