Policy for Articulation and Transfer Between Public Institutions of Higher Education in Rhode Island (S-6)


Policy for Articulation and Transfer Between Public Institutions of Higher Education in Rhode Island

I. Introduction

Articulation between the educational programs of the Rhode Island public institutions of higher education is a matter of considerable importance. The relationships among the academic disciplines and between levels of coursework require clear understandings about content and purpose so that students will make progress toward their educational objectives without unnecessary disruption or duplication. Institutions within the system, therefore, are obliged to observe these guidelines and procedures for course and program articulation, and the transfer of credit.

II. Purpose

Articulation and transfer guidelines facilitate cooperation between higher education institutions for the purpose of accommodating the needs and interests of students who earn credit at one institution and choose to transfer to another. Successful transfer minimizes loss of time, duplication of coursework and added financial impact for students and optimizes the use of institutional and system resources. The policy recognizes that each institution has a separate and distinct mission, and that each has the responsibility to establish and to maintain academic quality within that mission. Underlying the policy is an attitude of mutual respect and cooperation among the institutions, and recognition that the primary objective of articulation agreements is to benefit students.

III. Guiding Principles

A. Each higher education institution has responsibility for establishing, maintaining, and communicating requirements for students seeking to complete courses and programs and to earn certificates and degrees at the institution.

B. Each college and university has the responsibility and the authority to determine the requirements and course offering of its programs in accordance with its institutional role, internal shared governance practices, and scope and mission as established by Rhode Island statutes and the policies of the Council on Postsecondary Education.

C. The faculty of the public institutions of higher education are acknowledged as the recognized content experts in the development of curriculum and in the approval of transfer agreements.

D. Colleges will treat home institution and transfer students equitably. Transfer students and home institution students will not be advantaged or disadvantaged as a result of the transfer process. Transfer students shall meet comparable program requirements as are required of home institution students. No other or additional means of assessment will be mandated for admission to the bachelor’s degree institution or for the acceptance of credit, if not required of home institution students.

E. The presidents of the public institutions of higher education shall ensure that effective transfer and articulation are considered to be an institutional priority and that all members of the academic community and staff will honor all agreements approved by their institutions.

F. Community College students who intend to transfer and earn a bachelor’s degree should have regular advising which includes information on the benefits of completing the associate degree and transferring immediately and the benefits of reverse transfer.

G. Each institution recognizes the professional integrity of the other public institutions in the acceptance of credit.

IV. Coordination of the curriculum

A. As an addition to the institutional process for the development or revision of the curriculum, faculty and transfer advising representatives of the sending and receiving institutions shall engage in discussion of curriculum changes that are likely to have an impact on existing transfer and articulation agreements at least twice during each academic year: at least once informally during the academic year and once at the annual transfer articulation meeting. Discussions should take place allowing sufficient lead time to provide an orderly change.

B. When the community college develops new lower division courses, the college must assure that the courses articulate to Rhode Island College and the University of Rhode Island as meeting general education, major prerequisite or major requirements. Courses developed to meet major requirements for career and technical programs will be exempt from this requirement if a completion bachelor’s degree is not available.

C. Prior to implementation, any changes that will impact existing transfer and/or articulation agreements should include mutual consultation by the faculty at the receiving and sending institutions and notification shall be made to all academic departments and advising offices by May 15 or when new agreements are reached.

D. Once changes in lower division degree requirements are implemented, the baccalaureate institutions shall provide flexibility in meeting new requirements as needed. This policy will apply to course and degree requirements at the institutions, schools or colleges, and departments.

E. In instances where a department chair or other designated faculty or administrator has concerns regarding the articulation agreement or to a proposed change to an agreement, an appeal may be initiated in accordance with the stated appeal process.

