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AA/PPS 02.02.11 - Transfer and Award of Undergraduate Academic Credit

Transfer and Award of Undergraduate Academic Credit

AA/PPS No. 02.02.11 (4.15)
Issue No. 3
Effective Date: 11/11/2019
Next Review Date: 6/01/2021 (E2Y)
Sr. Reviewer: Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing; Dean of the University College

  1. POLICY STATEMENTS

    1. Texas State University’s Division of Academic Affairs and the Office of Undergraduate Admissions are committed to maintaining a well-designed, effective process for evaluating and awarding undergraduate transfer credit. This document defines the policies and procedures relating to the transfer and award of undergraduate academic credit from other post-secondary institutions to Texas State.

    2. Transfer of credit from another institution to Texas State involves consideration of accreditation, comparability of course work, and applicability of that course work to a Texas State degree program. Every reasonable effort is made to reduce the gap between credits accepted for the purpose of transfer and the applicability of credit toward the degree.

    3. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions operates in accordance with Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) regulations and standards regarding transfer credit policies and procedures.

  2. ACCREDITATION

    1. Accreditation – Texas State considers for transfer credit (subject to other provisions outlined below) course work completed at degree-granting institutions that have been granted membership or candidacy status (by the time the course work was completed) by one of the regional institutional accrediting organizations or national faith-related accrediting organizations approved by the Department of Education or Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

    2. Faith-Related Accreditation – Courses from institutions accredited by a national faith-related accrediting organization approved by the Department of Education or Council for Higher Education Accreditation will be evaluated for transfer credit. Remedial courses are nontransferable. Religious courses of a doctrinal or denominational character (sacraments, Christian approaches to missions, etc.) are nontransferable.

    3. No Regional Accreditation – Course work from an institution that is neither regionally accredited nor a candidate for such accreditation is not recognized for admission or transfer purposes. Texas State does not accept credit from institutions with accreditation solely from national career-related accrediting organizations, or professional and specialized accrediting organizations.

    4. Credit from Abroad – Course work completed at foreign institutions is evaluated on an individual basis. Foreign institutions must be officially recognized by their Ministry of Education for transfer credit to be considered. Guidelines in publications such as the World Education Series are used to assist in the evaluation of these credentials. Credit for study abroad is granted in accordance with the guidelines outlined in the Study Abroad Transfer Credit Agreement Form.

  3. DEFINITIONS

    1. Credit-by-Examination – credit earned through examination.

    2. Direct Equivalency – courses that have direct Texas State course equivalency.

    3. Elective Advanced (ELADV) – upper level junior and senior courses that have transfer credit value, but which do not have an exact Texas State course equivalency.

    4. Elective Non-Advanced (ELNA) – freshman and sophomore level courses that have transfer credit value, but which do not have an exact Texas State course equivalency.

    5. Field of Study (FOS) --an official block of major program courses that are required by law to be accepted by the major program. These are lower division courses.

    6. Non-Transferable (NOCRD) – courses that hold no transfer value for either admission or degree purposes. Generally, these are courses that are remedial, preparatory, or developmental in nature.

    7. Respective Faculty – a person academically qualified to make the necessary judgements.

    8. Technical and Vocational (VOCED) – course work that is meant to prepare the student for a particular job or trade.

    9. Texas Common Course Numbering System (TCCNS) – developed to facilitate transfer of general academic courses between Texas public institutions. Common courses are included in the ACGM Lower Division Academic Course Guide Manual published by the THECB. Common course numbers are used to determine which lower level courses transfer between Texas public institutions.

    10. Transfer Credit – courses taken at one college or university that can be used for credit at another institution.

  4. ROLES

    1. Role of the Faculty, Department and Program Chair or School Director and College Dean – The applicability of transferred credit toward a degree at Texas State is the decision of the college dean. The process begins with the respective faculty who determine the applicability of the transferred credit on a course-by-course basis. These decisions are maintained by Undergraduate Admissions which includes a re-evaluation schedule. Texas State faculty have identified common course number equivalents for many of its lower division courses. These are identified in the Texas State catalog and updated annually. Student appeals for re-evaluation of vocational and transferred credit are reviewed by the appropriate faculty. If the faculty and program coordinator recommend acceptance of the credit, it must include final approval by the department or program chair or school director and college dean. It is sometimes necessary for the transfer student to provide such materials as catalogs, course descriptions, syllabi, class assignments, or textbooks to assure proper evaluation.

    2. Role of the University College – University College evaluates courses from out-of-state or private institutions for fulfillment of general education core curriculum components upon receipt of a student’s request.

