PRP 3343 - Undergraduate Student Transfer Policy

ISSUED BY: Diana Rogers-Atkinson, Provost & Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
EFFECTIVE DATE: 11/15/21
NOTES: Previous Version Effective Fall 2018 Issued by James K. Krause, Ed.D., Interim Provost & Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs; Approved by the Faculty Senate, May 12, 1971. Amended by BUCC 4/12/95. Presented to the University Forum 4/19/95. Amended by BUCC 2/2/00. Presented to the University Forum 2/9/00. Amended by BUCC 1/28/04. Reported to the University Forum 2/4/04. Amended by BUCC 11/8/06. Reported to the University Forum 11/15/06. Amended by BUCC 9/19/18. Reported to the University Forum 9/26/18.

RATIONALE FOR POLICY  

Bloomsburg University is committed to maximizing the acceptance and application of college-level credits awarded by postsecondary institutions with institutionally recognized accreditation.  
 
This student transfer policy operates in accordance with PASSHE Policy (1999-01-A, July 14, 2021) to ensure that “competencies and learning outcomes developed and documented through prior learning are the basis of recognition of transfer credit.”  

In keeping with the recommendations of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) and other public policy advocates for transfer students, Bloomsburg University is committed to procedures and practices that enable transfer students to “complete their education without unnecessary repetition of learning successfully completed at another institution.” 
 
The purposes of this policy are:  

  1. To facilitate transfer of undergraduate and graduate students and their prior learning to Bloomsburg University.  
  2. To ensure that students can complete their education without unnecessary duplication of coursework.  
  3. To assist non-diploma and non-degree-holding students who have earned college-level credits from a previously attended PA community college earn an associate degree or other credential by “reverse transferring” their current Bloomsburg University credits back to their PA community college. 

 

KEYWORDS/DEFINITIONS 

Transfer Student:  An undergraduate transfer student to Bloomsburg University has graduated from high school or earned a General Education Development (GED) diploma and has attempted one or more college courses at a post-secondary institution with institutionally recognized accreditations. Students who have taken college credits through dual enrollment during high school will “transfer” in credits to the University, however they will be classified as “new first year students” rather than transfer students.  

Transcript - Official v. Unofficial: Undergraduate and graduate students transferring credits from another institution to Bloomsburg University must provide the Admissions Office with official transcripts from all previous institutions. An official transcript is marked as such and carries security enhancements. It is sent directly from an institution to another institution and must be delivered to the receiving institution electronically or in a sealed envelope for credit transfer. An unofficial transcript is often printed from a student portal, has little security, may be marked as “unofficial” and is commonly issued directly to the student and may not be used for credit transfer.  

Undergraduate Credit Requirements: Bloomsburg University requires the successful completion of 120 credits to award an undergraduate bachelor’s degree. https://www.bloomu.edu/prp-3604-undergraduate-graduation-requirements Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania recognizes the “credit hour” as the basic institutional measure of instruction and rigor. A credit hour is defined as an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement both in and out of classroom work. https://www.bloomu.edu/prp-3603-credit-hour-definition Bloomsburg University converts Quarter Hour credits to Semester Hour credits by multiplying the Quarter Hours by 0.666. Resulting credit hours valued as a fraction or percentage, 2.33, 2.5, etc., may be used to meet requirements. 

General Education: Bloomsburg University calculates undergraduate general education requirements through general education points rather than credits. General education courses receive both credits toward the 120 required for degree completion and points required for general education fulfillment; some CLE (co-curricular learning experience) courses may receive points only towards general education but not be credit baring. https://intranet.bloomu.edu/documents/mycore/PRP3612-goals-outcomes.pdf  Students having completed their general education in an CHEA accredited Associate’s Degree will have their general education completed at Bloomsburg University.  

Directed General Education (Prescribed General Education): General Education courses that are required for the major are considered “directed general education” or “prescribed general education.” If a transfer student has not completed a “prescribed general education” course, they may have fulfilled the general undergraduate education requirements of the University but not of their major program of study.  

