Washington State University (WSU) has joined the Interstate Passport Network, the national program of two- and four-year colleges and universities that streamlines the transfer process for students. WSU becomes the first institution from the State of Washington to join. Founded in 1890 as Washington’s original land-grant university, WSU serves nearly 31,000 students on five campuses and online.
“We are very proud to be the first Washington institution to join the Interstate Passport member network,” said Bryan Slinker, interim provost and executive vice president at Washington State University. “WSU applauds the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education for developing and overseeing this valuable option for our students. Washington is now the 15th state—including our neighbors Oregon and Idaho—to join the network. Every WSU undergraduate who completes lower-division general education requirements at our university has attained an educational benchmark that is recognized at every Interstate Passport member school.”
Washington State University offers 98 majors for undergraduates, 78 master’s degree programs, 65 doctoral degree programs, and professional degree programs in medicine, pharmacy, and veterinary medicine. It manages more than 500 study-abroad programs in over 48 countries, and delivers $380 million in financial aid and scholarships for undergraduate students.
The Interstate Passport program was founded in 2011 at the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), and became fully operational in 2016. Students who earn a Passport, which encompasses lower-division general education and is based on learning outcomes instead of course-by-course articulation, can transfer to a Network institution in another state and have their learning recognized and general education credits accepted. Since Interstate Passport launched in 2016, member institutions have awarded over 38,800 Passports. All students from WSU who earn a Passport can now more easily transfer to any Network member institution without having to repeat or take additional coursework to satisfy general education requirements.
Nearly four in 10 college students will transfer institutions at least once during their college careers, and almost a quarter of those will enroll in an institution in another state, according to data from the National Student Clearinghouse. Until now, transferring between schools – especially across state lines – has been made more difficult and expensive by lengthy credit evaluation processes and loss of credit already earned.
“We are delighted to welcome Washington State University to the Interstate Passport Network – our first member from Washington,” said Anna Galas, director of academic leadership initiatives at WICHE. “The proximity of WSU campuses to state boarders naturally lends itself to interstate student transfer with with Oregon, and Idaho. Through the Interstate Passport Network, students who have earned a Passport will now be able to easily transfer to other Network institutions, without losing or repeating thier lower-division general education coursework.”
Even for students who don’t transfer, earning a Passport can be beneficial. Because of its specifically defined learning outcomes, the Passport can become a widely recognizable documented completion benchmark from which employers can gauge a prospect’s skill level and readiness for a job.