V. Transfer student admission

A. The receiving institution will determine the admission of transfer students following an assessment of academic performance and standing as well as eligibility for entrance to a specific program. Students holding an associate degree (AA, AS, AFA, AAS, or ATS) with at least a grade point average of 2.4 from the Community College of Rhode Island shall be guaranteed admission to Rhode Island College and to the University of Rhode Island. However, acceptance to an institution does not guarantee admittance into a particular degree-granting program, major, minor, or field of concentration. Students graduating with an AAS, ATS or AFA who intend to transfer, should consult with an advisor to maximize their ability to transfer efficiently. All students will be required to complete the same formal application process as required of other transfer students applying for admission.

B. Transfer students will be held responsible for meeting the same criteria as home institution students for admission to the college or university or into specific degrees, programs, tracks or minors. Some programs have secondary admissions requirements (such as a higher grade point average). Certain practice-based majors may be closed to transfer students; the list of closed programs will be available on the transfer admission page of each public institution of higher education and on RI Transfers. The list of closed programs will be reviewed annually with the intent of opening them to transfer students if possible. These additional program admissions requirements will be the same for transfer students as for home institution students. Transfer students will not be required to take an additional assessment or demonstrate a grade point average if this is not required for home institution students.

C. If the number of transfer students seeking admission to a particular program exceeds the number that can be accommodated, program admission decisions will be based on criteria developed and promulgated by the receiving institution; these criteria shall provide fair treatment for home institution students and for transfer students.

VI. Academic records and transcripts

A. Transfer of grades

  1. The grades assigned by the sending institution shall not be calculated into the Grade Point Average (GPA) earned at the receiving institution.

B. Academic Transcript
Institutions shall keep a complete student academic transcript. The transcript shall clearly identify each student and include all academic work for which the student was enrolled during each semester, the end-of-semester status in each course, grade and credit awarded. The transcript shall clearly indicate the source of credit (e.g., examination, course, assessment of experiences). A statement explaining the grading policy of the institution shall be part of each transcript.

VII. Transfer of Credits

A. Direction of credits: The direction of student transfer (two-year to four-year college or university, four-year to two-year, and four-year to four-year) shall not affect the transferability of credit, unless so noted.

B. Numerical value of credits: The numerical value of credits shall be maintained in transfer. The receiving institution shall grant the same total number of credits as originally assigned by the sending institution. In some cases there may be a difference in the number of credits assigned to the course by each institution. In those cases, the course will receive the number of credits assigned by the sending institution with any remaining number of credits assigned as elective credits.

C. Age of credits: In most cases, credit earned in a transferable course will be granted without regard to the date when the course was completed. However, when updated skills and/or knowledge is necessary for future success, students could be required to take another course or otherwise obtain current knowledge (such as required by professional accreditation agencies) to meet degree requirements. Courses that cannot be applied to requirements for the major, minor, track or concentration will be applied to general education requirements and if not applicable to general education, as elective credit. This policy applies to home credit and transfer credit.

D. Remedial/Developmental course credit: Credit hours earned in remedial or developmental courses are institutional credit and are not applicable to credit hours required for any certificate, associate or bachelor’s degree.

E. Earned credits: College-level credit earned with a grade of ‘D’ or higher at one public higher education institution shall be transferable to another as earned credit. In those instances when a grade is specified in a course as a program prerequisite or requirement, transfer students shall meet the same requirement. Credits from courses earned with D, D+, or S grades will be applicable as elective credit.

F. Pass/Fail credit: The application of pass/fail grading systems to transfer students shall be consistent with the application of those systems to students who entered the institution as freshmen. Transfer students should consult the catalog of the institution to which they are transferring regarding these policies.

G. Graduate and advanced professional credit: Decisions regarding the transfer of credit toward advanced degrees (master’s, CAGS, doctorate) or advanced professional degrees rests with the faculty of the degree-granting division.

VIII. Transfer of Courses

A. Course prerequisites: All requirements and prerequisites for entrance into courses and programs shall be stated in the official catalog in a consistent manner. The determination of such requirements and prerequisites is the responsibility of the institution awarding the degree. Transfer students who have completed equivalent prerequisite courses and achieved an acceptable grade should not be required to repeat such prerequisite courses.

