Articulation and Transfer Credit Policy

Academic Affairs

Responsibility: Director of Enrolment Services
Authorization: University Council
Approval Date: Feb 26, 2015

Purpose

The University of Saskatchewan (U of S) recognizes that globally there has been an increase in cross-jurisdictional and inter-institutional student mobility and greater competition for postsecondary students. There is an expectation from governments, institutions, students, employers, and other stakeholders to recognize prior learning and establish pathways that build upon past learning experiences, in order to minimize repetitive learning, decrease time to completion, and eliminate unnecessary costs.

The university supports The Pan-Canadian Protocol on the Transferability of University Credits (CMEC, 1995), the Ministerial Statement on Credit Transfer in Canada (CMEC, 2002), and the Recognizing Prior Learning Provincial Policy Framework (2009). As such, the University is committed to creating policy and procedures that support the mobility of students in their learning.  The university recognizes the efficiencies that can be gained through effective and transparent transfer credit systems, facilitating increased access to postsecondary education and the ability for learners at all stages of their lives and careers to move easily into, between, and out of postsecondary education.

The purpose of this policy is to establish key articulation and transfer credit principles for the U of S, define terminology, outline roles and responsibilities, clarify authority, and determine common procedures and guidelines for students, administrators and faculty.

Principles

When considering a course for transfer credit, institutions are faced with a number of decision points. The University of Saskatchewan has adopted the following best-practice principles to ensure that courses are assessed fairly and consistently.

Equivalence: A course submitted for transfer credit will not likely be identical to the corresponding course at the U of S. When an assessment for specific credit is being considered, the degree to which the course or courses match in relevance, level, content and/or learning outcomes will be considered with the goal of reasonably ensuring that students will have the necessary knowledge to be successful in more advanced courses.

Lifelong Learning: The U of S supports, recognizes, and promotes the value of educational experiences student have had at other post-secondary institutions, and will seek to grant credit for these experiences wherever possible through approved formal articulation agreements and/or course-by-course transer credit. The U of S will develop meaningful pathways for transfer students that facilitate lifelong learning.

Parity of Esteem: Faculty should consider courses from other recognized institutions as they would like to have their own courses considered. Provisions and restrictions, such as specific grade requirements, should not be placed on transfer courses from recognized postsecondary institutions unless those same restrictions apply at the U of S, or there are clear and defensible reasons to do so.

Pedagogy: How a course is delivered is normally immaterial to its articulation. There is recognition that learning can happen in a wide variety of arrangements and conditions. However, there may be some occasions where it is appropriate to consider how a course is taught as it may be integral to content mastery and/or learning outcomes.

Quality: Transfer credit is granted only for formal coursework completed at recognized postsecondary institutions. A recognized postsecondary institution is a public or private instituation that has been given authority to grant degrees, diplomas, and other credentials by a public or private Act of the provincial/territorial legislature or through a government quality assurance mechanism of accrediting agency.

Timeliness: Students, faculty and staff all play a role in the timely evaluation of transfer credit. Transfer credit will be assessed and communicated in a timely, consistent and clear manner to facilitate effective academic program planning and course registration.

Transparency: The U of S is committed to providing students, faculty, staff and departments with current and reliable information about transfer credit equivalencies, agreements, policies and procedures. Any individual who assigns or denies transfer credit on the assessment of a course should be prepared to explain the factors that led to the decision.

Definitions

Transfer credit terminology is outlined in the University of Saskatchewan Academic and Curricular Nomenclature. Definitions align, whenever possible, with national terminology.

Scope of this Policy

This policy applies to all for-credit undergraduate and graduate courses completed at recognized postsecondary institutions that are being considered for transfer credit toward U of S degree credit courses. Also within the scope of the policy is university-level coursework completed through standardized enhanced secondary systems. This policy excludes non-formal and informal learning, which is assessed through the Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition process.  See PLAR: Challenge for Credit Policy (APC, 2002).

Policy

1.0 Transfer Credit

1.1 The U of S will grant transfer credit for successfully completed postsecondary-level courses from recognized institutions in accordance with the principles outlines in this policy document.

1.2 Undergraduate credit may be granted for standardized enhanced secondary level programming that is deemed to be postsecondary coursework.

1.3 Official proof of successful completion of the coursework is required.

1.4 Transfer Credit will not be unreasonably denied. Transfer credit assessment will involve determining the degree to which the course(s) matches in relevance, content and/or learning outcomes, and will reasonably ensure that students have the necessary knowledge to be successful in more advanced courses.

1.5 The U of S recognized the fundamental principles of the Pan-Canadian Quality Assurance Framework for the Assessment of International Academic Credentials (CMEC, 2012), and will apply these principles in the assessment of educational documents from outside of Canada.