  
Remedial/Developmental Coursework: While the majority of undergraduate courses offered at colleges and universities are considered college level, most institutions offer remedial courses that are considered pre-college level. These courses are often designated in the course number or title.  For institutions using undergraduate 100-400 course numbering systems, pre-college level courses are usually designated by numbers less than 100 (i.e. Math 105 = college level, Math 060=pre-college level). These courses do not typically count towards a degree and will not typically be transferred in for credit.   

Accredited v. Unaccredited Institutions:  Institutional Accreditation refers to the institutional bodies recognized by the US Department of Education to accredit public and private, mainly nonprofit and degree-granting two- and four-year institutions in the US. The regional bodies are listed in the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) directory. Regional accreditation differs from national or trade accreditation, which encompass predominantly for-profit institutions offering vocational, career or technical programs. The acceptance or denial of transfer credit is NOT determined exclusively on the accreditation of the sending institution. Transfer credit is not usually awarded for work from unaccredited or non-regionally accredited institutions. In certain instances, credit may be considered for admitted students but will require independent review. Such consideration will require documents certifying course content such as catalog descriptions and course syllabi. Credit is subject to academic department approval.   

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA): Refers to learning that occurred prior to enrollment at Bloomsburg University. Students can document prior learning through transfer credits earned at previous college classes, credits earned for non-college experiences and training in the military, credit earned with a standardized or BU exam https://www.bloomu.edu/testing, credit for non-college training in business, industry, and government, and credit earned through non-college experience demonstrating college-level learning through portfolio documentation.  

Below are programs accepted by Bloomsburg University as documentation for the evaluation of prior learning credit:  
 
Advanced Placement Course Credit (AP): The University will accept appropriate undergraduate credits earned through Advanced Placement Program Tests completed during high school. Students must request official Advanced Placement test results be sent directly to the Office of the Registrar. Prospective students who desire further information about policies and procedures for awarding AP credit should view score requirements and other related information on the Registrar Resources Page.
 
American Council on Education (ACE) Training Programs: ACE National Guide to College Credit for Workforce Training publishes its recommendations for training students can obtain. https://www.acenet.edu/national-guide/Pages/default.aspx  
 
College Level Examination Program (CLEP) General Examination: The CLEP allows students to take exams for a fee to attempt to “test out” of general and subject specific areas of undergraduate knowledge. Find out more about the CLEP scores are accepted at Bloomsburg University by visiting the Registrar Resources Page.

Register to take an exam through Bloomsburg University’s Testing Center.
 
Credit by Exam: An undergraduate student may petition to establish credit in a course or courses listed in the undergraduate catalogue through a comprehensive examination given by the department instead of through registration and class attendance or independent study of the course content. The student's petition must be approved in sequence by the department chairperson and the dean of the college. Approval in either case is not automatic. A department or college may decline to award credit by examination in certain courses. A student may not petition for an examination in a course audited, nor in a course in which a failing grade has been recorded. A maximum of 15 credits may be earned by Credit by Exam. A student must present evidence of equivalent experience if the course involves laboratory or studio work. https://www.bloomu.edu/prp-3450-undergraduate-credit-department-examination
 
International Baccalaureate Program (IB): The University will award credit for subjects in which students score appropriate scores on IB examinations.   
 
Military Academic Credit Review Board (MAC-RB): The MAC-RB is the University defined process supporting the approval of academic credit for military occupations, training, and deployments equivalent to BU courses required for the undergraduate student's major, minor, or General Education requirements. The process determines the appropriate and academically justifiable BU course equivalencies. https://www.bloomu.edu/military-academic-credit-review-board-mac-rb
 
PASSHE Transfer Student Programs:  
 
Dual admission programs at Pennsylvania community colleges guarantee undergraduate student admission to BU (excluding, but not limited to Nursing, ASL, Medical Imaging, Engineering 3+2) upon completion of an A.A. or A.S. in an approved major between the community college and BU. Students must also meet the standard undergraduate admission requirements for the BU major. https://www.bloomu.edu/articulation-agreements Students should contact the transfer center or advising area at their community college start the dual admission process.  
 