B. Transferability of courses: College-level courses that earned credit at one institution shall be granted credit at the receiving institution. The receiving institution shall determine which courses are college-level on the basis of three standards: 1) the courses are not remedial or developmental; 2) the course carries one or more credit hours; and 3) the credit hours are eligible to be counted toward graduation at the receiving institution.

C. Transfer of technical/vocational courses and programs

  1. Technical/vocational courses offered by the Community College that are comparable to courses in baccalaureate programs or are applicable to baccalaureate degree requirements as determined by the receiving institution shall be granted transfer credit. In addition, the development of articulation agreements which allow students to apply technical courses toward baccalaureate degree requirements is encouraged.
  2. Technical/vocational secondary school courses that are comparable to courses in associate degree programs or are applicable to associate degree requirements as determined by the Community College shall be granted credit as appropriate. The Community College is encouraged to develop articulation agreements which will allow students to apply technical/vocational courses toward associate degrees. In addition, some courses may be awarded credit through separate articulation agreements with postsecondary career/technical schools or training entities as deemed appropriate by the Community College.

IX. Extra-institutional learning and evaluation for credit

A. The determination of the credit value of non-traditional learning for credit, course waiver, or advanced standing is typically achieved through examinations or other standardized or institutionally-accepted forms of assessing prior learning.

B. The public institutions of higher education are encouraged to develop procedures to evaluate and accept non-institutional learning. The acceptance of extra-institutional learning must be in compliance with the standards of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)1.

C. The institutions will employ best practices in the awarding of credit and in providing services to students. In awarding credit for extra-institutional credit, the institutions should use recognized guides and procedures which may include but are not limited to: national standardized examinations (e.g., CLEP, DSST, Excelsior/UExcel, Advanced Placement Program); National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS) or American Council on Education (ACE) guides; credit by departmental or institutional exam or review; degree-relevant extra-institutional learning credit awarded and transcripted by the Joint Services Transcripts (JST) for the Army, Coast Guard, Marines or Navy, or CCAF for the Air Force; subject matter experts, not members of the institution, who evaluate extra-institutional learning at the request of the institution; or individual portfolio assessment using the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) or other standardized procedures authorized with permission of the institution.

D. The public higher education institutions shall clearly state their criteria for measuring and awarding credit and publish information about its credit by examination/assessment policies in its official catalog and website.

E. For credit by examination, information must be available that includes names of tests for which credit by examination is given (Advanced Placement, general and subject matter CLEP, ACT, institutional, etc.), and score levels which indicate that coursework requirements comparable to classroom situations have been met. For the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), the receiving institution will accept the American Council on Education (ACE) recommended credit-granting score for the year in which the examination was taken.

F. Credit awarded through examination or other forms of assessment shall be identified as such on the transcript. These transcripted credits will be honored by the receiving institution; credits accepted at a state institution of higher education through any form of prior learning assessment will be accepted by the receiving institution and to the extent appropriate shall be applied toward meeting degree requirements.

X. Applicability of transfer credit

A. All degrees consist of credits that are applied toward the major, general education requirements and elective credits. Some students choose to use elective credits toward a second major, minor, track or concentration.

B. When students transfer after completing a designated transfer Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, or Associate of Fine Arts degree, the courses which have been approved with the intent of meeting bachelor’s degree requirements will be accepted fully and will apply toward bachelor’s degree requirements. When students transfer without having earned a transfer Associate of Arts, Associate of Science or Associate of Fine Arts degree, the courses will be evaluated as comparable courses to home courses according to the current information on RI Transfers.

C. Transfer courses that are identified as comparable or equivalent to home courses shall be applicable toward prerequisites and requirements in the same way as home courses.

D. Nonequivalent courses that have been evaluated as meeting the intent of general education courses by the receiving institution will be accepted as meeting general education requirements.

E. Courses that are college-level courses (not remedial or developmental) that are not accepted as equivalent courses or as meeting general education requirements will receive elective credit.

