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Karan Watson, PhD, PE, Provost and Executive Vice President, Texas A&M University, (979) 845-4016, watson@tamu.

edu Also President-Elect of ABET Submitted April 5, 2012 Examine the impact of national, regional, and professional accrediting associations on course credit transfer. Conclusions: 1. Virtually all accreditation entities encourage acceptance of transfer credit from other accredited schools at the appropriate level with the caveat that the faculty at the receiving school are ultimately responsible for insuring the quality of the educational experience for their graduating student. 2. Accreditation entities recommend or require schools to establish and follow standard processes for accepting, reviewing, and validating credits for transfer credit. 3. The process for achieving accreditation has shifted from merely ensuring that courses have been passed to ensuring that student competencies have been met. Accreditation entities have moved from a pattern typically requiring evidence of topics covered in required courses for degrees or other credentials to providing evidence of the actual learning outcomes in student educational experiences and competencies. Thus, programs seeking accreditation must assure assessments to measure competencies do occur so that all students, or an appropriate sampling, regardless of the path to degree demonstrate an appropriate competency achievement. 4. In some accreditation actions, the school is required to respond to students, alumni, and employers of former students to set and assess program objectives; and that learning outcomes are tuned to the specific and published objectives. These requirements are not intended to inhibit transfer, but sometimes make it more difficult for schools to ensure that all learning objectives are met. Background supporting conclusions From the Commission on Colleges Southern Association of Colleges and SchoolsPosition Statement on Transfer Credit June 2003 The Commission encourages its member institutions to review their transfer policies and procedures with a view toward making transfer of credit easier for students while continuing to honor their obligation to maintain academic quality and integrity.Transfer of academic credit is a public policy issue for several reasons: (1) an increase in student mobility, (2) the proliferation of distance

learning programs and common acceptance of their legitimacy, (3) the economics of expending public money twice for the same course, and (4) consumer protection from expending private money twice for the same courseThe Commission supports institutional autonomy in determining its own standards for transfer of academic credit while also encouraging institutions not to impose artificial impediments or meaningless requirements on the transfer process. Maintaining academic quality and integrity remains the primary responsibility of each institution accredited by the Commission on Colleges. From ABET web site on Why Accreditation Matters When a program becomes ABET-accredited, it means that it: Has received international recognition of its quality Promotes "best practices" in education Directly involves faculty and staff in self-assessment and continuous quality improvement processes Is based on "learning outcomes," rather than "teaching inputs" Can more easily determine the acceptability of transfer credits From AACSB Standard for Accreditation 17 The bachelors or undergraduate level degree programs must provide sufficient time, content coverage, student effort, and student-faculty interaction to assure that the learning goals are accomplished.

The Peer-Review Team will need to judge the appropriateness of the educational level expectations taking into account the context and mission of the school. Normally, the majority of learning (credits, contact hours, or other metric) in traditional business subjects (as listed under "Defining the Scope of Accreditation") counted toward degree fulfillment is earned through the institution awarding the degree. The school defines and broadly disseminates its policies for evaluating, awarding, and accepting transfer credits/courses from other institutions consistent with its mission and degree programs. These policies should ensure that the academic work accepted from other institutions is comparable to the schools own degree programs.