    3. Role of the Office of Undergraduate Admissions in Determining Transfer Credit – The Office of Undergraduate Admissions manages the process of reviewing transfer credit and works with the respective faculty to review each transferable course taken at another college. The process begins with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions determining if the sending institution meets the accreditation requirements and if so, then determines if the course is transferable. Once a course is determined to be transferable, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions makes a recommendation for direct equivalency to the respective faculty for a decision. Courses without a recommended direct equivalency are coded as electives and faculty will determine how the course will be used to meet degree requirements. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions will send all direct equivalent courses to the respective faculty for a re-evaluation should the course title or description change and will maintain a review schedule for the re-evaluation of direct equivalent courses. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions creates an evaluated transcript for each applicant whose file is complete and provides students access to their evaluated transcripts after a decision has been made on their application.

  5. PROCEDURES FOR ACCEPTANCE OF TRANSFER CREDIT FROM ACCREDITED INSTITUTIONS

    1. Explanation of Evaluation Symbols – The Office of Undergraduate Admissions personnel assign evaluation symbols to all courses submitted.

      1. Courses that have been evaluated by faculty to have direct Texas State course equivalency are equated to the Texas State course number and assigned the four-digit number used by Texas State.

      2. Elective courses are recorded as ELNA, for lower level freshman and sophomore courses and ELADV, for upper level junior and senior courses. Courses transferred at the lower level cannot be equated as upper level courses.

      3. Physical fitness activity courses are evaluated as “Activity” (ACT). These courses are transferable for admission and degree-seeking purposes.

      4. Courses evaluated as VOCED are not transferable and are not computed in the transfer grade point average (GPA). VOCED courses may not be used for admission purposes. In cases where VOCED courses support a student’s degree program, the student may request that the respective faculty, chair, or director of their major department, school, or program review the courses after enrollment at Texas State and declaration of a major. If the faculty and program coordinator recommend acceptance of the credit, it must include final approval by the departmental and program chair and director or school director and college dean. The approved VOCED credit will be recorded on the student’s official Texas State transcript for application to that degree program only. Should the student change majors, the applicability of the VOCED credit toward the new major is subject to review by the faculty and chair or director and dean of the student’s new major department and college.

      5. Courses that hold no transfer value for either admission or degree purposes are evaluated as NOCRD.

    2. Texas Common Course Numbering System – Texas State faculty have identified common course number equivalents for many of its lower division courses. These are identified in the Texas State catalog and updated annually.

    3. Partially completed FOS courses are evaluated to determine what requirements remain that must be completed at Texas State. The FOS for each major is proposed by a faculty team of 12 community college and 12 four-year institution faculty. With the FOS, the faculty remain the responsible party for course evaluation.

    4. Workforce Education Courses – The Workforce Education Course Manual (WECM) is the state inventory of workforce education courses for Texas public junior or community colleges. WECM courses are evaluated as VOCED and do not transfer to Texas State for admission or GPA purposes. However, in cases where a specific WECM course has been reviewed by the respective faculty and an articulation agreement exists, Texas State will accept the WECM course as a direct equivalent or for elective credit.

    5. Transfer GPA – In computing the GPA for transferable course work, all grades are computed with grade and hour value. The grade earned at the sending institution is the grade transferred to Texas State, except that a plus or a minus is disregarded. Number grades are converted to the A-F (four-point) grading scale. A grade of D or F transfers for admission purposes but may not be accepted by a student’s major department, school, or program.

      Courses completed in units other than semester hours are converted to semester hours using information from the sending institution’s transcript or catalog. Quarter hours are converted at the rate of one to two-thirds (e.g., five quarter hours = 3.335 semester hours, four quarter hours = 2.668 semester hours, and three-quarter hours = 2.001 semester hours). The official Texas State transcript separates transfer course work and grades from Texas State course work and grades. The transfer GPA is used to determine eligibility for admission purposes. Credits transferred are included in the total hours the student has earned, but the grades and quality points do not affect the student’s Texas State GPA, but do calculate into an overall GPA that may be used in some university processes such as course prerequisites

    6. Maximum Hours Accepted – Texas State applies no more than 66 semester hours to a specific degree from an accredited junior or community college. With the approval of the individual dean, six to eight hours may be added. At the time of the transfer, all transferable work completed at a junior or community college is recorded on the official transcript. If the number of hours transferred from a junior or community college exceeds 66 hours, it is the responsibility of the department chair or school director to recommend to the academic dean how the student will satisfy degree requirements.

    7. Associate Degree – The holding of an associate degree from another institution is recognized in designating the highest educational level of an entering student. The holding of an associate degree from another institution does not affect admission, transfer of credit, or transfer policies and practices at Texas State. A student who has graduated with an associate degree from an institution of higher learning whose accreditation is recognized by SACSCOC is exempt from taking an initial Texas Success Initiative (TSI) test. All TSI exemptions can be found on their website.