The Transfer and Articulation Oversight Committee: TAOC developed a process and timeline for implementing the statewide undergraduate program-to-program articulation agreements. TAOC created a transfer credit framework for 30 credits of foundational courses in six areas as well as the guidelines for program articulation from 2-year to 4-year institutions. Representative community college and 4-year college faculty developed Program to Program (P2P) transfer articulation understandings for academic major programs.   https://www.patrac.org/Administrators/TAOC-Policies  
 
Program to Program: P2P refers to a Pennsylvania statewide undergraduate program-to- program major articulation agreement that provides a clear transfer pathway into a State System university for community college students who have selected a transferable major program. Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degrees that are part of the P2P articulation contain a minimum of 30 hours of liberal arts among the following six fields of study: Composition, Public Speaking, Humanities & Arts, Behavioral/Social Sciences, Sciences, and Mathematics and 21 credits of major program coursework. Universities may designate additional programs as precursor or parallel programs by reason of articulation agreement or similarity in disciplinary content or student outcomes, as indicated by 4-digit CIP code. https://www.bloomu.edu/articulation-agreements

The link to search for P2P eligible degrees https://www.patrac.org/   
 
Reverse Transfer: Refers to a credit review of undergraduate degree seeking students who transferred from a PA community college to a four-year Pennsylvania State System University without having earned their associate degree. Transfer students will be notified by the registrar of their potential for reverse transferring credits to receive an associate degree credential. PA’s State System of Higher Education Universities and the 14 Pennsylvania Community Colleges have a signed and executed statewide Reverse Transfer Agreement. 
https://www.bloomu.edu/admissions-aid/how-to-apply/transfer
 
PASSHE Visiting Student: Any Bloomsburg University undergraduate or graduate student wishing to take a course at another PASSHE institution may apply for the PASSHE Visiting Student program by completing the PASSHE Visiting Student Application. Students are eligible to participate in the visiting student program only if they have completed a minimum of 12 credits and are in good academic standing. 
 
University Degree Designations:  
 
Undergraduate Degrees:  

  1. Associate’s Degrees: An associate degree indicates that the holder has developed proficiencies sufficient to prepare for upper-division collegiate work or to enter directly into a specific occupation. Associate degrees are awarded only for completion of a coherent program of study designed for a specific purpose. They reflect satisfactory achievement of a minimum of 60 semester hours of credit, in two parts: a general education component and an area of concentration or major component. Examples of associate degrees include Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, and Associate of Applied Science.  
  2. Bachelor’s Degrees: A Bachelor’s degree is a four-year degree that consists of two principal components, general education and in-depth study in a major, which, taken together, are designed to prepare the student for a productive career, informed citizenship, and continuous growth.  
  3. Graduate Degrees:  
    1. Master’s Degrees: A master’s degree represents advanced study beyond the baccalaureate degree and signifies mastery in a discipline or professional field. A master’s program requires a minimum of 30 semester credit hours and usually includes three basic components: (a) a common core of courses related to the discipline or field of study; (b) a concentration or specialization in a focused area of the discipline; and (c) cognate courses which broaden perspective or mastery or provide special skills.  
    2. Doctorate Degrees: The doctorate is the highest academic degree awarded (although in some disciplines a master’s degree might be the terminal degree awarded) in American higher education and is of two types: the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) and the Professional Doctorate. Though the primary distinction is that the Ph.D. is a research degree whereas professional degrees are applied degrees, most doctoral programs include both research and applied studies.  
    3. Certificates: A certificate is a formal credit-based credential designated on the academic record and awarded by an educational institution to indicate completion of an organized program of study at the postsecondary level that does not culminate in a degree.  

BACKGROUND INFORMATION    

  
Transfer policy and procedures at Bloomsburg University are guided by policies and procedures established by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE), the Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Legislation (TAOC), and Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) Transfer Credit guidelines.   

