Joint Boards Articulation Commission

2000-2001 Annual Report
September 21, 2001

 

Executive Summary

The Joint Boards Articulation Commission (JBAC) was created by the State Board of Education and State Board of Higher Education in July 1992 and completed its ninth year of operation in June 2001. The Commission is comprised of representatives from the community college, university system, K-12, and independent college sectors and was established to encourage active cooperation and collaboration among sectors and within systems in order to achieve the most effective and efficient articulation possible. This document outlines the proceedings of the JBAC for the period September 2000 to June 2001.

During this past year, some of the major activities of the JBAC included:

Preparation of the Student Transfer Data Report

In addressing its charge with respect to student data integration, the JBAC includes an item in the annual workplan addressing the standardization of data-sharing procedures between the Oregon University System and the Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development. Accordingly, and as a follow-up to the JBAC's own 1999 report "A Plan for Course and Credit Transfer Between Oregon Community Colleges and Oregon University System Institutions," the Commission prepared a major report for the Joint Boards of Education entitled "Students Who Transfer Between Oregon Community Colleges and Oregon University System Institutions: What the Data Say."

Specifically, this report:

This report attracted widespread interest, demonstrated by the many requests for copies in the months after it was issued. The report was featured in "headline news" on the American Association of Community Colleges website and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board invited a presentation of the findings at their Board meeting in January 2001. Subsequently, the report was published as a chapter in a New Directions for Community Colleges monograph in Summer 2001.

Approval of Credit for Prior Learning Action Team Recommendations

A recurring item of the JBAC workplan has been further consideration of the recommendations of the Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) Action Team (an ad hoc subcommittee of the JBAC formed during the 1997-98 academic year). The Credit for Prior Learning Action Team had proposed, and the JBAC endorsed, recommendations regarding the acceptance of CPL credits among the NASC-accredited institutions in the state of Oregon. The original recommendations were subsequently forwarded to the community college Council of Instructional Administrators and the OUS Academic Council for discussion and approval. After an extended process of deliberation and debate, language acceptable to all constituencies was adopted. Based on this statewide discussion, then, it is the recommendation of the Joint Boards Articulation Commission that:

1. Credits completed through proficiency-based assessment methods be accepted for transfer among all Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges (NASC) accredited postsecondary institutions in Oregon. Allowance is made for individual campuses to accept credits consistent with NASC guidelines.

2. Compliance with the NASC and Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) standards related to proficiency-based assessment be required for credits granted for prior experiential learning or other options.

3. Accurate information about the use and transferability of each of the options for gaining credit for proficiency-based assessment should be made available to students. These credits will be accepted for elective credit and may apply to specific requirements in a student's major.

Oregon community colleges and University System institutions are in the process of being advised of these recommendations.

Furthering Intersector Communication Efforts

The JBAC workplan calls for continuing and improved communication between and among the educational sectors in Oregon in order to benefit transfer students. Some of the efforts in this area supported by the JBAC are:

JBAC Web Page and the Articulation Hotline List. The JBAC continues to sponsor its own web page (http://www.ous.edu/aca/jbac.html), devoted to transfer students and their issues, in order to improve communication between community college transfer advisors/counselors and OUS admissions staff. The Articulation Hotline List (http://www.ous.edu/aca/articdoc.html), an essential feature of the website, is refined and updated each fall. This document provides a list of names, addresses, and phone numbers of individuals at OUS institutions, community colleges, and independent institutions who have responsibility for handling both policy questions and day-to-day issues related to transfer and articulation.

JBAC Member Participation in the Articulation and Transfer Conference. Every fall the Oregon University System sponsors a statewide conference aimed at bringing campus representatives together to discuss issues related to articulation and transfer. In December 2000, this conference was held at Western Oregon University with the theme of "The Big Picture Show: Directing the Efforts in Transfer and Articulation." This one-day event was structured in workshop format and many members of the JBAC were among the conference participants. Included in the discussions were such topics as degree-audit systems; identification and advising of pre-education students; common course numbering and course-equivalencies; block transfer degrees; and other current issues in transfer and articulation. The conference experience was designed so that the participants could identify areas of concern as well as propose "solutions." These concerns and solutions were subsequently submitted to the JBAC for an examination of their policy implications. In a series of discussions during the months following the conference, the issues raised were thoroughly reviewed. Two issues clearly within JBAC's purview were (1) possible modifications to the Associate of Arts/Oregon Transfer degree and (2) establishment of an Associate of Science/Oregon Transfer degree (or degrees). These issues were ultimately referred to the Student Transfer Committee for study.

