Updates to first year transfer credit guidelines

In a recent faculty senate meeting, a decision was made to create consistency when determining transferring equivalent classes.

According to Dr. Amy Watkin, chair and professor of IOC, adjusting the requirements for acceptable equivalent classes for first year experience programs; IOC, IWC, Inquiry and PE 111 was brought to the forefront at the meeting.

“Some members of the [Core Curriculum Committee] had found what looked like discrepancies in the student catalogue and then the Registrar had encountered some conversations with students about transfer credits and wanted to ask about the consistency of that across the first year program,” Watkin said.

The Core Curriculum Committee consists of faculty members representing different divisions on campus and a couple of students representatives.

Originally, in order for a student to transfer credits for first year experience program classes, a student had to have 24 college credits during their senior year from another accredited institution, along with an equivalent for the class they wanted to skip at Concordia.

According to Registrar, Ericka Peterson, the equivalent is required to have covered at least 75 percent of the content a Concordia class does. Any transfer credits need to come from a regionally accredited institution. An official final transcript from the institution directly also needs to be brought in an unopened envelope, containing grades of c- average or above.

Peterson said this transfer policy is common among many institutions, yet, there are a few who do it differently.

“There are some schools who have very strict transfer policies, and they only allow so many credits and only allow so many to count towards their core,” Peterson said. “We just felt this [policy change] was the right change for us at this time.”

Watkin said that the content varies for every class, but for IWC there are a couple of examples she would look for as qualifying content. For example, IWC students participate in a field research project where they engage with the community and write about what they found. Students also do a remix project where they take something they already wrote and create it in a new form for a different audience. Those examples would take up more that 25 percent of class content according to Watkin.

According to Dr. Lisa Sethre-Hofstad, associate dean of the college, the first-year experience program courses were still limited by the 24 credit rule, while the rest of the curriculum was not.

“A policy that was leading to transfer inconsistency on campus,” Sethre-Hofstad said .

So, in a recent faculty senate meeting, the 24-credit rule was eliminated and will go into effect fall 2017. This decision completes the last piece of the curriculum puzzle. All incoming students, next year will be able to transfer equivalent classes for the first year experience program if they choose to do so, according to Sethre-Hofstad.

“[This decision] is offering the most consistent practice for our students,” Sethre-Hofstad said. “It’s really bringing [the first-year experience program] in line with the rest of the transfer policy at the institution.”

By eliminating the 24 credit rule, Concordia is opening up the opportunity to skip first-year classes to a larger population of students. This could allow students to take an upper level IOC or IWC class. However, by skipping first-year classes, students may also miss out on a chance for camaraderie and exploration they wouldn’t get in an upper level class as a freshmen. Students get to take a first-year class with their clubbies, and the classes have unique themes tailored to a student’s interests.

“Some students opt to take [first-year classes] anyways because it is a part of the cohort of the first year and they get social and academic benefits from them,” Watkin said.

Watkin understands that the Core Curriculum Committee eliminated the 24 credit rule in order to acknowledge the experience that students bring to Concordia. However, she hopes some students don’t forget the experiences Concordia can offer them.

“I would encourage students to create those experience here,” Watkin said. “We don’t want people to duplicate work they have already done, but in terms of IWC, people don’t realize writing is a skill and is something that requires practice.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Welcome to the discussion. Before posting, please read our discussion guidelines.