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Office of General Counsel Policies & Guidelines

Articulation and Transfer : 2.00.01.06

Policy/Guideline Area

Academic Policies

Applicable Divisions

TCATs, Community Colleges

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to establish the criteria and process for articulation agreements for technical college and community colleges between one another and between any other institution of higher learning. Furthermore, the purpose is to establish the expectations for transfer between technical colleges and community colleges and for transfer from these colleges to baccalaureate granting institutions following system-wide or state-wide articulation programs.

Definitions

  • Articulation is the process by which one institution matches its courses or requirements to course work completed at another institution and subsequently acknowledges the validity of that course work towards fulfillment of the requirements of an academic credential.
  • Technical college is used to refer to a Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology in the TBR System.
  • Technical education is used herein to refer to the career educational programs delivered at the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology that result in the mastery of competencies and that are measured by clock hours in preparation for job entry or career advancement.
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) is the regional accrediting body of the 13 TBR community colleges.
  • Council on Occupational Education (COE) is the national accrediting body of the 27 TBR technical colleges.
  • Academic credential is a collective term that includes the academic awards of degree, diploma, technical certificate, academic certificate and proficiency certificate conferred by a technical or community college or university.
  • Extra-institutional learning refers to competencies, knowledge or skills gained from experiences outside of a formal higher education environment that results in the attainment and demonstration of competencies and/or learning outcomes required by a college course.
  • Competency-based assessment is a measure of ability, skill and knowledge that is aligned with the expected learning outcomes of a college course.
  • Certification refers to an industry or nationally recognized certification or other third-party endorsement of specific skills and knowledge resulting in formal documentation and recording of those skills and knowledge.
  • Licensure is the formal acknowledgement of demonstrated skills and knowledge by a state agency or other government entity resulting in the permission to use an occupational title and to practice that occupation.
  • Tennessee Transfer Pathways (TTP) refer to established curricula in specific disciplines that transfer fully to Tennessee’s public universities that offer a degree in those disciplines in compliance with the Complete College Tennessee Act of 2010.

Policy/Guideline

  1. All Articulation Agreements entered into by a TBR institution shall meet the following criteria:
    1. All requirements of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) for community colleges or the Council on Occupational Education (COE) for technical colleges shall be met;
    2. Articulation agreements and the subsequent awarding of transfer credit must be in compliance with all applicable program accrediting agencies;
    3. Articulation agreements are developed, implemented and sustained in accordance with the Procedures listed below.
  2. All TBR institutions will comply with established system-wide articulation agreements between institutions and programs and with statewide transfer agreements including but not limited to the Tennessee Transfer Pathways. Said agreements do not preclude TBR institutions from entering into institution to institution articulation agreements.

