Ohio’s Articulation and Transfer Policy (1990) was a major achievement in improving the mobility of students among colleges and universities within the state. Policy revisions recommended by the Articulation and Transfer Advisory Council (2004), and further codified by the Ohio General Assembly in H. B. 95, extended the impact of the existing policy through more precise advising and the assurance of credit transfer and the application of credits to academic degree/program requirements. A central feature of the enhanced policy is the development of Transfer Assurance Guides (TAG). TAGs are being developed to assist students in more than 38 different degree pathways and are guided by the following principles:
1. The new initiative builds upon the original Articulation and Transfer Policy adopted by the Ohio Board of Regents in 1990. The Ohio Transfer Module continues to be the foundation of this work and provides students the opportunity to transfer courses as a block or on an individual course basis.
2. The purpose of the TAG is to allow students to transfer, in a simple and direct manner, a core of courses that will count toward the major program.
3. The recommendations of the Articulation and Transfer Advisory Council and the stipulations of H.B. 95 enhance the current policy through the creation of Transfer Assurance Guides (TAGs) that provide more precise student advising and guarantee the application of credits within the TAG to the major. TAGs are groups of foundational courses that represent a commonly accepted pathway to majors within the Bachelor’s degree. Courses or course sequences identified as being a part of the TAG may be offered at any higher education institution in Ohio.
4. The goal of a TAG is to recognize comparable, compatible and equivalent courses at or above the 70% standard of equivalency adopted by the Articulation and Transfer Advisory Council. TAGs apply across, at least, all public higher education institutions in Ohio and embody commonly accepted pathways to majors within the Bachelor’s degree. This does not alter the mission or degree authority of any institution; it does provide guaranteed pathways that enable students to reach their bachelor’s degree goals in the most efficient manner.
5. The TAGs are composed of courses and learning outcomes. Consensus on courses commonly included in particular Bachelor’s degree discipline pathways are based on the evaluation of the content and performance expectations on a course-by-course basis within each TAG. When consensus is established, students are assured not only of the equivalency of the courses, but of their application to the degree objective.
6. Transfer students and students who begin and end study at the same institution will be treated equitably with regard to institutional or major/program admissions requirements. All students will be held accountable to the same admissions and graduation expectations such as grade point average requirements, residency requirements, and performance requirements/portfolio requirements specific to certain majors.
7. The role of faculty in the development of the TAGs is paramount and colleges and universities will continue to have ample opportunity to review and comment on the work of the panels.
8. All campuses are expected to comply with the revised Articulation and Transfer Policy and guarantee the transfer of courses in the TAG for application to degree/program requirements. Campuses may have specific curricular issues in the implementation of TAGs for certain disciplinary fields. An appeals process for institutions will be developed to focus on such substantive curricular/programmatic issues in the implementation of the TAGs. The Oversight Committee will handle the appeals process and is the final arbiter of appeals, using the faculty subcommittee of the Articulation and Transfer Advisory Council as appropriate. The Oversight Committee will report on a regular basis to the Articulation and Transfer Advisory Council.
The existing Articulation and Transfer Policy is significantly enhanced by the development of the Transfer Assurance Guides. The above principles were developed to provide a context for understanding the enhancements to the policy and to elucidate the TAGs. The principles are a result of the leadership of the Oversight Committee of the Articulation and Transfer Advisory Council, a representative committee drawn from various segments of the higher education community.