Transfer News

New Legislation in Oregon and Virginia Focuses on Transfer

New laws in Oregon and Virginia, both seeking to improve graduation rates and in-state transfer between two-year and four-year institutions, have some elements similar to the Interstate Passport – namely, allowing students to transfer without losing credits for completed work, or having to repeat successfully completed coursework.

Oregon Seeks to Improve Instate Transfer

Oregon House Bill 2998, sponsored by the Committee on Higher Education and Workforce Development and signed by the governor in August, requires community colleges and public universities in the state to evaluate existing one-year curricula for students who plan to transfer to a different public postsecondary institution in the state, and that institutions establish “foundational curricula” for the first year of coursework as well as requirements for foundational curricula that have a minimum of 30 college-level academic credits. Community college students who complete the foundational curriculum will be able to transfer each academic credit to any public university, and have those credits counted toward degree requirements.

The Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission will lead efforts by the state’s colleges and universities to establish at least one foundational curriculum by the 2018-19 academic year. Institutions will collaborate to develop a unified statewide transfer agreement, based on the foundational curriculum for each major course of study, which will enable community college students to transfer to an Oregon public university without the loss of academic credit or the requirement to retake a course already successfully completed at one of its community colleges. In addition, the statewide transfer agreement will identify the optimal number of academic credits, including in the major course of study, that the student should have when transferring from a community college to a public university in order to efficiently receive a bachelor’s degree.

The new law is considered to be a building block toward better guided pathways at the state’s institutions. The legislation seeks to minimize student debt and increase the rate at which community college transfer students earn bachelor’s degrees.

A Different “Passport” in Virginia

The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) and each baccalaureate public institution of higher education are now required to develop a passport credit program with each associate-degree granting public institution. The program will include the establishment of competencies and standards for each passport credit course, and each course provider will ensure that a passport credit course meets the standards of the program and satisfies a lower-division general education requirement at any public institution of higher education in the state. SCHEV and the public institutions will develop a one-year uniform certificate of general studies program that assures that all credits earned in academic subject coursework by students attending a Virginia associate-degree-granting public institution who complete the one-year uniform certificate of general studies program are transferrable to a baccalaureate public institution.

In addition, the legislation requires each comprehensive community college to develop agreements for postsecondary degree attainment with the public high schools in the school divisions served by the community college, specifying the options for students to complete an associate degree or a one-year Uniform Certificate of General Studies concurrent with a high school diploma. The agreements will specify the credit available for dual enrollment courses and Advanced Placement courses with qualifying exam scores of three or higher.

Leave a Reply