Examining the Oregon Transfer Degree

The Student Transfer Committee (STC), a standing committee of the JBAC, was charged with examining issues regarding the Associate of Arts/Oregon Transfer (AA/OT) degree (identified by the participants at the December 2000 conference). As a result of lengthy deliberations, the STC proposed modest revisions to the current AA/OT and subsequently developed a model for a possible Associate of Science/Oregon Transfer degree (or degrees). These proposals (outlined in the body of this report) have been delivered to several groups for feedback, including the community college Council of Instructional Administrators, the OUS Academic Council, the Oregon Writing and English Advisory Committee, and the Senior Student Services Administrators of both sectors. These proposals will be refined based on feedback received and then re-circulated for additional comments. The guidance of various disciplinary groups will also be sought. The eventual goal of this process is one or more Associate of Science degrees that will be recognized as a statewide transfer degree(s). The State Board of Education has been consulted on this process and positively received the proposal that such degrees be developed. (Board practice has been to discourage/prohibit disciplinary designations for Associate's degrees and such statewide degrees would be a departure from this practice.)

Considering Other Issues

Several other topics were examined by the JBAC during the 2000-2001 academic year, including: a re-examination of the Student Services Action Team recommendations of 1998; discussions about a K-16 approach to transfer-related areas (including tracking the proposed early collegiate options legislation); and consulting with other groups working in areas that impact articulation and transfer. Complete descriptions of these activities are included in the body of the report.

 

 

 

Joint Boards Articulation Commission

2000-2001 Annual Report
September 21, 2001

 

Purpose and Introduction

This document outlines the proceedings of the Joint Boards Articulation Commission (JBAC) for the period September 2000 to June 2001. First, in this section of the report, background information regarding the JBAC is briefly presented. In the sections that follow, specific JBAC issues, activities and actions for the year are described.

The JBAC was created by the State Board of Education and State Board of Higher Education in July 1992 and completed its ninth year of operation in June 2001. The Commission is comprised of representatives from the community college, university system, K-12, and independent college sectors and was established to encourage active cooperation and collaboration among sectors and within systems in order to achieve the most effective and efficient articulation possible. Commission members are appointed by the Oregon University System Chancellor, the Commissioner of Community Colleges, the Superintendent of Public Instruction, and the Executive Director of the Oregon Independent Colleges Association.

Specifically, the JBAC is charged with:

The JBAC meets regularly throughout the academic year to address the issues arising from its charge. In order to maximize the number of topics and issues to be addressed, a variety of concerns are typically considered by the standing and/or ad hoc committees of the Commission. During the 2000-2001 academic year, the work of the JBAC's standing Student Transfer Committee (STC) included advising the JBAC about possible modifications to the Associate of Arts/Oregon Transfer degree as well as the exploring the possibility of adopting and implementing Associate of Science/Oregon Transfer degrees.

 

JBAC Issues, Activities and Products

During this past year, the JBAC initiated, discussed, completed, and/or made significant progress in the following areas:

Data Sharing Efforts and the Student Transfer Data Report

In addressing its charge with respect to student data integration, the JBAC includes an item in the annual workplan addressing the standardization of data-sharing procedures between the Oregon University System and the Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development. The workplan calls for ongoing examination of applicable data for trends that may lead to recommendations for change in state articulation and transfer policies and/or practices. Accordingly, this past year, consistent with workplan goals and as a follow-up to the JBAC's own 1999 report "A Plan for Course and Credit Transfer Between Oregon Community Colleges and Oregon University System Institutions," the Commission prepared a major report for the Joint Boards of Education entitled "Students Who Transfer Between Oregon Community Colleges and Oregon University System Institutions: What the Data Say."

