Whatever happened to transfer credit? In the good old days, Registrars and their minions would go over transcripts with a fine-toothed comb, accepting courses for transfer or rejecting them for numerous reasons. It was a fairly clean and easy process. If a student from your University took Psych 101, we accepted it as our Psych 101. If your student took Basket Weaving 103, we said, “Whoa, that’s SO not up to our standards!” and promptly rejected it with our noses in the air (but only slightly, so as not to offend).
In case you haven’t noticed (but I’m sure you have), we aren’t in Kansas anymore, Toto! The worlds of higher education and the workplace have changed dramatically, and universities are struggling to keep up.
Now we have PLAR, RPL, Credit Transfer, Challenge Credit, Block Transfer, Multi-Lateral Articulation, Articulation Agreements and that looming Bolognia Process to keep straight. It becomes obvious how complex this business is when you have to post for a staff position in the transfer credit office. Should we require a degree in transfer credit processes? Oh yeah, there aren’t any. Hmm…
At first you might think the rise of the consumer and the growth in competition between Colleges and Universities has driven us to be more responsive, albeit somewhat grudgingly. That might be the case, but I see it a bit more positively than that.
The groups of Faculty I have worked with don’t think it’s a good idea to make students repeat learning. They believe we should recognize learning when it’s justified and appropriate. They would much rather move on to more interesting learning than serve warmed over oatmeal from last week.
The trick is determining whether it is justified and appropriate. That will be the subject of future blog posts. In the meantime, what categories of recognizing learning does your institution use? Post comments please – I love hearing from you!