MADISON, Wis. -

Officials from Madison College and the University of Wisconsin-Madison signed an agreement Monday that will make it easier for students from the college who transfer to the university to receive an associate degree.

The "reverse transfer" agreement allows Madison College students who have earned at least 30 credits to transfer to UW-Madison and pick up the classes required for an associate degree. Then students are awarded their associate degree from Madison College, according to a news release.

Officials from both institutions are praising the agreement, which is among a handful of such partnerships between a two-year community college and a four-year comprehensive university in the U.S.

"Each year, hundreds of students begin their higher education at Madison College then transfer to UW-Madison," said Terry Webb, provost of Madison College, in a news release. "For these students, earning an associate degree may not be their ultimate goal."

"This agreement adds value for transfer students who have already put in significant work toward earning their associate degree and is another opportunity to strengthen our partnership with Madison College," said Paul M. DeLuca, provost of UW-Madison, in the release.

The agreement goes into effect this fall.