Word has been rattling down the pipeline about Rollins' bill for a while now. I hear that this measure has lots of support from legislators who apparently want to spank the research 1 institutions (UK & UofL) for their reluctance to grant credit to incoming students from Kentucky schools with associates degrees.
The general idea of transferability is not the problem, given the fact that most schools work very closely with incoming students to assure that proper course credit is given. The bill calls for CPE and KCTCS to specify the general education student learning outcomes, program specific prerequisite credit hours, and comparable course titles which shall be accepted for transfer and fully credited within bachelors degree programs. However, there are a couple of sections in the bill that are potentially problematic: Section 2, sub (h) and (i).
2 (h) requires that universities "Guarantee that upon admission to a public university, graduates of an associate of arts or an associate of science degree program approved by the council shall be deemed to have met all general education and program specific course prerequisites and be granted admission to related upper division degree programs of a public university on the same criteria as those students earning lower division credits at the university to which the student transferred.;
For future teachers, this suggests that a student could get an associate’s degree at a KCTCS school without taking any education courses; transfer to a university; and be automatically admitted to the teacher education program, without
- Introductory Educational Foundations coursework and the attendant 20 hours of field work;
- meeting ACT requirements for program admission
- meeting GPA requirements
- meeting requirements for a criminal background check, ethics declaration, judicial review
- meeting the requirement for a establishment of a portfolio
- and receiving feedback from a portfolio review
- recommendations/disposition review
- and possibly, Math, Writing and Computer prerequisites.
2 (i) further stipulates that such students “shall not be required to repeat or to take any additional lower-level courses to fulfill bachelors degree requirements in the same major;”Limited to general studies, the proposed transferability policy change is probably a good idea. It should cause universities to better coordinate and KCTCS to assure proper course rigor. But waiving prerequisites and admission requirements is an act against rigor and quality.
This bill needs to be fixed.
This from the Herald-Leader:
Here's the preliminary text of the bill, which had not yet been prefiled when I looked last week:Plan to aid community college transfers
Goal is to eliminatelost credits at universities
Often, Kentucky community college students who move to four-year universities are frustrated to learn that upon transferring, some core degree requirements they had completed have changed.
The result: wasted credit hours and money, which negates the community college strategy of knocking out basic classes at a lower tuition rate before taking advanced classes at a larger university.
Lawmakers have long chastised college and university leaders for not working together to make it easier for students to transfer seamlessly. Now, a united front of higher-education leaders and lawmakers will push legislation to smooth out many of those bumps in the 2010 General Assembly, which begins Jan. 5.
"It requires that there be a clearly defined path from the community college through the four-year public universities so you don't lose credits," said Rep. Carl Rollins, D-Midway, who plans to file a first draft of that bill in advance of the session.
The proposal guarantees that students who pick a major soon after starting community college can finish an associate's degree that fulfills the required general-education classes at Kentucky's eight public universities, Rollins said...
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky:
+SECTION 1. A NEW SECTION OF KRS CHAPTER 164 IS CREATED TO READ AS FOLLOWS:
(1) Beginning with the 2012-2013 academic year for first time students, no bachelor degree program requirement shall exceed one hundred and twenty (120) credit hours and no associate of arts or associate of science degree program shall exceed sixty (60) credit hours. The Council on Postsecondary Education may approve exceptions to the requirements of this subsection for specialized programs that must comply with specific program standards established by external accreditation bodies.
(2) The Council on Postsecondary Education in collaboration with KCTCS and the public universities shall:
(a) Facilitate the development and implementation of a statewide agreement for alignment of KCTCS lower division coursework that shall be accepted and fully credited to related bachelors degree programs by all public universities. The agreement shall specify the general education student learning outcomes, program specific prerequisite credit hours, and comparable course titles which shall be accepted for transfer and fully credited within bachelors degree programs. The agreement shall direct that courses specified within the agreement shall be accepted for transfer and degree credit whether earned as individual courses, or within block programs, or associate degree programs;
(b) Develop, implement, and maintain a KCTCS statewide course numbering system for lower-division general education and program specific prerequisite courses that include the same student learning outcomes;
(c) Develop, implement, and maintain a statewide common classification system based upon common general education learning outcome areas for the 30 credit hour general education core for KCTCS and the public universities so that the transfer and articulation of equivalent courses or specified learning modules or units completed by students are not inhibited by inconsistent
judgment about the application of transfer credits. Coursework completed within such a system at one public postsecondary institution and transferred to another public postsecondary institution shall be applied to the student’s degree requirements in the same manner as equivalent coursework completed at the receiving institution;
(d) Establish procedures under a statewide common classification system to monitor the transfer and crediting of lower-division coursework, including a system of ongoing assessment of that coursework in terms of level, content, quality, comparability, and degree program relevance;
(e) Standardize credit-by-exam equivalencies and common passing scores for general education credit-by-exam courses and program specific prerequisites credit-by-exam courses;
(f) Develop policies to align statewide articulation and transfer procedures across educational institutions, including admissions criteria, student declaration of major, and student guidance and counseling policies designed to ensure that students pursuing an associate of arts or associate of sciences degree program provide timely notification of their intention to transfer to a public university;
(g) Develop uniform data collection and reporting methods to facilitate and ensure statewide and institutional compliance with course transfer and credit requirements;
(h) Guarantee that upon admission to a public university, graduates of an associate of arts or an associate of science degree program approved by the council shall be deemed to have met all general education and program specific course prerequisites and be granted admission to related upper division degree programs of a public university on the same criteria as those students earning lower division credits at the university to which the student transferred.;
(i) Provide that graduates of approved associate of arts and associate of sciences degree programs who transfer to a bachelors degree program shall not be required to repeat or to take any additional lower-level courses to fulfill bachelors degree requirements in the same major;
(j) Provide that graduates of approved associate of arts or associate of science degree programs shall receive priority for admission to a public university over out-of-state students if they met the same admission criteria;
(k) Establish a common college transcript to be used in KCTCS and all public universities;
(l) Encourage private colleges and universities to collaborate with public educational institutions in developing programs and agreement to expedite the transfer of students and credits between institutions; and (m) Establish an appeals process to resolve disagreements between transferring students and receiving educational institutions regarding the transfer and acceptance of credits earned at another institution.
(3) The Council on Postsecondary Education shall ensure that all articulation and transfer policies are compliant with the rules and regulations established by all appropriate institutional accrediting agencies as recognized by the United States Department of Education.
(4) [Awaiting CAO feedback]. When a public university changes the learning outcomes within any course or program identified as a transfer equivalent, the state public university must communicate the change to KCTCS within a reasonable amount of time and either identify other KCTCS course equivalencies that will satisfy the new learning outcomes or collaborate with KCTCS to develop curriculum that ensures equivalent learning outcomes and thus transferability. Transferability must be resolved before the change is implemented. If disputes arise between public postsecondary institutions due to course and program revisions, the Council is empowered to appoint a committee, chaired by the Vice President of Academic Affairs at the Council, and comprised of distinguished faculty, with equal representation from KCTCS and the public universities, to resolve the dispute through evidence-based alignment of learning outcomes.