In 2008, legislation amended the Public School Code of 1949 by adding Article XX-C “Transfer of the Credits between Institutions of Higher Education” and established the Statewide Transfer and Articulation System so that students could transfer Associate of Arts (AA) and Associate of Science (AS) degrees into parallel bachelor's degree programs at State System universities with junior standing.  

 PASSHE policy and agreements:  
https://www.passhe.edu/inside/policies/BOG_Policies/Policy%201999-01-A.pdf 

Academic passport PASSHE:
https://www.passhe.edu/students/Pages/Academic-Passport.aspx  

A Transfer and Articulation Oversight Committee (TAOC) developed a process and timeline for implementing statewide Program to Program (P2P) articulation agreements. TAOC created a transfer credit framework for 30 credits of foundational courses in 6 areas as well as the guidelines for program articulation from 2-year to 4-year institutions. Representative community college and 4-year college faculty developed Program to Program transfer articulation understandings for academic major programs. 

The Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Legislation:   

https://www.patrac.org/Administrators/TAOC-Policies  

Middle States Commission on Higher Education Transfer Credit guidelines:  

https://www.msche.org/policies-guidelines/?ppp=view-all  

POLICY  

Recognizing the intent of PASSHE per Policy 1999-01-A to “maximize the application of degree requirements of college-level credits awarded by CHEA-accredited institutions” Bloomsburg University has established the following:

s per PASSHE Policy 1999-01-A, Bloomsburg University “will accept all undergraduate college-level credits from postsecondary institutions with CHEA-recognized accreditation in transfer, regardless of how the prior learning was acquired.” Courses passed in another institution on a pass-fail basis are acceptable for transfer credit, if they conform to the conditions for such grades at Bloomsburg University.  