The specific purposes of that report were to:

A synopsis of the report follows in a "point/counter-point" format.

The belief: Students move in a lockstep fashion from high school to community college to baccalaureate-granting institution.

The data and research say...

The belief: Community college students experience significant credit loss when they transfer to a four-year campus.

The data and research say...

The belief: The number of students transferring to a four-year campus from a community college is declining.

The data and research say...

The belief: Community college transfer students generally demonstrate lower academic performance than students who begin at a four-year campus.

The data and research say...

The belief: Community college students in general, as well as community college students of color, persist and graduate at lower rates than students who begin at a four-year campus.

The data and research say...

 

Further, the report recognized that the Oregon data-match project is still in its infancy and that data-collection efforts need to be continued and expanded in order to make more informed policy decisions in the area of articulation and transfer. The recommendations from this study included the following:

This report attracted widespread interest, demonstrated by the many requests for copies in the months after it was issued. The report was featured in "headline news" on the American Association of Community Colleges website, and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board invited Jim Arnold, staff to the Commission, to present the findings at a Board meeting in January 2001. Subsequently, the report was published as a chapter in a New Directions for Community Colleges monograph in Summer 2001. The report has been cited numerous times by other authors since its publication.

Credit for Prior Learning Action Team Recommendations

Another item included in the JBAC's 2000-01 workplan was the consideration and adoption of the recommendations of the Credit for Prior Learning Action Team, a subcommittee of the JBAC that met during the 1997-98 academic year. This section describes the history of this issue and outlines the final language of the recommendations as agreed upon through a statewide dialog.

HB2387, as passed by the 1997 Oregon Legislative Assembly and signed into law, called upon the postsecondary education sectors in Oregon to provide, for the 1999 legislature, a comprehensive plan regarding transfer activity in the state. Such a plan was subsequently prepared by the JBAC on behalf of the Joint Boards of Education and presented to the education committees of both houses of the Legislative Assembly in February 1999. As part of the preparation for that report ("A Plan for Course and Credit Transfer Between Oregon Community Colleges and Oregon University System Institutions," referred to in the previous section of this report), the JBAC established, during the 1997-98 academic year, a series of "action teams" to study and provide recommendations in a number of areas relating to course and credit transfer. One of the action teams so formed was aimed at the topic of Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) and was specifically charged with "identifying what will be needed to make credit for prior learning transferable to all Oregon institutions." The CPL Action Team met in the winter and spring of 1998 and produced a report for submission for consideration by the JBAC during 1999. That report and its recommendations were the basis for a thorough (and only recently concluded) review of this topic by the JBAC as well as all the public two- and four-year campuses in the state.

"Credit for prior learning" (CPL) is the term used for the demonstration of knowledge and skills gained outside the traditional classroom setting for which academic credit is awarded. Typically, a student interested in earning CPL documents appropriate knowledge gains in a specific area through the construction of a portfolio of materials which is then evaluated by a faculty member. According to the "Policy on Credit for Prior Experiential Learning" of the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges (NASC), credit awarded for this type of learning may only be granted within the curricular offerings of the institution granting the credit and credit earned in this manner must be identified as such on the student's transcript. Several campuses among Oregon's independent colleges, the Oregon University System, and the community colleges currently offer and/or accept CPL. However, some campuses have historically been reluctant to accept CPL as transfer credit. Hence, some students have earned credit for courses normally accepted for transfer, but because of the credits' CPL nature as identified on the transcript, the credits were not accepted. The actual number of students affected by this practice is not known, though it is estimated to be relatively small.

The practice on several campuses has been to recognize CPL only for credit earned at that institution. The CPL Action Team reported, and the JBAC has agreed, that faculty resistance seems to be at the core of the lack of acceptance of CPL for transfer credit, in that there is insufficient understanding of the process, standards, and assurance of quality of students' work demonstrated through the CPL assessment programs.