XI. Transfer of associate degrees

A. Associate of arts, associate of fine arts, associate of science degrees (AA; AFA; AS)

  1. Community College of Rhode Island will develop transfer associate degrees to eliminate obstacles in transferring to Rhode Island College and the University of Rhode Island. These degrees are intended for students who plan to complete an associate degree at the Community College prior to transferring. Students who graduate with the Associate of Arts, Associate of Fine Arts and Associate of Science degrees that are designated as transfer degrees will earn sixty (60) credits that transfer and apply to a baccalaureate degree program, thereby, enabling them to transfer with junior status. Students who graduate with the AA, AFA, or AS degrees will also be considered to have met general education requirements at Rhode Island College. It is possible that certain developmental or vocational courses may not transfer and therefore, students should confirm course transferability with an advisor. It is the expectation that students who have completed a transfer associate degree will have the same degree requirements, including the total number of credits required, as other home institution students.
  2. Transfer associate degrees shall be developed for all majors that require a bachelor’s degree for first careers and for all majors that are popular with transfer students as determined by the Community College in consultation with the baccalaureate institutions. These transfer degree programs shall include sufficient general education coursework, major coursework and elective coursework to meet the learning outcomes required to achieve junior status in that major at the baccalaureate institutions.
  3. Within the first year of the approval of this policy, the Community College will develop transfer associate degrees for the five most popular majors for transferring students. Thereafter, the Community College is encouraged to continue developing transfer associate degrees until at least 60% of the total number of AA, AS, and AFA degrees are transfer degrees. The Community College may develop separate transfer and career-focused tracks. By September 2019 all degrees in the Community College’s catalog and student information system shall be clearly identified as transfer degrees or career-focused degrees. Some degrees may be identified as both.
  4. The faculty of the Community College, in consultation with the faculty of the baccalaureate institutions, will develop the curriculum of the transfer degrees. The baccalaureate institutions will be responsible for developing a list of common prerequisites and lower-division courses applicable to the major within six months of the passage of this policy and for reviewing the common lower division requirements annually prior to the annual articulation transfer meeting.
  5. For Associate of Arts, Associate of Fine Arts, and Associate of Science degree programs that are not designated as transfer degrees, to the fullest extent possible, the college will include courses that transfer and apply to bachelor’s degree programs.
  6. The Joint Admission Agreement program shall be recognized as providing a clear transfer pathway and guidance from the associate to bachelor’s degree and as meeting the goals of the transfer associate degrees.

B. Associate of applied science, associate of technical studies

  1. The Associate of Applied Science (AAS) and the Associate of Technical Studies (ATS) are oriented toward career and professional preparation; the primary intent of these programs is to prepare a student for entry into a particular occupation. The curricular design differs from the Associate of Arts or the Associate of Science in intentionally having more technical courses and fewer general education courses. While not intended strictly for transfer, changes in the needs of the workplace and opportunities for career growth may require the pursuit of a bachelor’s degree.
  2. Every effort should be made to ensure that students with an AAS shall transfer successfully either through the development of completion baccalaureate degrees (i.e., Bachelor’s in Technical Studies or Applied Technology) at Rhode Island College, or tracks within BA and BS degrees, or by development of program-to-program articulation agreements. When a completion degree or program-to-program articulation agreement does not exist, students with an Associate in Applied Science, Technical Studies or other applied degrees will have courses individually evaluated for transfer.
  3. When the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) or Technical Studies (ATS) is used as the first two years toward a bachelor’s degree, careful planning with the assistance of an advisor is required. Students who transfer with an Associate in Applied Science or Applied Technology Studies will be required to take additional general education courses upon transferring. The Community College will develop guidance documents with recommendations to enable efficient transfer from the AAS and ATS degrees.

