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Checklist for Negotiating a Non-Standard Articulation Agreement

The following checklist is designed to assist institutions and departments with the negotiation and assessment process involved in negotiating articulation agreements between institutions, other than standard course-to-course agreements, within the BC Transfer System. Institutions wishing to conclude transfer agreements with private institutions outside the BC Transfer System, or with institutions outside BC, or to reach agreement on the block transfer of specific programs, may find this checklist useful.

 It is not intended that partners to an agreement follow every step in the checklist. Rather, the list is provided as a set of helpful suggestions to be used at the discretion of the institutions and programs involved.

Preparing for the Agreement

  • Consult appropriate individuals/groups within your institution.

  • Obtain the necessary internal approval to proceed.

  • Evaluate the cost to the organization, if any, of proceeding.

  • Decide what type of agreement is appropriate (e.g. course-to-course, block transfer, flexible pre-major)

  • Check the BC Transfer Guide for existing or similar agreements.

  • Select an individual to lead the articulation process.

  • Decide who will perform the detailed articulation (e.g. examination of course content).

  • Alert any internal committee that should review results.

  • Inform the appropriate people if the agreement will affect multiple campuses.

  • Consult relevant licensing or professional bodies.

  • Consult public institutions with which the course/program has links.

  • Consider internal approval policies and prepare relevant documents, e.g. for Senate, Education Council, etc.

  • Establish a timetable for finalizing the agreement.

Establishing Course, Program, and Institutional Fit

  • Clarify the purpose of the course(s) or program(s) under consideration for articulation.

  • Ensure the resources used by the course/program are appropriate and sufficiently current.

  • Ensure software used by the course/program is appropriate and sufficiently current.

  • Determine the length of the course/program.

  • Determine what content the course/program covers.

  • Check that there is an appropriate match of course/program content between sending and receiving institution.

  • Ensure the content is covered to the same depth.

  • Determine the teaching or content delivery methods.

  • Ensure assessment practices are :

    • clearly related to the goals and objectives of the course/program; and

    • proven to be effective in assessing student learning.

  • Request information about the institutional policy regarding qualifications required of instructors.

  • Inquire whether the program can demonstrate a history of success as measured by student learning, student satisfaction, employment outcomes, or subsequent performance of transfer students.

Finalizing the Agreement

  • Conduct site visits, if necessary, at each institution.

  • Ensure the following is included in the agreement:

    • an official implementation date;

    • a renewal date;

    • terms by which either party may terminate the agreement;

    • terms for regular review; (Note: Substantive changes to curriculum, program/course length, delivery methods, equipment, outcomes, etc. may require a review.)

    • a process to exchange relevant information which may affect the agreement after it is signed and before the next scheduled review;

    • an indication of whether the agreement is reciprocal; that is, whether students can move between institutions in either direction. (Note: While this may not be feasible in many situations, good practice is to encourage reciprocity whenever possible.)

  • Specify whether the agreement will apply retroactively to accommodate graduates of either institution's articulated program(s), and for what period of time.

  • Plan what action should be taken if the decision is not to complete an articulation agreement. [Note: Parties should be prepared to state reasons.]

  • Decide who will sign the agreement for each institution.

  • Decide what format to use to record the agreement, e.g., Memorandum of Understanding, Block Transfer Agreement Form.

After the Agreement is Signed

  • Receiving Institution:

    Send a copy of the agreement to (a) the Registrar's Office, with a request to submit the relevant information to the BC Transfer Guide and (b) the sending institution.

  • Receiving Institution and Sending Institution:

    Check who in the institution must be made aware of the agreement, e.g., faculty, the Registrar's Office, Advising Services, etc.

  • Decide who will maintain links with the partner institution for purposes of coordinating or making changes to the agreement.