The Commission on Colleges and Universities of NASC "recognizes the validity for granting credit for prior experiential learning" and has established policies to guide colleges and universities in legitimately granting such credit. The NASC guidelines provide a minimum level of quality assurance in that institutions may only grant credit within their curricular offerings (i.e., for courses normally offered at that institution), and that credit may only be granted upon the recommendation of teaching faculty who are appropriately qualified and on regular appointment at that campus. Similarly, the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) publish standards for quality assurance in assessing learning for credit by which participating institutions abide.

The Credit for Prior Learning Action Team proposed, and the JBAC endorsed, recommendations regarding the acceptance of CPL credits among the NASC-accredited institutions in the state of Oregon. That set of recommendations were subsequently forwarded to the community college's Council of Instructional Administrators and the OUS Academic Council for discussion and approval. After an extended process of deliberation and debate, language acceptable to all constituencies was adopted. Based on this statewide discussion, then, the Joint Boards Articulation Commission now recommends that:

1. Credits completed through proficiency-based assessment methods be accepted for transfer among all Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges (NASC) accredited postsecondary institutions in Oregon. Allowance is made for individual campuses to accept credits consistent with NASC guidelines.

2. Compliance with the NASC and Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) standards related to proficiency-based assessment be required for credits granted for prior experiential learning or other options.

3. Accurate information about the use and transferability of each of the options for gaining credit for proficiency-based assessment should be made available to students. These credits will be accepted for elective credit and may apply to specific requirements in a student's major.

Oregon community colleges and University System institutions are in the process of being advised of these recommendations.

Intersector Communication Efforts

The JBAC workplan calls for continuing and improved communication between and among the educational sectors in Oregon in order to benefit transfer students. This section lists some of the efforts in this area supported by the JBAC, including the endorsement of activities by the Commission as indicated by member participation.

JBAC Web Page and the Articulation Hotline List

The JBAC continues to sponsor its own web page (http://www.ous.edu/aca/jbac.html), devoted to transfer students and their issues, in order to improve communication between community college transfer advisors/counselors and OUS admissions staff. Important features of the site include: (1) three main sections, depending on one's relationship to and interest in transfer issues (student; counselor or advisor; administrator or policymaker); (2) the most up-to-date version of the Articulation Hotline List (see below); (3) information for transfer students who are encountering problems (names of OUS and CCWD staff who may be contacted); (4) links to the OUS institutions' home page sections and their course equivalency tables; (5) links to all the Oregon community college home pages; (6) information about the Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer (AA/OT) degree; and (7) important JBAC documents such as the current version of the work-plan, JBAC and STC membership lists, and meeting minutes.

The Articulation Hotline List (http://www.ous.edu/aca/articdoc.html) an essential feature of the website, is refined and updated each fall. This document provides a list of names, addresses, and phone numbers of individuals at OUS institutions, community colleges, and independent institutions who have responsibility for handling both policy questions and day-to-day issues related to transfer and articulation.

JBAC Member Participation in the Articulation and Transfer Conference

Every fall the Oregon University System sponsors a statewide conference aimed at bringing campus representatives together to discuss issues related to articulation and transfer. In December 2000, this conference was held at Western Oregon University with the theme of "The Big Picture Show: Directing the Efforts in Transfer and Articulation." This one-day event was structured in workshop format, utilizing, primarily, a series of roundtable discussions to give all participants a voice on a wide range of articulation- and transfer-related topics. Many members of the JBAC were among the conference participants. Included in the discussions were such topics as degree-audit systems; identification and advising of pre-education students; common course numbering and course-equivalencies; block transfer degrees; and other current issues in transfer and articulation. The conference experience was designed so that the participants could identify areas of concern as well as propose "solutions" to a gathering of participants at a concluding plenary session. Participants were promised that all of these concerns and solutions would be submitted to the JBAC for an examination of their policy implications. In a series of discussions over the next few months, then, the JBAC heard from the discussion group leaders of that conference. The issues raised at the conference were then thoroughly reviewed. Two issues which were clearly within JBAC's purview were (1) possible modifications to the Associate of Arts/Oregon Transfer degree and (2) establishment of an Associate of Science/Oregon Transfer degree (or degrees). These issues were subsequently referred to the Student Transfer Committee for study and are discussed in a separate section below.