  1. First-time bachelor’s degree-seeking students must complete at least 30 of the last 60 credits and at least 50 percent of the credits in their major at Bloomsburg University. (PAASHE Procedure/Standard #2016-24:  https://www.passhe.edu/inside/policies/Policies_Procedures_Standards/Graduation%20Residency%20Requirements%202016-24.pdf)  
  2. Credit is awarded for acceptable course transfers. Credits are transferable, but grades and quality points are not, unless PASSHE Board of Governors policy 1991-03-A (Visiting Student Program within the PASSHE) is applicable.
  3. If the grade received in transfer does not allow a student to progress they may be required to repeat the course at BU in order to proceed. Some majors may require grades of C or better in certain courses to demonstrate proficiency in the subject matter. Please note that undergraduate students are limited to six repeats at Bloomsburg University and no more than three repeats per course per PRP https://www.bloomu.edu/prp-3452-course-repeat
  4. Specific disciplines may apply time limits on transfer eligibility (i.e. computer science, biology, physical sciences, nursing, international policy). Students will be evaluated on the catalog year they are following. Credit will be awarded based on content of the course at the time it was taken.  
  5. If transferring from a quarter to a semester, the following conversion will apply: Multiply 4 quarter hours by 67% to convert from quarter to semester; and 2.68 semester hours (converted from 4 quarter hours) as satisfying 3 semester hours  
  6. 100-200 level course work will typically transfer in as 100-200 level equivalencies, and 300-400 level coursework will typically transfer in as 300-400 level equivalencies unless the academic content and rigor indicated by review of course materials suggest an alteration of credit levels. 
  7. Remedial/developmental coursework does not typically count towards degree and will not typically be transferred in for credit.  
  8. Transfer credit will be deleted if the student subsequently registers for courses which substantially duplicate the content of courses accepted for transfer.  When such deletion occurs students will be notified by the Office of the Registrar.
  9. Learning from non-accredited institutions will be evaluated by the University on a student-by-student basis. To ensure consistency and equity in the application of credit from non-accredited institutions the following procedures will be followed:
    1. When the substitution of transfer credit for a required course is in question because the course was taken in an unaccredited institution or because the description of standards of the course is unclear, a student is entitled to an opportunity to validate the course by submitting a course description or syllabus and in consultation with the appropriate academic department.  
    2. The University may award credits for prior learning not acquired through coursework completed at post-secondary accredited institutions. Bloomsburg University students who would like to initiate the process to review possible credit for prior learning should contact the Office of the Registrar. 
    3. Other sources of Prior Learning include:  
      1. Military Credit – MAC-RB  
      2. National Recognized Examinations – CLEP, AP, IB, DSST  
      3. Employment Based Training- Certifications, ACE CREDIT  
      4. Individualized Assessment of Experiential Learning – Portfolio  
      5. Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) 
  10. In acceptance and application of undergraduate transfer college-level credits, Bloomsburg University will first apply as many college-level credits as possible toward the satisfaction of general education requirements, then to the requirements in the major, and finally to elective credits. Every effort will be made in the evaluation of transfer credits to avoid awarding “empty” transfer credits that will not assist the transfer student in progressing towards degree completion in a timely fashion.  
    1. Students may challenge a course equivalency or evaluation by appealing directly to the Office of Admission (INSERT FORM), who will consult with the appropriate College Dean, who will facilitate the Department/Program review. Students may be requested to provide additional materials to determine equivalencies (e.g., syllabus, schedule of topics).  Unless otherwise needed for accreditation, courses equivalencies are established when 70% content in the courses is found to match.
    2. If a course is not transferable, it is the responsibility of the department/program to provide documentation indicating the reason for rejecting transfer which will be provided to the student and maintained by the Registrar’s Office.  
  11. As per PASSHE Policy 1999-01-A, students who transfer to Bloomsburg University from a postsecondary institution with CHEA-recognized accreditation with an Associate of Science or an Associate of Arts degree, or having completed general education requirements for a bachelor’s degree, an Associate of Science or an Associate of Arts degree, shall have satisfied the general education requirements at the Bloomsburg University. Exceptions may be made for the following, provided that these exceptions do not extend the student’s time to the degree:  
    1. One signature general education course (up to 3 credits), if applicable;  
    2. Any prescribed general education course required for the major, if not satisfactorily completed; 
    3. General education overlays satisfied in advanced courses in the major.  
  12. As per PASSHE Policy 1999-01-A, undergraduate students who transfer into the Bloomsburg University with an Associate of Arts, an Associate of Science, Associate of Applied Science degree from a postsecondary institution with CHEA-recognized accreditation in a parallel academic program or as part of the P2P Statewide agreements will be awarded full junior standing and shall not be required to satisfactorily complete more than 60 credits to earn a 120-credit baccalaureate degree in a P2P or other parallel program, regardless of the courses they took to earn the Associate degree; they will have the same requirements for admission to a particular academic program and for retention as students who began their education at Bloomsburg University. Students transferring into a program with accreditation or licensing/certification standards may be required to take limited additional credits to meet those standards. 
  13. Graduate students may transfer one-third of the equivalent graduate-level credits required in a graduate program 
  14. Bloomsburg University guarantees admission for undergraduate students transferring from a Pennsylvania Community College with an associate degree and for students transferring from one State System University to another State System University, subject to the following 
    1. Students with an Associate of Science or Associate of Arts in a parallel academic program or as part of the P2P Statewide agreements are guaranteed admission to the P2P or parallel academic program, subject to capacity, as long as the student meets the criteria for admission required of students who began their education at Bloomsburg University.  
    2. Bloomsburg University designates certain majors or programs of study due to limited access for reasons of accreditation-, clinical-, or resource-based capacity. An updated list of limited access majors and programs can be found at  
  15. Criminal Conviction of a Felony Offense or Dismissal from a Previous Institution for Disciplinary Reasons may limit the ability to enroll and/or to complete certain academic majors/programs and may affect approval to live in university-owned or university-affiliated housing. These will be handled on a case-by-case basis.  