C. Programmatic pathway maps

  1. Guided Pathways will be developed for each associate and bachelor’s degree and will include the courses (with titles and codes) required for general education, major prerequisites and the major. The plans will be formatted into a term-by-term sequence of courses required to complete the associate degree in two years and the bachelor’s degree in four years. Specific milestone courses or actions will be identified by academic term. For transfer associate degrees, the guided pathways will reflect the application of 60 credits from the associate to the bachelor’s degree and the completion of general education requirements.
  2. For Associate of Arts, Associate of Fine Arts, and Associate of Science degree programs that are not designated as transfer degrees, program transfer plans shall be developed which will show how the courses required in specific Community College degree programs will transfer to specific majors at the baccalaureate institutions. Further, wherever there are options, courses that are transferable and applicable to degree requirements will be recommended.
  3. When a Community College major does not have a completion degree or a corresponding bachelor’s degree, the colleges are encouraged to develop programmatic transfer maps, which will provide guidance to students on the best alternatives for maximizing transfer to specific baccalaureate majors.
  4. The institutions of higher education are encouraged to develop program pathway maps from the associate degree for all undergraduate majors at the baccalaureate institutions. These program pathway maps shall provide guidance for Community College students by listing term- specific courses that are applicable to general education requirements, prerequisites for the major and major requirements and will include other related milestones for the bachelor’s degree.
  5. The colleges will develop meta-majors with the intent of guiding students who have not chosen specific majors to select courses that will advance them toward associate and/or bachelor’s degrees. Further, the colleges and university will develop guided pathways from meta-majors to associate degree and to bachelor’s degree requirements.

D. Completion Degrees

  1. To meet the goal of increased baccalaureate attainment and support of a prepared workforce as stipulated in the Council on Postsecondary Education’s strategic plan, the public baccalaureate institutions are encouraged to work with the Community College to develop completion degrees for students graduating with an Associate in Applied Science, Associate in Technical Studies and other applied or technical degrees; these applied bachelor’s degrees may include a Bachelor of Applied Technology, Bachelor of Technical Studies or other bachelor’s degrees. These degrees will build upon the technical skills earned in the associate degree, from industry-certified credentials, technical courses taken in career-technical secondary education, or through prior learning assessment.

XII. General Education
A. General Education programs are determined by individual institutions, each of which has the continuing responsibility for determining the character of its own program and for its own degree purposes. General Education program requirements shall be clearly stated in the institutional catalog and at RI Transfers. Students who intend to transfer to another institution should review that institution’s general education requirements and discuss their plans with admissions counselors or advisors in their intended majors.2

B. Students who transfer from the Community College of Rhode Island with an AA, AFA, or AS degree will be considered to have met general education requirements at Rhode Island College.

C. For students who do not transfer from the Community College with a transfer degree, the public institutions of higher education are expected to be both flexible and cooperative in sharing the responsibility to maximize the transferability of general education credits. The learning outcomes that have been identified from the baccalaureate institutions’ General Education programs will provide the foundation for the transfer of general education credits; the receiving institutions should be flexible in interpreting transferability with the goal of identifying 30-32 credits that transfer to address the learning outcomes. The baccalaureate institutions and the Community College will work together to specifically articulate how existing and future general education courses from the Community College will be applied to meeting the general education transfer goals. The baccalaureate institutions will develop a written chart of the shared learning outcomes within three months of the approval of the policy.

D. The public higher education institutions will utilize the transfer database that clearly delineates transfer pathways across the public institutions to meet current and future general education learning outcomes at the baccalaureate institutions. Both the chart of shared learning outcomes and the transfer database of courses meeting these outcomes will be available at RI Transfers. For students without a transfer degree from the Community College, all courses meeting general education outcomes in the newly developed transfer database will automatically transfer and be applicable toward the General Education program at the senior institutions. To the greatest extent possible, the public colleges will identify courses that meet the learning outcomes at both of the baccalaureate institutions. These transfer students will receive an evaluation from the baccalaureate institution advising the student how the community college general education courses will apply. The goal is that students who complete these general education learning outcomes will have 30-32 credits applicable to general education at the public baccalaureate institutions.

E. The Community College, as it advances its own General Education program and courses, will establish general education courses that both meet the needs of their students and satisfy the general education learning outcomes at both Rhode Island College and the University of Rhode Island. This effort will further enhance the transferability of general education credits across the three institutions. The revised Community College of Rhode Island General Education program will be presented to the Council on Postsecondary Education by no later than June 30, 2018 and implemented no later than September 1, 2019.