Student Services Action Team (SSAT) Recommendations

The JBAC's 2000-01 workplan included the charge to "consider and adopt as appropriate, the recommendations from the Student Services Action Team." This Action Team was one of the ad hoc groups formed during the 1997-98 academic year to address a range of student services issues related to the transfer function. The Action Team's July 1998 report included a number of recommendations that addressed some of the more complicated issues which sometimes stand in the way of a seamless transfer experience for students. While frequently discussed in many venues since 1998, these recommendations, due to their complexity, have been left largely unresolved since that time. A JBAC subcommittee undertook a fresh review of these recommendations, to determine the possibility of further JBAC action. This group issued the following status report to the JBAC as a result of this review.

  1. Recommendation: Adoption of a universal calendar for instructional activity by both sectors. Status: The community college presidents have chosen not to pursue a plan, set forth by the Council of Instructional Administrators, that would move the community colleges closer to the OUS standard academic calendar. The JBAC will likely have little or no future impact in this area.
  2. Recommendation: Seeking incentives and funding for cooperative instructional and admission activities; adoption of standard definition of "good academic standing." Status: Many co-admission and co-enrollment agreements have been initiated in the time since the original Student Services Action Team report. These will continue to develop as campus-to-campus agreements. The JBAC has probably accomplished what is possible in this area to encourage and facilitate such arrangements. The JBAC is unable resolve the existing issues through the recommendation of a common policy. Further, the topic of changing the definition of "good academic standing" was discussed by the OUS Academic Council; changes in transfer admission requirements have to be initiated by individual OUS campuses.
  3. Recommendation: Encouraging consortium agreements between institutions to provide better financial aid access to students; finding a "technology solution" to tracking co-enrolled students. Status: There have been multiple consortium agreements generated in recent times, with modest progress made toward the development of a statewide database of co-enrolled students. Oregon State University and Linn-Benton Community College are currently participating in a pilot program for such an effort, made possible because they are already sharing data and both utilize the same student information system (Banner). Staff in the Attorney General's office are working on related state and federal FERPA issues. While there's probably not much for the JBAC to do, this issue has seen limited progress.
  4. Recommendation: Revising OUS residency rules to ameliorate the differences between OUS and the community colleges. Status: There would be a financial impact to both the community colleges and OUS if this goal were realized. OUS's residency rules were revised in the early 1990s to partially ameliorate revenue effects of Measure 5. Neither sector seems to be interested in pursuing this recommendation and the JBAC will likely have little impact given the revenue implications.
  5. Recommendation: Reviewing and standardizing definitions for "satisfactory academic progress." Status: In recent meetings between community college and OUS financial aid administrators, there seem to be indications that institutions are moving further apart in their definitions of satisfactory academic progress rather than closer together. It is unknown how the JBAC could significantly impact this issue.
  6. Recommendation: Establishing common guidelines for the definition and release of student directory information; seeking means for institutions to more readily exchange student directory information. Status: This is a recommendation that presents many challenges; the importance of information/data exchange was reinforced in the November 2000 transfer student data report to the Joint Boards of Education. Progress on this issue is stymied by local board policy at each community college. Community colleges, by policy and practice, vary greatly in the kind of information they are able/willing to share with other institutions. This is an issue that the JBAC may elect to pursue further, though its ability to influence change is unknown.
  7. Recommendation: Establishing standard tuition rates for identical courses across sectors. Status: Similar to Recommendation 4 above, both sectors appear to have made intentional decisions not to pursue this goal and the JBAC will likely have little impact on any further progress, absent serious analysis of revenue implications.

Given the scope and complexity of the issues involved, the recommendation of the subcommittee studying these topics were that the Student Services Action team item(s) be removed from the JBAC Workplan since the Commission has probably realized its potential in terms of outcomes.

A K-16 Approach to Transfer-Related Areas

The JBAC workplan has called for assessing and reporting progress on a K-16 approach to various topics, including: course and credit transfer, teacher education, early collegiate options, distance learning, and standards-based entrance/exit standards. During the past year, the JBAC has paid special attention to the areas of teacher education and early collegiate options.

