DATE: June 19, 2002
TO: Montana Board of Regents
FROM: Joyce A. Scott, Deputy Commissioner for Academic & Student Affairs
RE: Transfer Project Update
Commissioner Crofts appointed the Higher Education Transfer Steering Committee in March with the following charge:
- Select, following appropriate consultation and fact-finding, the disciplines to be reviewed and brought into the statewide articulation process after the initial round of reviews.
- Suggest fact-finding strategies and necessary studies to be conducted.
- Form and charge statewide disciplinary articulation teams and provide them documentation.
- Receive, critique/amend and forward to the appropriate bodies recommendations from statewide articulation teams about course and program alignment.
- Review issues and policy questions surrounding transfer and make recommendations to OCHE about desirable changes in policy and practice including, but not limited to:
- Method for updating regularly course and major program articulation?
- Method for publicizing articulations annually?
- Feedback processes for 4-year programs to inform 2-year institutions about transfer students' progress/preparedness for transfer?
- Feedback to sending institutions about the disposition of transfer credits.
- Desirability of accepting courses in transfer with a grade of “C” or better.
The Steering Committee convened April 19 to define the direction of the work. The following suggestions are under investigation:
- An online service to show how transfer courses match to receiving institution’s programs.
- Utilization of Banner CAPP (Curriculum Advising & Program Planning) to address degree sorting for analysis purposes.
- Finalize and correct the Transfer Audit (attached).
- Evaluate Regents Policies on Transfer 301.5, 301.10, and 301.14 and suggest changes.
Three campuses reported on activities conducted in Spring 2002 to gather student input on the transfer process. MSU-Bozeman, UM-Western and Tech will report student input at next meeting, and UM-Missoula will offer an update on their Fall survey. The Committee recommended campuses
· Survey all incoming transfers ASAP in the Fall.
- Check Student Satisfaction Survey for questions on transfer/advising?
General Education Transfer Core: Scott reported on updating work completed for the general education core that includes both MUS and Community Colleges. Ellen Swaney will visit the Tribal Colleges to gather similar information for a final edition. The Committee identified continuing problems in general education transfer:
- Block transfer of General Education transferable core not always respected.
- There is disjunction of core curriculum courses across campuses.
- If a student doesn’t complete the GenEd block, there can be problems with individual courses.
Would there be a way to transfer portions of the block [6 credits Natural Sciences]?
- Departments that specify GenEd courses for major requirements cause confusion about block transfer and impressions that block is NOT being accepted when, in fact, it is.
- Options to discuss with academic officers:
>Nothing in GenEd can be used as part of the major requirements?
>Can one make a policy that supercedes faculty control over the curriculum?
>Review CAO’s language on GenEd courses and major prerequisites.
>It may be desirable to seek Board “approval” of GenEd course blocks, to formalize the effort.
About policy needs, the Steering Committee agreed new policies should be drafted and circulated:
· Intermediate algebra should be excluded from the GenEd transfer core.
· Generally, grades of less than C not are accepted in transfer.
· How to handle D grades when they appear in the GenEd block?
The Steering Committee identified other issues to pursue for improved transfer:
- An electronic process for annual updating matching course lists and curriculum changes.
- How to ensure timely processing & posting of transfer credit upon enrollment for improved advising and program planning
The Steering Committee agreed to address program articulation and transfer in two fields initially—nursing and business. Disciplinary committees will be formed with representatives from all schools with such programs. Disciplinary groups will be asked to:
- Review programs within a given field and complete a matrix of statewide course matching.
- Within that matrix, identify courses that fall out of the matrix/don’t transfer and reason.
- Reconcile, where possible, discrepant course titles, levels or other problems.
- Emphasize course content over title in review; agree on core competencies per course.
- Recommend process for updating the major course-matching list.
- Recommend process for campus review of courses for which a match is not found.
- Identify barriers to transfer within disciplines and across campuses.
Corrected Montana University System Transfer Audit
Attached is the final report for the Montana University System Transfer Audit, which has been conducted over the past six months. The population is students who completed a bachelor’s degree in Spring 2001. There were 2773 students taking 2708 bachelor’s degrees, meaning that 65 students took double degrees. For the study, we count each student only once.
I will review the Transfer Audit briefly at the meeting and respond to Regents’ questions.
PC: Commissioner Crofts
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