XIII. Course listing

A. Courses and programs that are not intended for transfer will be clearly designated and published with a clear notation in the catalog and online.

  1. Course selection for students who plan to seek a baccalaureate degree at a Rhode Island public higher education institution shall be based on degree requirements published the in the governing course catalog of the institution.
  2. Community College of Rhode Island must utilize a suffix for course numbers to alert students that the course may be non-transferable for a baccalaureate degree.

XIV. Resolution of equivalency disputes

From time to time there may be interinstitutional disagreements among the faculty of subject matter disciplines. These disagreements will normally be resolved at the chairperson level. Conflicts not resolved by the chairperson will be referred to the appropriate deans for review and determination; conflicts not resolved at this level will be referred to the Academic Vice presidents/Provosts. Disputes that are not resolved at the institutional-level will be referred to the Interinstitutional Articulation/Transfer Committee. The committee will resolve the dispute or forward a recommendation to the Commissioner of Postsecondary Education. The Commissioner of Postsecondary Education may accept the recommendation or seek an alternate resolution.

XV. Communication of transfer information

A. Interinstitutional agreements on course and program equivalencies shall be compiled regularly; the information shall be made available at the state’s transfer web portal, RI Transfers (www.ritransfers.org) and shall appear in appropriate institutional publications. The transfer information available at RI Transfers is an integral part of the articulation/transfer policy and procedures and shall be regarded as the official resource for transfer information, along with the transfer information made available in the college catalogs, for use by students, faculty and staff. It is the responsibility of each institution of higher education to ensure that the information available on RI Transfers is current and accurate.

B. Transferable courses: All transferable courses will be noted at RI Transfers. Courses may transfer as equivalent courses, as meeting general education requirements, and/or as elective credits.

C. Course equivalencies: The institutions shall identify specific courses that are equivalent. This identification shall be on a discipline-by-discipline basis and shall be accessible at RI Transfers. Information about course additions, changes or deletions by an institution shall be communicated by the appropriate chairperson to the corresponding chairpersons at other institutions for equivalency evaluation before or during the annual meeting of departmental chairs.

D. Program transfer plans: The institutions shall develop program-to-program transfer agreements from specific majors at the community college to complementary majors at the baccalaureate institutions; these agreements shall be accessible at RI Transfers. Program transfer plans will consist of the sequence of courses to be completed to fulfill associate degree requirements at the community college and the equivalent sequences at the college and the university, where appropriate. Chairpersons shall agree on program-to-program equivalencies before or during the annual meeting of department chairs.

E. Program pathway maps: Program Pathway Maps are guidance documents that will be developed and will include the courses required for general education, major prerequisites and the major for bachelor’s degree programs. The Program Pathway Maps will be updated annually and shall be accessible at RI Transfers (www.ritransfers.org).

XVI. Student rights and responsibility

A. Students who intend to transfer must inform themselves of the transfer admission requirements, and the program and degree requirements of the institution to which they expect to transfer. Students are responsible for seeking out the information and advice needed to develop a course of study for transferring. Delay in choosing a major and a senior institution, changing the major or senior institution, or in not following the course of study may affect the applicability of transfer credit.

B. When a student transfers under the course-to-course option, the articulation/transfer agreement in place when that student initiates the second half of the associate degree program (31 credit hours or more) will be the agreement that governs course equivalencies for that student.

C. When a student transfers under a program-to-program transfer agreement, the student is governed by the requirements in effect at the beginning of the academic year in which the student was officially matriculated into the program. These requirements will remain in effect for that student for five years regardless of changes to individual course equivalencies.

D. If a student is not satisfied with a college or university transfer decision, the student may first appeal at the college or university-level and then at the system-level. The college or university transfer process will be accessible at RI Transfers.

E. College or university appeal: Each college and university shall establish a student appeal process for transfer decisions including the acceptance of courses, application of credit and transfer admission.

