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NIU, Harper sign reverse transfer agreement

June 12, 2015
NIU President Doug Baker and Harper College President Ken Ender sign the reverse transfer agreement.

NIU President Doug Baker and Harper College President Ken Ender sign the reverse transfer agreement.

Northern Illinois University President Doug Baker and William Rainey Harper College President Ken Ender signed a reverse transfer agreement between the institutions during a Friday morning ceremony at NIU-Hoffman Estates. The agreement allows eligible NIU students who transferred from Harper 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 breaks down barriers and provides a framework to receive credit for courses completed at NIU towards an associate’s degree at Harper College.”

This reverse transfer option is beneficial for students who have transferred from Harper College to Northern Illinois before earning their associate’s degrees.  Credits completed at NIU are transferred back to Harper 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.

“This partnership acknowledges that every college credit counts,” President Ender said. “The ability for students to easily transfer credits back to Harper to earn a terminal degree—in this case, an associate’s degree— enhances their opportunity for career success.”

Regional and national data show that the associate degree is a valuable commodity. Employees with associate degrees typically earn an average of $7,200 per year more than employees with no post-secondary credentials – almost $600,000 more in salary over a lifetime.


NIU Registrar Jerry Montag, left, explains the reverse transfer process as the presidents take a final look at the paperwork before the signing ceremony.

NIU Director of Registration and Records Jerry Montag indicated 197 students are initially being contacted regarding their eligibility for the program.

“The criteria established is to select students who transferred with a minimum of 30 credits to NIU and have neither graduated from Harper College nor NIU,” said Montag. “We will continue this process on a routine basis every year.”

“Students want a hassle-free transfer process and to receive credit for the work they do,” added Baker. “This reverse transfer agreement does just that.”