Once institutions have taken the steps to define their Passport Block, they can apply for Passport status leading to membership in the Interstate Passport® Network.
The application requires that institutions agree to all of the terms of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), which has a five-year renewable term for institutions in good standing. The MOA requires the institution, through its faculty, to review the PLOs and define their institution’s Passport Block; and through its registrar to award the Passport to students that achieve it, notate student achievement of the Passport on the student record, recognize incoming Passport students as having met their lower-division general education requirements, and participate in the tracking process.
Memorandum of Agreement Language
Students enrolled in postsecondary institutions are increasingly mobile and seek programs and opportunities that best meet their academic and career aspirations, and it is incumbent on states and higher education institutions to ensure a seamless process for students wishing to transfer from one institution to another;
The Interstate Passport Network (Network) is a consortium of public and private, regionally accredited two-year and four-year institutions dedicated to providing an efficient process for students transferring from one institution to another and avoiding the need to repeat academic work already successfully completed;
The Network is governed by the Passport Review Board, its policymaking body, according to its current bylaws (Addendum A: Bylaws) as may be amended from time to time;
Initial membership categories and fees will be offered in conformance with the fee schedule set by the Passport Review Board;
The Interstate Passport program, focused on students and designed and developed by faculty, articulates block transfer based on learning outcomes for lower-division general education in the knowledge and skill areas and includes a process for tracking student academic progress;
The Passport is awarded by the Network’s institutions to their students who achieve the Passport Learning Outcomes in all nine areas at transfer-level proficiency:
- Oral Communication
- Written Communication
- Quantitative Literacy
- Human Cultures
- Natural Sciences
- Human Society and the Individual
- Creative Expression
- Critical Thinking
- Teamwork and Value Systems
The Passport transfers as a block and is recognized by each Network receiving institution as fulfilling lower-division general education requirements in the nine identified knowledge and skill areas. However, students in specific academic programs or with specific degree requirements may have additional lower-division, upper-division, or institutional pre-major or major requirements in these nine areas;
Faculty at participating institutions may recommend substantive changes to the Passport Learning Outcomes through their Passport State Facilitator serving on the Passport Review Board, which has the authority to re-convene faculty representatives to discuss potential changes;
An institution or system of institutions approved to participate in the Network has applied for Passport Status, ensuring that it has, in consultation with faculty,
- Reviewed the Passport Learning Outcomes for congruence with its own and finds them acceptable as the basis of transfer as a block and agrees to accept the Passport as meeting all of its lower-division general education requirements in the nine identified Passport areas;
- Constructed its Passport Block containing a list of courses and/or learning experiences through which its students can use to achieve the Passport Learning Outcomes at the proficiency level for transfer defined as a minimum grade of “C” or its equivalent in each course.
- Provided a copy of the Passport Block to the registrar to use in establishing processes and procedures for awarding the Passport;
An institution or system of institutions approved to participate in the Passport Network has also ensured that its Registrar(s) will:
- Put in place methods to identify and award the Passport to students who have earned it, note it in the students’ transcript, and notify the students that they have been awarded a Passport;
- Participate in PassportVerify, operated by the National Student Clearinghouse, by supplying data at the end of each term on students to which the institution has awarded a Passport and using the service to verify and recognize in its records that incoming transfer students have been awarded a Passport;
- Participate in Academic Progress Tracking, operated by the National Student Clearinghouse, by supplying de-identified student-level data on the academic performance of three populations of students:
- Students who earned the Passport at the institution (data for at least two terms after earning it);
- Students who transferred into the institution with a Passport (data for at least two terms after transfer); and
- Students who transferred into the institution without a Passport (data for at least two terms after transfer).
- Comply with the Passport’s data management plan in carrying out the above tasks and other data sharing activities of the Network (See Addendum E: Passport Data Management Plan and Addendum F: Handbook for Registrars and Institutional Researchers);
An institution or system of institutions approved to participate in the Interstate Passport Network also ensures that it will inform prospective students of the opportunity to earn a Passport via the institution’s website and other relevant communications with those students. This Network agreement will be in effect for five years unless:
- An institution notifies the Board during the term of the agreement of its inability to continue as a member of the Network and agrees as a condition of withdrawal to recognize all previously granted Passports and obligations to such students and to pay all applicable fees due OR
- Quality control issues are identified with an institution’s participation that are not remedied within a reasonable period of time and result in action by the Passport Review Board. Members in good standing, as defined by the bylaws, may renew for periods of five additional years.