  1. Each appeal decision must include an explanation of the decision. The decision must be provided to the student in writing within 30 days of receipt of the appeal.
  2. The appeals procedure must be available in the college/university student handbook, catalog and on the website.
  3. The student may request assistance from academic advisors or the transfer/articulation officer at the sending institution in preparing the appeal.
  4. If upon completion of the appeals process at the institutional-level, the issue is not resolved, further appeal may be made at the system-level.

F. If a student is not satisfied with the college or university transfer appeals decision, the student may submit a request to the senior academic officer at the Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner for a systems-level appeal to the Interinstitutional Articulation Transfer Committee.

  1. The student shall submit a letter of appeal and include the decision from the college/university- level, transcripts and other documentation.
  2. The senior academic officer shall convene the Interinstitutional Articulation Transfer Committee. If a member of the Interinstitutional Articulation Transfer Committee is directly involved in the dispute, the president of that institution shall appoint an interim member of the committee in consultation with the Commissioner of Postsecondary Education.
  3. The committee may request further documentation from the sending and receiving institutions of higher education. The committee will consider the materials submitted by the student and the institutions of higher education within thirty (30) days if possible and no more than forty- five (45) days from the receipt of the request for an appeal.
  4. All parties to the appeal will be notified of the date, time and location of the committee’s meeting. All parties to the dispute may make an oral presentation to the committee.
  5. The decision of the committee will be sent to the student and the presidents of the higher education institutions involved in the dispute within fifteen (15) of the committee’s meeting.
  6. The determination of the Interinstitutional Articulation Transfer Committee shall be binding on all parties.

XVII. Reporting and assessing transfer outcomes

A. The Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner will be responsible for establishing monitoring and reporting systems based on uniform data collection and reporting methods to facilitate the assessment of the effectiveness of transfer policies and ensure compliance with statewide articulation and transfer policies.

B. Data collected on transfer students from the Community College to a Rhode Island public institution of higher education shall include:

  1. The number of students who enroll in transfer associate degree programs
  2. The number of students who complete transfer associate degrees
  3. The number of students earning transfer associate degrees that transfer to public RI baccalaureate institutions.
  4. For students who transferred from the Community College either with or without an associate degree, to a public baccalaureate institution:
    a. The total number of credits earned at Community College at point of transfer
    b. The number of credits transferred
    c. The number of students who were awarded the bachelor’s degree or certificate
    d. The students’ major at the point of transfer
    e. The students’ major at the point of graduation from baccalaureate institution
    f. The time to degree completion from baccalaureate institution
    g. The total number of credits earned at graduation from baccalaureate institution
    h. Comparative final cumulative grade point average earned at Community College of Rhode Island with the final cumulative grade point average earned at time of graduation from the baccalaureate institution.

C. Data collected on students who transferred from one public Rhode Island baccalaureate institution to another system baccalaureate college or university:

  1. The number who transferred
  2. The total number of credits earned at point of transfer
  3. The number of students who were awarded a degree or certificate
  4. The students’ major at home institution
  5. The students’ major at the point of graduation from transfer institution
  6. Total number of credits at graduation from transfer institution
  7. Comparative final cumulative grade point average earned at home institution with the final cumulative grade point average earned at time of graduation from the transfer institution.

D. Data collected on students who transferred from a Rhode Island public baccalaureate institution to the Community College:

  1. The number who transferred
  2. The total number of credits earned at point of transfer
  3. The number of students who transferred after earning a postsecondary certificate or degree
  4. The number of students who completed a degree or certificate at the Community College
  5. The students’ major at home institution
  6. The students’ major at the point of graduation from the transfer institution
  7. Total number of credits at graduation from the transfer institution
  8. Comparative final cumulative grade point average earned at home institution with the final cumulative grade point average earned at time of graduation from the transfer institution

E. A report will be prepared annually on the transfer outcomes and will include strategies for making further progress in assisting transfer students to complete the bachelor’s degree efficiently.