Teacher Education was a major topic of the December 2000 Articulation and Transfer Conference. One "track" of conference sessions was devoted to the topic and the issues and recommendations identified during that day were subsequently addressed by the JBAC.

Many students who eventually pursue teacher education programs at Oregon's universities start out their postsecondary educational experiences at a community college. Identifying those students as "pre-education" and advising them into university programs is a major concern; given the number, type, and complexity of teacher education programs around the state, this is not a process that always works seamlessly. The following issues were identified:

While a number of recommendations were made for campus consideration, other recommendations were made directly to JBAC for action and/or endorsement:

The JBAC continues to study and discuss the issues and recommendations offered in this area. While many of these topics are not necessarily directly related to the JBAC's charge and mission, they are indirectly related to a broad scope of transfer concerns of many students. A one-day pre-education advising conference/workshop is currently being planned for Fall 2001 in conjunction with the annual Articulation and Transfer Conference.

Early Collegiate Options was also a dominant theme of JBAC deliberations during the 2000-01 year, given the re-introduction of the proposed "Student Bill of Rights." (SB 428 in the 1999 legislature. In the 2001 session, this was originally in the form of SB 64 & SB 65, then reincarnated in SB 783 and, finally, HB 2004; the "Student Bill of Rights" nomenclature was ultimately replaced by the designation of "Expanded Options".) Expanded Options (essentially, a program that would allow high school students to enroll in courses at a nearby college or university for dual credit -- that is, courses taken for both high school and college credit) was a topic of discussion at each of the JBAC meetings during the year and appeared on the meeting agendas of the Joint Boards of Education and Joint Boards Working Group as well. As the legislative session progressed, the form of the Expanded Options bill(s) evolved to incorporate features neither envisioned in the 1999 legislation (passed by the legislature, vetoed by the Governor) nor in the early versions of the 2001 bill. One of the major issues that emerged, for example, was whether or not to include at-risk students in the populations eligible for participation in the program. A related issue was whether to allow remedial/developmental courses to be included in the services to be provided. Of course, the overarching concern of the proposed legislation was how to finance the program. As written, the legislation would have dollars follow the student from high school to college, utilizing public schools' ADM funds.

The myriad issues arising from the proposed Expanded Options legislation, and the implications for the flow of students from high school to community college to university, were the focus of JBAC discussions. These discussions served to inform some of the individuals involved in the work group sessions convened by the bill's sponsor. The much-amended bill was not approved in the 2001 legislature.

Consultation with Groups Working in Areas that Impact Articulation and Transfer

As indicated in the workplan, the JBAC is committed to coordinating and consulting with other entities that have the potential to impact articulation and transfer efforts in the state. Such groups include, but are not limited to, the Oregon Writing and English Advisory Committee (OWEAC), the OUS Proficiency-based Admission Standards System (PASS) project, the OUS Academic Council, and the community colleges' Council of Instructional Administrators (CIA). During the past year, the JBAC has had the occasion to work with each of these groups on a variety of issues.

OWEAC. A communication to CCWD from Linn-Benton Community College (LBCC) requested that their WR 214 course be considered for inclusion in its AA/OT degree. This matter was forwarded to the JBAC and subsequently referred to the Student Transfer Committee (STC) which, in turn, sought the advice of OWEAC. At the OWEAC Spring 2001 meeting, the WR 214 request was considered along with the proposed modifications in the requirements for the AA/OT suggested by the STC (see STC discussion below). OWEAC responded with comments on both topics.

First, with respect to the inclusion of WR 214 in the AA/OT: OWEAC had strong reservations about the proposal, saying that only if the course were significantly redesigned would it be appropriate for inclusion as an approved writing course (it could, of course, be used as an elective). Second, with respect to the proposed modifications to the AA/OT coming from the STC: OWEAC is not in favor of language changing the number of credits (that is, specifying either 8 or 9 credits rather than the 9 previously in the guidelines). It is OWEAC's position that, if anything, the change should go in the "other direction" (i.e., making the requirement more substantial rather than "diluting" it as the proposed language is thought to do).

