Talent Hub 2019-06-30T11:18:57+00:00

Talent Hub

In 2017, Lumina Foundation in partnership with Kresge Foundation announced Richmond as one of the 17 initial communities across the country designated as a Talent Hub.  Talent Hubs, a term coined in America Needs Talent, are communities that organize and align themselves with talent goals to offer and create multiple pathways to success and work to retain, attract and cultivate talent. Among the other cities, Richmond earned this new designation by meeting rigorous standards for creating environments that attract, retain, and cultivate talent, particularly among today’s students, many of whom are people of color, the first in their families to go to college, and from low-income households.

Bridging Richmond convened United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg, John Tyler Community College, Reynolds Community College and Virginia Commonwealth University. Together, this group developed Richmond’s Talent Hub application, workplan, and formed the regional college access network, Graduate RVA. As a Talent Hub designated city and partnership, Graduate RVA will receive $350,00 in grant funding over 3 1/2 years to support local efforts to educate more people, allowing community and post-secondary leaders to better meet the specific needs of residents.

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The Opportunity

There are a large number of adults in our region with some college credits but no degree, particularly people of color and low income-earners.  When students transfer from a 2-year to a 4-year institution before receiving an associate degree and don’t complete a bachelor’s degree, they may have completed or be close to completing an associate degree without knowing it.  There are currently no policies in place in Central Virginia for a process known as “reverse transfer” – “an attempt to transfer back credits from a four-year college to the community college from which currently degree-less students had come.” (Source)  Richmond has the opportunity to help returning adults receive support needed to complete their associate or bachelor’s degrees.

The Strategies

Adults who have not completed their degrees may have stopped short of applying for a diploma or completing the last few credits for multiple reasons.  Completion grants, coordinated social and financial supports, and developmental math are three of the strategies to support the students once they’re identified by the partnering 4-year and community colleges.  Bridging Richmond Talent Hub higher education partners are committed to improving their policies and practices so that these adults can significantly accelerate their degree attainment to enhance their talent and career.

The Impact

Bridging Richmond Talent Hub partners are dedicated to improving equity in education and workforce participation as a means of reducing poverty, improving social mobility, and ensuring that the region is economically competitive.

Graduate RVA intends to significantly increase regional post-secondary completion efforts. By targeting the persons with some college experience, but no degree or credential, Graduate RVA seeks to improve the ecosystem in which students follow the pathway to, through, and out of their post-secondary experience with a high-quality degree or credential. One of Graduate RVA’s initial efforts to increase degree and credential attainment is the establishment of a reverse transfer agreement and formalized process between VCU, John Tyler, and Reynolds Community College. 

What is a Reverse Transfer?

Reverse transferring is defined as the process of retroactively awarding associate degrees to students who did not complete the requirements for an associate degree before transferring from a two-year community college to a four-year institution.

Reverse transfers can be awarded through joint degree auditing efforts between community colleges and four-year institutions. Some students will be eligible for degree conferment without any additional coursework. Others may need to transfer credits back from the four-year institution to the community college for degree completion.

The Reverse Transfer Benefit

Reverse Transfers promote student success and socioeconomic mobility through the following pathways:

Ongoing Graduate RVA Initiatives

In addition to regional reverse transferring, the Graduate RVA partnership has also prioritized Credit Where it’s Due (CWID) initiatives that include recurring degree auditing of currently enrolled post-secondary students for degree completion. CWID students have often completed all requirements for degree or certificate conferment, but have not applied for graduation. Other Graduate RVA ongoing student success priorities include stop-out intervention, completion grants at 2 and 4-year educational institutions, and increased support of students in completing developmental math degree requirements.


Bridging Richmond, anchored by United Way, is excited to partner with Virginia Commonwealth University, John Tyler Community College, and Reynolds Community College in an effort to expand regional degree completion efforts.


For more information, please contact Stephanie G. Odera, Partnership Associate Director, at sgodera@vcu.edu.