XVIII. Interinstitutional articulation transfer committee

A. Composition of the committee: To assure compliance with and the continuing viability of the Articulation/Transfer Policy, a permanent interinstitutional committee on articulation/transfer was established. This Articulation/Transfer Committee is comprised of eleven members: three from each of the three public institutions of higher education plus a chairperson and a staff person from the Rhode Island Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner (RIOPC). The institutional representatives are appointed by the president of the respective institutions and are to include the institutional articulation/transfer officer. The chairperson is appointed by the Commissioner of Postsecondary Education. Committee appointments shall be reviewed every three years.

B. Committee responsibilities:

1. The committee is responsible to the Postsecondary Commissioner for the following tasks:
• Soliciting suggestions from administrators, faculty, and students concerning matters of articulation/transfer
• Providing continuous evaluation and review of institutional programs, policies, and procedures, and interinstitutional relationships affecting transfer of students
• Recommending such revisions as are needed in institutional programs, policies, and procedures to promote the success and general well-being of the transfer student
• Providing the system-level appeals of transfer decisions

2. The committee shall fulfill these responsibilities in the following ways
• Recommending policy or procedural changes that would improve articulation/transfer in higher education institutions
• Recommending resolution of course equivalency disputes between cooperating institutions
• Conducting reviews as needed of the articulation/transfer policy
• Planning and executing the annual meeting of department chairpersons and assisting in the review of information at RI Transfers
• Preparing a report with recommendations for developing institutional strategies that recognize the importance of transfer students, creating tailored advising support and establishing clear transfer pathways
• Reviewing information submitted as part of the system-level review of transfer decision and making a final determination

C. Committee Meetings: The Articulation/Transfer committee shall be convened, as necessary, by its chairperson.

Definition of key terms

  1. Extra-institutional learning: study or learning conducted outside of programs or courses formally sponsored for credit by colleges and universities such as non-sponsored experiential learning or prior life or work experience.
  2. General Education program: A required component of all degrees developed by each institutions of higher education by the faculty and approved by the administration and by the Council on Postsecondary Education. The General Education program is intended to ensure that all graduates of an institution have a balanced core of competencies and knowledge.
  3. Home credit: credit awarded by a college or university for completion of its own courses or other academic work.
  4. Lower division credit: credits at a freshman or sophomore level.
  5. Home institution student: a degree-seeking student who entered a given college or university as a first-time freshman from high school without first matriculating at another college.
  6. New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) – the regional organization for institutional accreditation. An institutional accrediting agency evaluates the institution as a whole, applying the standards in light of the institution’s mission. Besides assessing educational programs, it evaluates areas such as governance and administration, financial stability, physical resources, library and technology, admissions, and student services. Institutional accreditation encompasses the entire institution.
  7. Prior learning assessment: prior learning assessment (PLA) is the term used for the means used by higher education institutions and other organizations to assess learning for the purposes of granting college credit or advanced standing in a postsecondary education program. (The Council on Adult and Experiential Learning)
  8. Receiving institution: college or university attended by transfer student after transfer to another college.
  9. Sending institution: college or university attended by transfer student before transfer.
  10. Transfer credit: credit granted by a college or university for courses or other academic work completed at another institution.
  11. Upper division credit: credit at a junior and senior level.

14.35 Credit for prior experiential or non-collegiate sponsored learning is awarded only with appropriate oversight by faculty and academic administration and is limited to 25% for credentials of 30 credits or fewer. When credit is awarded on the basis of prior experiential or non-collegiate sponsored learning alone, student learning and achievement are demonstrated to be at least comparable in breadth, depth, and quality to the results of institutionally provided learning experiences. The policies and procedures for the award of credit for prior or experiential learning are clearly stated and available to affected students.

2NEASC standard 4.18: The institution ensures that all undergraduate students complete at least the equivalent of 40 semester credits in a bachelor’s degree program, or the equivalent of 20 semester credits in an associate degree program in general education.


Policy Number
11/29/1979 (BR)
1/7/1982 (BG); 11/7/1985 (BG); 7/16/1987 (BG); 6/16/1988 (BG); 6/2/1994 (BG); 6/18/1998 (BG); 6/21/2017 (CPE); 5/24/23 (CPE)