UNC system looks to simplify transfer credit

UNC-CH enrolls about 800 transfer students every year, and each one has to deal with a transfer credit system that is not uniform across the state.

The Board of Governors signed the recently revised Comprehensive Articulation Agreement in February, which aims to alleviate some of the hassle. It will affect transfer students entering school in the fall.

The agreement was created in 1997 and outlined how student credits would transfer from school to school. However, these guidelines no longer apply to the academic systems in place across the state because of changes in general education requirements.

Previously, credit hours also did not transfer the same to all universities.

Ashley Memory, senior assistant director of admissions, said UNC-CH is trying to establish a clearer pathway for transfer students.

She added that this new agreement is an exciting step forward.

“Transfer students often only have two years to complete their major,” she said. “The agreement gives them a more solid idea of how to do that.”

A press release from N.C. Community College System and UNC system said the Comprehensive Articulation Agreement also identifies courses that will uniformly transfer to all UNC-system campuses to meet general education requirements.

“This revised agreement will help put a baccalaureate degree within closer reach of students on every North Carolina community college campus,” said chairman of the UNC Board of Governors Peter Hans in the release.

It will also require coursework that helps students plan their shift from a community college to a university and encourages students to complete an associate degree at their community college by guaranteeing them entry as juniors with full transfer credit.

“For this agreement, we were looking for courses that all 16 UNCs would agree on as core courses,” said Kevin Brown, dean of advising and retention at Wake Technical Community College.

Brown said another change is that the 44-semester credit hour core has been replaced by a 30-semester hour core. Any course listed as part of the new component courses can be used as a transfer credit.

This makes it clearer to students which classes to take when deciding their course schedules.

Tracy Mancini, dean of arts, sciences and the university transfer department at Durham Technical Community College, said the new agreement would have a positive impact on the future of the students. She added this would give them an opportunity to obtain a higher salary.

“The 2014 CAA reinforces our strong partnerships with UNC-Chapel Hill, North Carolina Central University, and N.C. State University and encourages us to continue working together to create seamless, cost-effective transfer opportunities for our students.”

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