    8. Second Bachelor’s Degree – The Office of Undergraduate Admissions does not post transfer credit for students who have been awarded a baccalaureate degree. Course work taken after the degree will be posted to the student’s Texas State transcript. Students should work directly with their major department, school, or program to determine how course work from the first degree applies to their second degree.

  6. PROCEDURES FOR RESOLUTION OF TRANSFER DISPUTES FOR LOWER-DIVISION COURSES

    1. Texas State recognizes the THECB’s established procedures to be followed by public institutions of higher education in the resolution of transfer credit disputes involving lower division courses.

      1. If an institution of higher education does not accept course credit earned by a student at another institution of higher education, the receiving institution shall give written notice to the student and to the sending institution that transfer of the course credit is denied, and shall include in that notice the reasons for denying the credit. Attached to the written notice shall be the procedures for resolution of transfer disputes for lower-division courses as outlined in this section, accompanied by clear instructions outlining the procedure for appealing the decision to the commissioner.

      2. The two institutions and the student shall attempt to resolve the transfer of the course credit in accordance with THECB’s rules and guidelines.

      3. If the transfer dispute is not resolved to the satisfaction of the student or the sending institution within 45 days after the date the student received written notice of denial, the institution may notify the commissioner in writing of the request for transfer dispute resolution, and the institution that denies the course credit for transfer shall notify the commissioner in writing of its denial and the reasons for the denial.

      4. The commissioner of Higher Education, or the commissioner’s designee shall make the final determination about the dispute concerning the transfer of course credit and give written notice of the determination to the involved student and institutions.

      5. All public institutions of higher education shall publish the procedures described in Subsections a. and b. in their undergraduate course catalogs.

      6. All public institutions of higher education shall furnish data to the THECB on transfer disputes as the THECB may require in accordance with its statutory responsibilities under Section 61.078(e) of the Education Code.

      7. If a receiving institution has cause to believe that a course being presented by a student for transfer from another school is not of an acceptable level of quality, it should notify the commissioner of Higher Education. The commissioner may investigate the course. If its quality is found to be unacceptable, THECB may discontinue funding for the course.

  7. PROCEDURES FOR EVALUATION OF NON-TRADITIONAL CREDIT

    1. Credit for Experiential Learning – The Department of Organization, Workforce, and Leadership Studies (OWLS) program in the College of Applied Arts is the only academic unit at Texas State that awards academic credit for experiential learning. Such credit is validated after enrollment at Texas State according to established criteria determined by the OWLS faculty and is forwarded to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions for posting to the student’s record. Should a student change majors, the validation of extra-institutional credit will be re-evaluated by the new department, school, or program.

    2. Military Credit – Two hours of Physical Fitness and Wellness (PFW) activity credit and 12 hours of military elective credit will be awarded by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions upon receipt of Form DD214 that verifies two years of active military duty. Other military course work may be considered for transfer credit. The student must submit a Joint Services Transcript. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions uses A Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experience in the Armed Services to evaluate the course work. Texas State grants credit for the lower and upper division baccalaureate category, but does not award credit for vocational or graduate level work. Transfer credit is subject to approval by the student’s major department.

    3. Credit-by-Examination – Credit earned through examination may be awarded Texas State transfer credit when listed as a specific course with the prefix and course number on an official transcript of the college or university where the student has been enrolled. Such credits are evaluated by transfer credit criteria and awarded the grade of credit (CR) only. The Testing, Evaluation and Measurement Center reviews other credit by exams, such as College Level Examination Program (CLEP), Advanced Placement (AP), and International Baccalaureate (IB), which does not appear as transfer credit from another institution.

      The Office of Undergraduate Admissions does not review credit by exam reported on a Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) transcript. The DANTES transcript is forwarded to the Testing, Evaluation and Measurement Center for review.

  8. PROCEDURE FOR EVALUATION OF CREDIT FROM INSTITUTIONS WITH NO REGIONAL ACCREDITATION

    1. Course work is not transferable to Texas State from institutions that do not have regional or faith-related accreditation, and appeals are not considered.
  9. REVIEWERS OF THIS PPS

    1. Reviewers of this PPS include the following:

      Position Date
      Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing May 1 E2Y
      Dean, University College May 1 E2Y
  10. CERTIFICATION STATEMENT

    This PPS has been approved by the following individuals in their official capacities and represents Texas State Academic Affairs policy and procedure from the date of this document until superseded.

    Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing; co-senior reviewer of this PPS

    Dean, University College; co-senior reviewer of this PPS

    Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs