The Ohio Department of Higher Education in 1990, following a directive of the 118th Ohio General Assembly, developed the Ohio Articulation and Transfer Policy to facilitate students' ability to transfer credits from one Ohio public college or university to another in order to avoid duplication of course requirements. A subsequent policy review and recommendations produced by the Articulation and Transfer Advisory Council in 2004, together with mandates from the 125th Ohio General Assembly in the form of Amended Substitute House Bill 95, have prompted improvements of the original policy. Additional legislation from the 125th Ohio General Assembly also initiated the development of a statewide system for articulation agreements among state institutions of higher education for transfer students pursuing teacher education programs.
Action by the 126th Ohio General Assembly led to the establishment of criteria, policies, and procedures for the transfer of technical courses completed through a career-technical education institution; and standards for the awarding of college credit based on Advanced Placement (AP) test scores.
Legislation from the 130th Ohio General Assembly required public institutions of higher education to: use baseline standards and procedures in the granting of college credit for military training, experience, and coursework; establish an appeals process for resolving disputes over the awarding of credit for military experience; provide specific assistance and support to veterans and service members; adopt a common definition of a service member and veteran; and establish a credit articulation system in which adult graduates of public career-technical institutions who complete a 900 clock-hour program of study and obtain an industry-recognized credential approved by the chancellor shall receive 30 college technical credit hours toward a technical degree upon enrollment.
While all public colleges and universities are required to follow the Ohio Articulation and Transfer Policy, independent colleges and universities in Ohio may or may not participate in the Transfer Policy. Therefore, students interested in transferring to independent institutions are encouraged to check with the college or university of their choice regarding transfer agreements. In support of improved articulation and transfer processes, the Ohio Department of Higher Education has established an articulation and transfer clearinghouse to receive, annotate, and convey transcripts among public colleges and universities. This system is designed to provide standardized information and help colleges and universities reduce undesirable variability in the transfer credit evaluation process.
Acceptance of Transfer and Articulated Credit
To recognize courses appropriately and provide equity in the treatment of incoming transfer students and students native to the receiving institution, transfer credit will be accepted for all successfully completed college-level courses completed in or after fall 2005 from Ohio public institutions of higher education. Students who successfully completed Associate of Arts (A.A.) or Associate of Science (A.S.) degrees prior to fall 2005 with a 2.0 or better overall grade-point average would also receive credit for all college-level courses they have passed. While this reflects the baseline policy requirement, individual institutions may set equitable institutional policies that are more accepting.
Pass/Fail courses, credit-by-examination credits, experiential learning courses and other non-traditional credit courses that meet these conditions will also be accepted and posted to the student record.
Application of Transfer and Articulated Credit
Application of credit is the decision process performed by the receiving institution to determine how the credits it has accepted and recorded on the student's official academic transcript will or will not apply toward program and degree requirements. While the receiving institution makes this decision, it will do so within the parameters of this Policy.
The following guidelines and requirements shall govern the application of transfer and articulated credit:
Ohio Transfer 36
The Ohio Department of Higher Education’s Articulation and Transfer Policy established the Ohio Transfer 36 (previously Ohio Transfer Module or OTM), which may be a subset or the entire set of a public higher education institution’s general education curriculum in Associate of Arts (A.A.), Associate of Science (A.S.) and bachelor's degree programs. Students in applied associate degree programs may complete some individual Ohio Transfer 36 courses within their degree program or continue beyond the degree program to complete the entire Ohio Transfer 36. The Ohio Transfer 36 contains 36-40 semester or 54-60 quarter hours of course credit in English composition (minimum of 3 semester or 5 quarter hours); mathematics, statistics and logic (minimum of 3 semester or 3 quarter hours); arts and humanities (minimum of 6 semester or 9 quarter hours); social and behavioral sciences (minimum of 6 semester or 9 quarter hours); and natural sciences (minimum of 6 semester or 9 quarter hours). Oral communication and interdisciplinary areas may be included as additional options. Additional elective hours from among these areas make up the total hours for a completed Ohio Transfer 36. Courses for the Ohio Transfer 36 should be 100- and 200-level general education courses commonly completed in the first two years of a student’s course of study. Each public university and technical and community college is required to establish and maintain an approved Ohio Transfer 36.
Ohio Transfer 36 course(s) or the full 36 completed at one college or university will automatically meet the requirements of individual Ohio Transfer 36 course(s) or the full Ohio Transfer 36 at another college or university once the student is admitted. Students may be required, however, to meet additional general education requirements at the institution to which they transfer. For example, a student who completes the Ohio Transfer 36 at Institution S (sending institution) and then transfers to Institution R (receiving institution) is said to have completed the Ohio Transfer 36 portion of Institution R's general education program. Institution R, however, may have general education courses that go beyond its Ohio Transfer 36. State policy initially required that all courses in the Ohio Transfer 36 be completed to receive its benefit in transfer. However, subsequent policy revisions have extended this benefit to the completion of individual Ohio Transfer 36 courses on a course-by-course basis.
Transfer Assurance Guides
Transfer Assurance Guides (TAG) comprise Ohio Transfer 36 courses and additional courses required for an academic major called TAG courses. A TAG is an advising tool to assist Ohio university and community and technical college students in planning for specific majors and making course selections that will ensure comparable, compatible, and equivalent learning experiences across Ohio’s public higher education system. A number of area-specific TAG pathways in meta-majors including the arts, humanities, business, communication, education, health, mathematics, sciences, engineering, engineering technologies, social sciences and foreign languages have been developed by faculty teams.
TAGs empower students to make informed course selection decisions and plans for their future transfer. Advisors at the institution to which a student wishes to transfer should also be consulted during the transfer process. Students may elect to complete the full TAG or any subset of courses from the TAG. Because of specific major requirements, early identification of a student's intended major is encouraged.
Career-Technical Assurance Guides
Collaboration among the Ohio Department of Higher Education, the Ohio Department of Education and other key stakeholders led to the development of policies and procedures to create statewide career-technical discipline specific articulation agreements and further ensure that students completing coursework at an adult or secondary career-technical institution can articulate and transfer agreed-upon technical courses/programs to any Ohio public institution of higher education and among Ohio public institutions of higher education "without unnecessary duplication or institutional barriers."
Career-Technical Assurance Guides (CTAG) are statewide articulation agreements that guarantee the recognition of learning which occurs at public adult and secondary career-technical institutions and have the opportunity for the award of college credit toward technical courses/programs at any public higher education institution. CTAG serve as advising tools, identifying the statewide content guarantee and describing other conditions or obligations (e.g., program accreditation or industry credential) associated with the guarantee.
Military Transfer Assurance Guides
In response to the legislative requirement (Ohio Revised Code 3333.164) to create a military articulation and transfer assurance guide for college-level learning that took place through military training, experience, and coursework, college credit will be granted to students with military training, experience, and/or coursework that is recognized by the American Council on Education (ACE) or a regionally accredited military institution, such as Community College of the Air Force
In order to streamline the awarding, transferability and applicability of college credit, service members and veterans are guaranteed to earn certain types of credit(s) or course(s) as specified in the Military Transfer Assurance Guides (MTAG), which are based on the endorsed baseline standards and procedures by the chancellor. Equivalent course(s), credits for courses or block of credit is to be awarded and applied towards general education and/or major course requirements at the receiving institution in accordance with the MTAG guarantee. There is some training, experience, and coursework that the receiving institution may be able to award college credit only toward general or free electives.
In addition, public institutions of higher education shall ensure that appropriate equivalent credit is awarded for military training, experience, and coursework that meet the baseline standards and procedures according to the Ohio Revised Code 3333.164. This requirement goes beyond credit/course awarded based on the MTAG alignment process.