PASS. The Proficiency-based Admission Standards System of the Oregon University System is of interest to the JBAC because of its potential for impact on students who will ultimately transfer to a university from a community college. Increasingly, as OUS moves to full implementation of its new admission system, transfer students may encounter confusion when a "traditional" admission process is expected. For the several years of the development, and now implementation, of PASS, the JBAC has been wrestling with the complexities involved with the intersector (articulation and transfer) implications. As described in last year's annual report, the JBAC developed a draft "principles" statement on the implications of PASS for transfer students (available at the JBAC webiste: http://www.ous.edu/aca/PASS-transfer.html); given the increasing importance of the issues involved, this document continues to be reviewed for currency and relevancy.

Academic Council and CIA. A number of issues considered by the JBAC during the past year have had frequent input from the senior academic administrators of both the community college and university sectors. Both groups were frequently consulted about, and instrumental in finalizing the language for, the recommendations on Credit for Prior Learning (discussed above). And both groups played significant roles in guiding the work of the Student Transfer Committee and the JBAC in moving forward with their explorations of an Associate of Science/Oregon Transfer degree(s) (see STC discussion below).

Work of the Student Transfer Committee (STC)

The Student Transfer Committee (STC) is an action-oriented standing committee of the JBAC, comprised of both JBAC members and other representatives from the community college, OUS, and independent college sectors. During the 2000-2001 academic year, the JBAC asked the STC to consider a variety of topics, most of which originated in the issues and recommendations forwarded from the Articulation and Transfer Conference held in December 2000. Topics included a call for an Associate of Science/Oregon Transfer degree or degrees; suggestions for revising the Associate of Arts/Oregon Transfer (AA/OT) degree; the degree of accuracy of communications to students regarding the AA/OT; the possibility and eventuality of a proficiency-based AA/OT; and the desire for standardization of course-equivalency tables. The two most significant topics, having to do with AA/OT transfer degree modifications and the possibility of developing an Associate of Science/OregonTransfer degree, are discussed below.

The Associate of Arts/Oregon Transfer Degree

The STC noted that the current structure and relevance of the AA/OT has been questioned, specifically by the participants of the fall OUS-CC conference. Issues and questions that arose there included:

STC response: Refer to the discussion of this issue in the OWEAC section above.

STC response: Students who currently take interdisciplinary courses as part of their general education core actually satisfy the breadth requirements of the transfer degree, even if their cousework is all under one prefix. Is it possible to acknowledge that kind of academic work within the current structure of the AA/OT? The proposal was made to strike language from the current AA/OT requirements that state "with no more than nine credits from one discipline."

STC response: Historically, such "criteria" were probably specified, but no criteria, as such, are currently a part of the description of the transfer degree. This is an area that needs further study and discussion.

 

STC response: A proposal was developed for a revised AA/OT that attempts to take into account this shift of credits (see Table 1).

 

Table 1. Comparison of Current and Proposed Requirements for the Associate of Arts/Oregon Transfer Degree

Current AA/OT
Credit Requirements

Category

Proposed AA/OT Credit
and Course Requirements

9

Writing

8-9 credits

4

Math

4 credits

3

Speech

3 credits

12

Arts & Letters

2-4 courses (from at least two disciplines), 10-12 credits

15

Social Sciences

3-5 courses (from at least two disciplines), 15-16 credits

15

Science/Math/Computer Science

15 credits minimum, including 3 lab courses. An approved computer science course must be included if the 3 lab science courses add to less than 15 credits

This proposal has been delivered to the community college Council of Instructional Administrators, the OUS Academic Council, the Oregon English and Writing Advisory Committee, and the Senior Student Services Officers of both sectors for comment. A revised proposal will be developed during Fall 2001.

Associate of Science/Oregon Transfer Degrees?

