Principles of Good Practice for Transfer and Articulation

Adopted on June 11, 1998

  1. All policies and procedures relating to transfer and articulation should be easily understood, readily available, and widely distributed among students, faculty, and staff.
    • The CBHE should adopt and maintain a clear and concise Credit Transfer Policy in consultation with institutional presidents and chancellors, who shall assure the institution's commitment to the implementation of the written accords.
    • A well-functioning system of transfer and articulation depends upon meaningful collaboration as educational partners between sending and receiving institutions in the development of agreements. This collaboration should include the exchange of pertinent information, such as catalogs, course syllabi, course outlines, learning outcomes, and/or curriculum guides in an open and timely fashion.
    • Transfer and articulation agreements may apply to whole programs or to a course-by-course arrangement. To the extent possible, institutions are encouraged to address transfer, articulation, and course-equivalency issues, as well as program or degree requirements, on the basis of learning outcomes or competencies.
    • Transfer and articulation agreements between institutions will bear institutional identification and will be signed and dated by the institutional/system chief academic officer. Such agreements shall specify any provisions relating to time limits on the duration of the agreement or arrangements for periodic review.
    • Articulation agreements must include information on how to obtain copies of the agreement. Institutions are responsible to provide additional copies of articulation agreements, either through hard copy or via electronic distribution.
  2. The transfer process should be efficient, predictable, and sensitive to student needs.
    • Interpretation and application of transfer and articulation agreements should emphasize the importance of a student-centered approach by all institutions.
    • Each institution's articulation officer has the responsibility to facilitate all correspondence concerning transfer and articulation. All correspondence should normally be acknowledged within five (5) working days after receipt of a request.
    • On occasion, good-faith efforts require institutions to make prompt decisions so students can continue to pursue their educational objectives.
    • Institutions should develop agreements with any institution from which it receives a substantial number of students in transfer. The institution may first wish to seek accords with those institutions sending the largest numbers of transfer students and then to work with those institutions generating less transfer activity.
    • As the amount of time for degree completion varies based upon personal circumstances, student aspirations, and academic requirements, transfer articulation agreements should specify if there are any time limits for degree completion for students after initial entry into the program.
    • Once developed and agreed to by institutions, existing transfer and articulation agreements are binding on all parties until they are formally modified through an appropriate, consultative process.
  3. The transfer process should treat both native and transfer students equitably.
    • The catalog of record of each institution forms the basis of any transfer and articulation agreement. Transfer students shall be subject to the same regulations regarding applicability of catalog requirements as are native students and shall be expected to complete comparable requirements consistent with the CBHE's Credit Transfer policies.
    • Every student, either native or transfer, must, upon entering an institution, meet all institutional requirements to continue as a "student in good standing." An institution's requirements to maintain the status of "student in good standing" may vary in such things as continuous enrollment, change of major, or admission to programs.
    • In the event that an articulation agreement is modified during a student's enrollment period and that student has met appropriate enrollment and performance expectations, graduation should be permitted under the program articulation agreement designated by the student.
  4. The faculty role in developing and maintaining curricula must be respected; revisions to existing articulation agreements should occur in a timely fashion, using consultative and collegial processes.
    • In the process of developing transfer and articulation agreements, faculty within the respective disciplines must be involved in consultative and collegial processes as early as possible. Furthermore, when establishing new agreements and/or revising existing agreements, institutions must exchange information essential for informed timely decision-making by the faculty from both sending and receiving institutions.
    • Colleges and universities are seeking constantly to improve the curriculum to benefit the student; therefore, orderly review, revision, and renewal in consultation with partner institutions are to be expected with such a "learning" process.
    • Early disclosure of anticipated course or program changes that could lead to revisions of transfer and articulation agreements is essential in order to facilitate consultation among all parties affected by the anticipated changes. Disclosure of possible changes must be in written form and must be addressed to the articulation officer of all sending or receiving institutions that may be affected by the anticipated change.
  5. Transfer and articulation agreements should reinforce the respective missions of associate and baccalaureate institutions.
    • Sending and receiving institutions will maintain a written rationale for the designation of courses as upper- and/or lower-division and will provide detailed explanations when requested.
    • Each institution participating in the CBHE's transfer and articulation agreement will clearly publicize and widely disseminate its course-numbering system. Distinctive numbering ranges should be identified for remedial courses and freshman-, sophomore-, junior-, and senior-level courses. A high level of commonality in course-numbering procedures will be sought to facilitate the interpretation of transcripts.
  6. The transfer process should provide for the resolution of any disagreements regarding the application or interpretation of articulation agreements or practices as expeditiously as possible, and the resolution should avoid placing an undue burden on students.
    • Institutions should make good-faith efforts to resolve disagreements, when possible, at the department or discipline level.
    • Issues unresolvable at the institutional level that are related to the renewal or revision of existing articulation agreements as defined in the CBHE Credit Transfer Policy or to the application of these agreements should follow the CBHE's prescribed appeals process.
    • Either sending or receiving institutions may request a review at the institutional level of an institution's transfer policy or, if that approach is not successful, may initiate a state-level appeal for review by the CBHE Committee on Transfer and Articulation. Such reviews may be undertaken on behalf of a particular student or may be initiated directly by an institution without the involvement of a student, as provided by the CBHE's prescribed appeals process.