  
Transfer Procedures:  
 
Transfer Students Applying for Admission to Bloomsburg University:  

  1. Transfer students must fill out and submit the regular application for admission to Bloomsburg University. A fee waiver is available for transfer students. https://www.bloomu.edu/admissions-aid/how-to-apply/transfer    
  2. A minimum 2.0 GPA is required for transfer application, some majors may have higher entry requirements.  
  3. Students are required to submit official transcripts from all colleges attended. If they have completed less than 12 college credits, they are required to send an official copy of their high school or GED transcripts.  
  4. Transcripts can be sent electronically or mailed directly to the Admissions Office. (High School or GED transcripts are only required if the applicant has earned fewer than 12 college credits.) 
  5. Transfer applicants are reviewed on a rolling basis until the major or semester reaches capacity.   
  6. If students have earned less than 12 college credits, they are evaluated on both their high school/GED and college transcripts and must meet the minimum admission guidelines for first-year students.  
  7. The evaluation of credit earned at other institutions for new transfer students is recommended by the Office of Admissions to the Office of the Registrar with oversight for content and quality undertaken by the academic department of the transfer course.     
  8. Students will receive a preliminary transfer credit evaluation with their acceptance letter.  

Current Bloomsburg University students transferring in course from other institutions:   

  1. Degree-seeking students at Bloomsburg University may take courses in other 2- and 4- year accredited institutions and submit credits for transfer, provided the courses satisfy the criteria stated above. (PRP 3604 concerning Graduation Requirements) https://www.bloomu.edu/prp-3604-undergraduate-graduation-requirements
  2. To ensure proper placement of transfer credits taken at another institution, students enrolled at Bloomsburg University are strongly encouraged to follow the Prior Credit Transfer Approval procedure https://intranet.bloomu.edu/documents/myhusky/Approval-Transfer-Credit.pdf when electing to take courses at another institution for transfer back to Bloomsburg University.   
  3. Discuss all transfer course decisions with your academic advisor.   
  4. Complete the Prior Approval Form though their MyHusky Account. See the E-Form tutorial for assistance.  

https://intranet.bloomu.edu/documents/myhusky/Approval-Transfer-Credit.pdf  

  1. Students should use the BU Course Equivalencies tool to look for course equivalencies previously articulated by the University.   

http://adminapps.bloomu.edu/CourseEquivalency/ce  

  1. If transferring courses from a PASSHE school students may fill out the Undergraduate Visiting Student Application.   

https://intranet.bloomu.edu/documents/registrar/VisitingStudent-PASSHE.pdf  

  1. Graduate students should refer to PRP 3463 when transferring Graduate credits.   https://www.bloomu.edu/prp-3463-graduate-admissions-withdrawal-course-repeat-transfers-and-graduation-requirements

  
Appealing a Transfer Course Decision:  

  1. Students may appeal transfer credit equivalencies.  
  2. Appeals of transfer credit equivalencies should be made via the webform on the admissions and registrar page. 
  3. The appeal must be made for new students by the end of their first semester of attendance and for current students within 60 days of the evaluation of the transfer credit and the college (department chairperson and dean) will have 30 days to respond with a decision regarding the appeal. 
  4. The appeal must include the following:   
  5. the student’s first and last name and student number 
  6. the specific transfer course(s) that are being questioned;   
  7. the Bloomsburg University course(s) that the student believes are equivalent; and   
  8. support documentation (course descriptions, syllabai, etc.)      

  
Internal Process for Evaluating Coursework:   

  1. Routine course equivalencies will be made by a designee in the Admissions coordinating with the Registrar’s Office. 
  2. New course equivalencies will be coordinated by the designee in the Admissions Office and Registrar’s Office with the appropriate College Dean in consultation with the Academic Department Chairperson of the course.   
  3. Course equivalencies once designated will be posted online on the University Website Course Equivalency Tool on the Transfer page for easy access and transparency.  
  4. Course equivalencies should generally have a minimum of 60% matching of content to determine equivalency to the course unless otherwise needed for specific accreditation.   
  5. Course equivalencies should be reviewed on a routine basis by academic departments and programs utilizing the TES online course system. Where necessary to determine equivalencies, departments may request materials such as course syllabi and schedules of topics.   
  6. The Registrar’s Office will maintain a database of rejected transfer courses with documentation indicating the reasons for the rejection.   
  7. The university will conduct accuracy audits of equivalencies by assessing student completion following transfer.