The questioning of the appropriateness of the current AA/OT led the STC to consider the feasibility of an Associate of Science/Oregon Transfer degree (or degrees). The STC chose business as the discipline to start with in considering an AS/OT degree, given that many of the December conference participants thought a transfer degree in that field of study would be desirable as well as possible. The STC noted that although the possibility of an AS transfer degree has been addressed in previous years, it appears that the time is right for further examination. In the past, the JBAC and STC did not feel it such a degree was necessary, since students could presumably be served by customizing the AA/OT. However, much discontent has been expressed in recent times with the AA/OT, the sense being that it serves only a small fraction of students really well: those potential transfer students who know neither what their baccalaureate major will be nor to which OUS campus they will transfer.

The range of courses for business at the lower-division level was examined by the STC. It appeared that constructing a first-order proposal for a transfer degree in business would possible by examining the similarities in requirements from institution to institution. For example, the two Economics courses (201, 202) seem to be a common theme in lower-division requirements and recommendations.

A recommendation (Table 2) for a transfer degree in business was developed after much discussion, and consisted of the following elements:

Table 2. Proposed Requirements for an Associate of Science/Oregon Transfer Degree in Business

AREA

CREDITS

General Education Components

 

Writing (121, Composition; BA214, Business Writing)

6

Speech

3

Math (111, Algebra; 241, Calculus; 245 Math for Management, Social Science)

12

Social Sciences (ECON201, 202, plus one additional social science course)

12-16

Arts & Letters (4 courses with no more than 3 from the same prefix)

12-16

Physical Science (3 laboratory science courses)

12-15

General Education Credit Subtotal

57-68

Business-Specific Components

 

101, Intro to Business

4

211, 213, Financial, Managerial Accounting

8

131, Business Data Processing

4

230, Business Law (or other business elective)

4

Business Credit Subtotal

20

Degree Credit Total

77-88

Electives

2-13

This proposal has also been delivered to the community college Council of Instructional Administrators, the OUS Academic Council, and the Senior Student Services Officers of both sectors for comment. The Oregon State Board of Education (June 2001) has been consulted on this matter and positively received the proposal that Associate degrees be brought to them for approval that designate specific disciplines or disciplinary areas. (Board practice typically has been to discourage/prohibit such designations for Associate's degrees.) This proposal will be discussed further at the annual joint meeting of the community college senior academic officers and the university provosts (November 2001) and considered by the chairs of the business departments of the community colleges and OUS campuses. Further, the STC will consider, during Fall term 2001, proposals for Associate of Science degrees in other disciplines or disciplinary areas, then forward those proposals to the JBAC and other appropriate bodies for feedback.

 

Summary

During the 2000-2001 academic year, the Joint Boards Articulation Commission successfully addressed a wide range of issues that fell within its charge. A major report was produced that presented the latest data pertaining to the transfer process and flow of students between community colleges and University System campuses. One substantive recommendation, in the area of Credit for Prior Learning, was finalized and accepted by both the OUS and community college sectors. JBAC members played a major role in the Articulation and Transfer conference and heard policy recommendations from participants in a variety of areas. Proposals for modifications to the Associate of Arts/Oregon Transfer degree were made; a proposal for an Associate of Science transfer degree is under consideration. Several other ongoing and current issues were examined and monitored. The Joint Boards Articulation Commission continues to be a visible and viable force in Oregon and serves to keep the state at the forefront of the national conversation in areas of articulation and transfer.

 

 

 

 

2000-2001 Commission Members
Phil Creighton (Chair), Eastern Oregon University
Rick Levine, Rogue Community College
Craig Bell, Portland Community College
Ron Dexter, Oregon Department of Education
Liz Goulard, Chemeketa Community College
Adrienne Hill, Southern Oregon University
Sheldon Nord, Oregon Institute of Technology
Dave Phillips, Clatsop Community College
Mary Kathryn Tetreault, Portland State University
Mark Wahlers, Concordia University

Staff to the Commission
Jim Arnold, Oregon University System
Elaine Yandle-Roth, Community Colleges and Workforce Development

 

 

 

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Joint Boards Articulation Commission Page by
Jim Arnold

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Jim Arnold, Director of Community College Articulation, Oregon University System

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Joint Boards Articulation Commission

 
 
 
Revised: October 9, 2001
URL: http://www.ous.edu/aca/00-01annrpt.html