1.6 The content of multiple courses from another institution may be combined to meet the learning outcomes of a U of S course or course(s).

1.7 The authority for determining transfer credit lies with the academic department responsible for the course content area. The academic department may delegate authority to assess transfer credit to the College Deans' Office, College Admissions Office, and Central Admissions and Transfer Credit Office.

1.8 Whenever possible, transfer credit will be awarded for a specific U of S course. Where specific U of S credit is not possible, unspecified college, subject-area or elective credit may be granted.

1.9 Transfer credit may be granted for subject areas not offered at the U of S.

1.10 The College Dean's Office (or designate) has authority to grant unspecified college, subject-area or general elective credit.

1.11 Colleges have authority to determine how transfer credit is applied to program/degree requirements, and they may establish limits on the amount of transfer credit allowed within a degree program. Transfer credit shall not exceed 50% of total credits required for completion of a U of S credential.

1.12 Provisos and restrictions will not be placed on courses being considered for transfer, unless those same restrictions apply to U of S courses, or there are clear and defensible reasons to do so.

1.13 Transfer credit decisions will be made and communicated to students in a timely manner.

1.14 Transfer credit awarded will appear on the student's official U of S transcript.

1.15 Students who chose to repeat courses for which they have been granted transfer credit, are subject to the course repeat regulations within their college of enrolment.

1.16 Tranfer credit decisions may be appealed.

2.0 Transfer Credit Agreements

2.1 Transfer Articulation Agreements are formal agreements which ultimately result in the awarding of transfer credit. They are considered legal contracts that outline the nature of the credit transfer and the roles and responsibilities of each organization for maintaining the terms agreed upon within the agreement.

2.2 Colleges have the authority to negotiate and develop transfer credit articulation agreements with recognized postsecondary institutions. Agreements may be initiated by the College or by the sending institution.

2.3 The U of S will only sign transfer articulation agreements with recognized/accredited institutions. If the College is seeking an exception to this policy, permission must be obtained from the Vice Provost, Teaching and Learning.

2.4 Transfer Articulation Agreements must follow due diligence procedures, including being vetted by the Admissions & Transfer Credit Office (for undergraduate), the College of Graduate Studies & Research (for graduate), and the College Dean's Office(s) prior to final signature, to ensure alignment with policy principles and practices. A due diligence form must be completed and adherence to the University's signing poilcy is required.

2.5 Signed Transfer Articulation Agreements must be sent to the Admissions & Transfer Credit Office for central filing and inclusion in transfer credit database.

Responsibilities (Undergraduate Transfer Credit)

Academic Departments or Units

  1. It is the responsibility of the academic department or unit to review course(s) from sending institutions to determine equivalency to U of S course(s) within the department.
  2. Academic departments or units are responsible for responding to requests for evaluation in a timely manner.

College Office

  1. It is the responsibility of the College to assist with facilitating the timely transfer credit reviews.
  2. The College will foster a culture of transfer with its academic departments and ensure consistency of transfer practice within the College.
  3. The College will determine how transfer credit that is awarded fits into a student's degree program.
  4. The College will negotiate transfer credit agreements, and ensure appropriate due diligence and signing of new and revised agreements.

SESD Admissions & Transfer Credit Office

  1. The Office will facilitate the review of courses from sending institutions by academic departments.
  2. The Office will assess undergraduate transfer credit based on precedent and agreements.
  3. The Office will maintain a list of transfer credit precedents.
  4. The Office will maintain copies of all Transfer Articulation Agreements.
  5. The Office will be responsible for providing and maintaining information for students about transfer credit procedures, course equivalencies and transfer articulation agreements.
  6. The Office will participate in the vetting process for Transfer Articulation Agreements.

Responsibilities (Graduate Transfer Credit)

Academic Units

  1. The academic unit will review course(s) from sending institutions to determine recommended equivalency to U of S course(s) within the unit.
  2. Academic units are responsible for responding to requests for transfer credit evaluation in a timely manner.

College of Graduate Studies and Research Office

  1. The College will facilitate the review of courses from sending institutions by academic units.
  2. The College will negotiate transfer credit agreements, and ensure appropriate due diligence and signing of new and revised agreements.
  3. The College will review and approve recommendations for graduate transfer credit based on precedent and agreements (e.g. SUGA, WDA, CUGTA).
  4. The College will maintain a list of transfer credit precedents.
  5. The College will maintain copies of all Transfer Articulation Agreements.

SESD Admissions & Transfer Credit Office

  1. The Office will apply transfer credit to graduate student record when approved by both the Academic Unit and College of Graduate Studies.

Related Documents

Articulation and transfer credit procedures

Contact Information

Contact Person: Director of Enrolment and Student Affairs
Phone: 306-966-6820