Apprenticeship Pathway Programs
The apprenticeship pathways initiative advocates for individuals completing apprenticeships by incorporating their learning into academic credit, thereby saving them time and money and encouraging them to advance their academic credentials to contribute to a strong, educated workforce.
Ohio apprenticeship programs partner with public two-year institutions to provide technology-specific statewide articulation agreements that recognize non-traditional prior learning. College credit is awarded toward a technical associate degree. Each agreement simplifies student advising by outlining how apprenticeship training in a certain pathway applies to an applied associate degree and lists remaining courses required to complete the degree. The application of the credit toward a technical associate degree in these agreements is guaranteed at the participating receiving institutions.
Advanced Placement (AP) Exams
The State of Ohio, working with public institutions of higher education, has initiated policies to facilitate the ease of transition from high school to college, as well as between and among Ohio’s public colleges and universities.
Beginning in the fall semester 2009:
- Students obtaining an Advanced Placement (AP) exam score of 3 or above will be awarded the aligned course(s) and credits for the AP exam area(s) successfully completed.
- General education courses and credits received will be applied towards graduation and will satisfy a general education requirement if the course(s) to which the AP area is equivalent fulfill(s) a requirement.
- If an equivalent course is not available for the AP exam area completed, elective or area credit will be awarded in the appropriate academic discipline and will be applied towards graduation where such elective credit options exist within the academic major.
- Additional courses or credits may be available when a score of 4 or 5 is obtained. Award of credit for higher score values varies depending on the institution and academic discipline.
In academic disciplines containing highly dependent sequences (Sciences, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – STEM) students are strongly advised to confer with the college/university advising staff to ensure they have the appropriate foundation to be successful in advanced coursework within the sequence.
College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)
The State of Ohio, working with public institutions of higher education and statewide faculty panels, has developed policies to recognize students’ prior learning and to facilitate the articulation and guaranteed transfer of such learning between Ohio’s public colleges and universities.
College credit is guaranteed for students who achieve an established College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) test score for exams that have been endorsed statewide as college level. Statewide faculty panels aligned CLEP exams to equivalent Ohio Transfer 36 and Transfer Assurance Guide (TAG) courses, as appropriate. If an equivalent course is not available for the CLEP exam area, by default, endorsed elective or area credit will still be awarded and applied towards graduation.
Specific endorsed alignments and scores for individual CLEP exams that are outlined in the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) Endorsed Alignment Policies document are available on the Ohio Department of Higher Education website.
One-Year Option Credit Award
The One-Year Option builds upon Ohio’s articulation and transfer system to help more adults accelerate their preparation for work by earning a technical associate degree. Consistent with the philosophy of the Career-Technical Assurance Guides (CTAG), the One-Year Option guarantees that college credit will be awarded for college-level learning that occurs through adult programs at public career-technical institutions.
Adults who complete a career-technical education program of study consisting of a minimum of 900 clock-hours and achieve an industry-recognized credential approved by the chancellor shall receive 30 semester credit hours of technical course credit toward a standardized Associate of Technical Study Degree (A.T.S.) upon matriculation at a public institution of higher education that confers such a degree. The 30 semester credit hours will be awarded as a block of credit rather than credit for specific courses. Proportional credit is to be awarded toward the A.T.S. degree for adults who complete a program of study between 600 and 899 clock hours and achieved an industry-recognized credential approved by the chancellor.
The credit earned through the One-Year Option will be applied to A.T.S. .degrees bearing the following standardized degree titles:
- Associate of Technical Study in Building and Industrial Technology
- Associate of Technical Study in Business Technology
- Associate of Technical Study in Health and Allied Health Technology
- Associate of Technical Study in Information Technology
- Associate of Technical Study in Services Technology
Conditions for Transfer Admission
- Graduates who are considered transfer students under the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) definition with associate degrees from Ohio's public institutions of higher education and a completed, approved Ohio Transfer 36 shall be admitted to a public institution of higher education in Ohio, provided their cumulative grade-point average is at least 2.0 for all previous college-level courses and and other institutional admission criteria, such as space availability, adherence to deadlines, payment of fees and grade-point average that are fairly and equally applied to all undergraduate students, have also been satisfied. Further, these students shall have admission priority over graduates with an out-of-state associate degree and other transfer students with transferable and/or articulated college credit.
