Articulation Details

Step 1: Building a Critical Bond

  1. Form a liaison with an appropriate person or persons at the sending institution.
  2. Select someone who understands the curricula for which you wish to articulate.
  3. This person needs to be able to supply course descriptions and syllabi, connect you with faculty, and answer general questions as they arise.

Step 2: The General Transfer Agreement

  • Defines how your institution deals with transfer credit in general and from the sending institution specifically.
  • State transfer and articulation policies may impact some transfer policies.
  • This general agreement, once signed by both institutions, rarely requires updates but should be reviewed every two to three years.

Some possible items to include:

  • What grades are required to transfer
  • If only “usable” courses transfer or all satisfactorily completed courses
  • Does completion of associate degree affect transfer
  • Whether the GPA transfers
  • Non-transferability of developmental courses
  • Residency requirement for a degree at your institution
  • If national accreditation (e.g. ABET, CSAB, AACSB) affects transferability
  • Whether placement testing will be required for transfer students
  • Consensus for both institutions to conduct periodic review of agreements
  • Availability of transfer advising at the receiving institution

Step 3: Evaluating Courses

  1. Identify who will perform the evaluations (i.e. transfer advisor, department chair, Registrar, college or department advisor).
  2. Plan for quarter-to-semester or vice versa transfer, if appropriate.
  3. Keep in mind that transferability is not always one course for one course.
  4. Determine how you will catalogue course equivalencies and substitutions (i.e. database, student information system, degree audit software, www.transferologylab.com).

Things to include in your database:

  • Original course name and number
  • Credit hours
  • Equivalency
  • Notes (for exceptions or criteria)

Examples of some possible notes on equivalencies:

  • “Course will count only if taught by a licensed social worker.”
  • “Course must be enriched at the receiving institution.”
  • “Course counts for non-majors only.”

Encourage completion of entire sequence at one institution but clarify partial transfer. For example:

A&P 101, 102, 103 = BIO 201, 202
A&P 101, 102 = BIO 201
A&P 102, 103 = BIO 202
A&P 101 only = no equivalent
A&P 102 only = no equivalent
A&P 103 only = no equivalent

Step 4: Creating a Transfer Guide

  1. After equivalencies are determined, choose the majors for which parallel programs or transfer guides are possible. (Note: It may not be possible or practical to create a program agreement for all majors at your institution. Decide which programs you wish to articulate.)
  2. Begin with a template (e.g. one for the Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, Associate of Applied Business, or Associate of Applied Science).
  3. Title an agreement (e.g. Biological Sciences) and indicate what degree or credential, if any, is earned at each institution (e.g. A.S. and B.S.)
  4. Since students are beginning at the sending institution use categories as defined by the sending institution as a way to organize your agreement. For example:
    1. Area One: English and Mathematics
    2. Area Two: Computer Literacy
    3. Area Three: Humanities
    4. Area Four: Social Sciences
  5. Within each category list the course options which are appropriate for both institutions. Keep in mind that some majors require specific courses in certain categories.
    For instance, a business agreement may require: Business Writing in the English category, 
Business Calculus in the math category
, Economics in the social science category
  6. Indicate the course equivalencies on the program guide for both institutions
  7. “Notes” or “Additional Information” may be added to the agreement, usually at the end, to provide clarification for the student. (An example of a Note: “This major strongly encourages but does not require biology for the science sequence.”)
  8. Admission requirements for the major should be listed.
  9. Establish expiration date or date to review and update the agreement.
  10. Once a draft of a parallel program is created, it should be reviewed by appropriate staff at both institutions, such as department chairs, transfer advisors, coordinators, and faculty.
  11. When the agreement meets with everyone’s approval, it should be formalized with the chief academic officers signing the agreement.

Distribution of Agreements

  • The sending institution usually keeps copies to distribute to students.
  • Advisors at both institutions should be apprised of all agreements and any changes in articulation.
  • Agreements can be posted on the web for easy access to the most current versions.

Step 5: Build course-by-course guides,

If appropriate course-by-course guides are different from Transfer Guides. While Transfer Guides itemize how a particular associate degree transfers into a particular bachelor’s degree, course-by-course guides are usually fewer in hours and are not usually a full associate degree.

Step 6: Informing Students

The Comprehensive Transfer Guide Should include the following:

  • Welcome letter to students from both institutions
  • Information about admission, financial aid, placement testing and advising for both institutions
  • List of important numbers and contact people
  • List of campus resources
  • List of course-by-course equivalencies
  • All parallel programs

Information about completion programs for which there are no articulation agreement required.