What College/University Transfer Should Mean

Saturday, November 9th, 2013

Given the implications of the content of this CT Mirror article, it would be interesting to consider what “transfer should mean.” It’s a good question to ask: how many courses from one institution should transfer to another institution in the higher ed “ecosystem” without compromising the authority of a degree granting institution?

Assuming scenarios. A student might take several courses at a university, then transfer those courses to a community college, such as Tunxis Community College, where I teach. That same student might accumulate a pretty good sized number of credits or hours. How many of these should the ending institution accept as accumulations toward, say, a degree in English or Biology.

The question assumes a paradigm. The model is: what constitutes a degree. It’s rare that universities differ all that much in their amounts and curriculum. Is Biology different in Kansas than anywhere else, assuming a graduate might go off and work somewhere in Washington State? All degree-granting institutions should have the freedom to determine the authority of their degrees within the construct of the larger discipline. So, claiming this or that number is the correct amount is both arbitrary and coherent.

My message to students is typically this: if you take a writing course and this course transfers to Yale, then consider yourself at Yale. That makes sense to me.


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