- Associate degree holders who are considered transfer students under the IPEDS definition and have not completed the Ohio Transfer 36 from an Ohio public institution of higher education will be eligible for preferential consideration for admission as transfer students as long as the institution’s admission criteria, such as the minimum academic standards, space availability, adherence to deadlines and payment of fees, are fairly and equally applied to all undergraduate students.
- In order to encourage completion of the bachelor's degree, students who are not enrolled in or who have not earned an degree but have earned 60 semester/90 quarter hours or more of credit toward a bachelor's degree with a cumulative grade-point average of at least a 2.0 for all previous college-level courses will be eligible for preferential consideration for admission as transfer students as long as the institution’s admission criteria, such as the minimum academic standards, space availability, adherence to deadlines and payment of fees, are fairly and equally applied to all undergraduate students.
- Students who have not earned an associate degree or who have not earned 60 semester/90 quarter hours of credit with a grade-point average of at least a 2.0 for all previous college-level courses will be eligible for admission as transfer students on a competitive basis.
- Incoming transfer students admitted to a college or university shall compete for admission to selective programs, majors, and units on an equal basis with students native to the receiving institution.
The admission of transfer students by an institution, however, does not guarantee admission to any majors, minors or fields of concentration at the institution. Some programs have additional academic and non-academic requirements beyond those for general admission to the institution (e.g., background check, a grade-point average higher than a 2.0 or a grade-point average higher than the average required for admission to the institution). Once admitted, transfer students shall be subject to the same regulations governing applicability of catalog requirements as native students. Furthermore, transfer students shall be accorded the same class standing and other privileges as native students on the basis of the number of credits earned. All residency requirements must be completed at the receiving institution.
Responsibilities of Students
To maximize transfer credit application, prospective transfer students must take responsibility for planning their course of study to meet both the academic and non-academic requirements of the institution to which they desire to articulate or transfer credit as early as possible. The student is responsible to investigate and use the information, advising and other available resources to develop such a plan. Students should actively seek program, degree and transfer information; meet with an advisor from both the current and receiving institutions to assist them in preparing a course of study that meets the academic requirements for the program/degree to which they plan to transfer; use the various electronic course/program transfer and applicability database systems, including Ohio Transfer to Degree Guarantee web resources; and select courses/programs at their current institution that satisfy requirements at the receiving institution to maximize the application of transfer credit. Specifically, students should identify early in their collegiate studies an institution and major to which they desire to transfer. Furthermore, students should determine if there are foreign language requirements or any special course requirements that can be met during the freshman or sophomore year. This will enable students to plan and pursue a course of study that will better articulate with the receiving institution's major.
Following the evaluation of a student transcript from another institution, the receiving college institution will provide the student with a Statement of Transfer and Articulated Credit Applicability (Degree Audit Report). Students disagreeing with the application of transfer and/or articulated credit by the receiving institution must file their appeal in writing within 90 days of receipt of the Statement of Transfer and Articulated Credit Applicability. The institution shall respond to the appeal within 30 days of the receipt of the appeal at each appeal level.
Student Complaints Following Transfer Appeals at the Receiving Institution
After a student exhausts the appeals process at the receiving institution and chooses to pursue further action, the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) responds to formal written complaints related to Ohio Articulation and Transfer Policy against public, independent non-profit, and proprietary institutions of higher education in Ohio. While the ODHE has limited authority over colleges and universities and cannot offer legal advice or initiate civil court cases, staff will review written complaints submitted through its established process and work with student complainants and institutions.