Procedures

  1. Required Components of All Articulation Agreements Between Two Institutions
    1. All articulation agreements entered into by a TCAT or Community College must be approved and executed by the President or the President’s designee.
    2. All articulation agreements entered into by a TCAT or Community College must be submitted to the TBR System Office of Academic Affairs.
    3. Renewals of articulation agreements or substantial revisions to articulation agreements including terminations must also be submitted to the TBR System Office of Academic Affairs.
    4. Agreements which require consortia or cooperative arrangements with other institutions, agencies, or associations, in addition to being approved and reported as set out in parts A. and B. above, shall be submitted to the System Office for approval by the Chancellor or the Chancellor’s designee. Examples of such agreements include:
      1. Either credit or non-credit academic programs or public service activities to private or state agencies and institutions in the fulfillment of that agency's responsibility for state-wide services or governmental training.
      2. Coordinated or cooperative offering of any credit or non-credit programs or activities or in which certificate or degree requirements are met or credit is given for coursework or activities offered by another institution.
      3. Renewals of consortia or cooperative arrangements agreements do not require approval by the Chancellor or the Chancellor’s designee if no changes have been made. However, a copy of the executed renewal shall be provided to the TBR System Office.
    5. Articulation agreements must ensure that students are not required by university, college or TCAT procedure or regulation to pursue educational/training experiences that duplicate competency skills the individual already possesses for the individual to acquire an academic credential from the receiving institution.
    6. Each articulation agreement will include the following:
      1. A crosswalk of the list of courses for which credit shall be awarded and the corresponding equivalency of each course from the receiving institution. Syllabi and lists of the courses from both institutions involved must be maintained in the appropriate offices of both institutions.
      2. Details of the articulation procedure for the awarding of credit.
      3. An evaluation process to ascertain that the articulation agreement is serving student transfer needs.
      4. A renewal date for the agreement.
    7. Articulation agreements are not exclusive, and either party may enter into similar agreements with another institution.
    8. If an articulation agreement is terminated, students admitted under the articulation agreement will continue to receive the benefits of the agreement throughout their continuous enrollment at the receiving institution.
  2. Articulation between a TBR Technical Colleges and TBR Community Colleges
    1. Articulation to a technical college certificate and/or diploma program from a community college.
      1. A community college student may be eligible to receive clock hours toward a diploma or certificate program based upon the evaluation of the student’s college transcript and course syllabi by the technical college faculty.
      2. The institutions involved must agree that the learning outcomes specified in courses offered by the community college satisfy learning outcomes in similar courses and/or programs offered by the colleges of applied technology. Syllabi of the courses from the institutions involved must be maintained and documented.
    2. Articulation to technical college certificate and diploma programs from secondary education.
      1. Technical colleges and secondary schools may enter into agreements for the articulation of competencies in certificate and diploma programs.
      2. The technical college must agree that the learning outcomes specified in courses offered by the secondary school satisfy learning outcomes as expressed in program competencies offered by the colleges of applied technology. Syllabi and lists of the courses from both institutions involved must be maintained in the appropriate offices of both institutions.
      3. Clock hours will be awarded to the student upon enrollment in the technical college based upon the student’s demonstrated attainment of competencies through the technical college’s recognized checklists or by assessment.
      4. The secondary student must meet all regular admissions requirement of the technical college as published in the institutional catalog.
      5. The student who is admitted to any technical college program must meet all applicable academic requirements of the proposed program of study.
  3. Articulation to a Community College from a Technical College Certificate and/or Diploma Program
    1. A technical college student may be eligible to receive semester credit hours toward a community college degree or technical certificate program based upon the evaluation of the student’s technical college transcript and course syllabi by the community college faculty.
    2. The institutions involved must agree that the competencies specified in qualified courses offered by the technical college satisfy the student learning outcomes in similar courses and/or programs offered by the community college. Syllabi including competencies/learning outcomes of the courses from the institutions involved must be maintained and documented.
  4. Articulation/Transfer Between Individual TBR Institutions and Individual Baccalaureate-granting Institutions
    1. Articulation/transfer agreements between individual TBR institutions and individual baccalaureate-granting institutions must abide by those requirements listed in Section I of this policy.
    2. In addition, the institutions must provide specific advisement for transfer students through an office or program designated to provide academic and administrative coordination between the institutions to facilitate student transfer.
      1. The specific institutional office, or officer, designated to serve as the contact for transfer student advisement and for inter-institutional articulation shall be clearly identified in institutional websites, catalogs and other appropriate publications.
      2. The community college programs designed for transfer shall be clearly identified in the catalog of the community college.
      3. The content of student orientation programs shall include information designed specifically for transfer students.
      4. Transfer students shall be afforded all the privileges and opportunities of native students at the receiving institution.
      5. Credit based on Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) at another TBR institution will be accepted in transfer and applied toward the student's degree comparable to other types of transfer credit. (See Exhibit 1:  Recommended Standards in Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) Policy and Practice for Tennessee Public Colleges and Universities - August 7, 2012).
  5. Transfer of Credit Related to System-wide or State-wide Articulation Arrangements
    1. System-wide articulation agreements between technical colleges and community colleges
      1. Technical colleges and community colleges who offer programs in a similar academic field shall cooperate and collaborate to develop system-wide articulation agreements that establish the transfer semester credit hours to be awarded by a community college upon the successful completion of the corresponding technical college program by a student.
      2. Institutions entering into such agreement must agree that the equivalent competencies specified in related TCAT programs satisfy the learning outcomes in similar courses and/or programs offered by the community colleges.
      3. Within each comparable field of study between the TCATs and community colleges, representative community college and technical college faculty of aligned programs will convene to establish a crosswalk between technical college courses/programs and corresponding semester hour credit courses at the community college.
      4. Proposed system-wide technical college to community college articulation agreements are to follow a prescribed process to gain institutional agreement (see Exhibit 2).
      5. Technical colleges and community colleges that add a program already covered by a system-wide articulation agreement must recognize and abide by such agreement.
    2. State-wide articulation/transfer arrangements
      1. All community colleges will participate in the Tennessee Transfer Pathways (TTP) to the fullest extent of their course offerings to meet the curricular requirements of each specific TTP.
      2. Community college faculty and staff members will engage in the regular review and revision processes for quality assurance and currency of each TTP in collaboration with like public university representatives.
      3. Community college faculty and staff members will participate in the development of new TTP as they are identified based upon student demand in collaboration with like public university representatives.
      4. Each community college will provide students who plan to transfer to a Tennessee university with advisement and academic and administrative support related to the appropriate TTP.
      5. Each community college will publicize the TTP in institutional websites, catalogs and other appropriate publications.
  6. Awarding of Transfer Credit from Proprietary Colleges or Other Non-Regionally Accredited Institutions
    1. Awarding of transfer credit from proprietary colleges is to be considered on a case-by-case basis.
    2. Community colleges and technical colleges must have in place procedures to document the validity of courses requested for transfer from proprietary colleges, including submission of official transcripts of courses taken, documentation of course content, course level, contact hours, the standards for assessing student work, and certification of the academic credentials of the course instructor.
    3. Academic officials at each institution will review the documentation submitted to confirm or deny approval of courses approved for transfer.

Exhibits

Sources

Authority

T.C.A. § 49-8-203

History

NEW Policy approved by Board on December 13, 2018.

This policy replaced the following four TBR policies and guidelines:

  • 2.01.00.01           Articulation with Proprietary College
  • 2.01.00.03           Principles for Articulation in Vocational/Technical Education
  • A-030               Articulation Among Community Colleges and Universities
  • A-031               Components of Articulation Agreements

It also addresses the newly developed statewide Technical College to Community College articulation process.