This archived article was written by: Heather Myers
Colleges and universities may soon not be able to set their own academic prerequisites for awarding degrees.
Congress recently presented a bill that would allow credits from any educational institution to transfer to any other educational institution. This would essentially do away with current accreditation standards.
The bill, which is now tabled, began as a rider on the “Department of Defense, Emergency Supplemental Appropriations to Address Hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico, and Pandemic Influenza Act.” Although the bill did not pass on this act, it is likely it will resurface in reauthorization.
The bill would require institutions to release their transfer policy and would not allow an educational institution to deny credits based only the institution students came from.
This would be true as long as the institution they came from is recognized by the U.S. secretary of education. Therefore educational institutions would have to treat all agencies and associations recognized by the secretary as interchangeable.
The bill would also move credit evaluation to the federal level. It would make course comparability and student performance the basis for credit acceptance policies.
College and university administrators feel the bill would take away the rights of the individual institution to set standards for receiving a degree or certificate of completion.
“The bill will affect every institution of higher learning in the US, including us. We have to write a Statement of Transfer that will have to be posted in our schedules and General Catalog. It will also mean more work for the Academic Records Transfer person and all department chairs, because they will have to evaluate all credit from all schools.” said Jan Young, director of academic records and registrar at CEU.
When the House subcommittee held its hearing the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers explained the transfer policy as it stands focusing on the success of current transfers and the mobility of students around the nation. AACRAO also featured its transfer credit practices resource, which is a data of transfer practices between institutions.
AACRAO also presented the subcommittee with copies of its publication “The College Transfer Student in America: The Forgotten Student,” which offers research and practical advice to college and university administrators concerning the needs of an institution’s transfer population.