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Before Requesting Articulation

Examine the calendars of the institutions or programs from which credit will be requested, and identify courses that seem to be similar to the new course. In the absence of similar courses, it may be possible to find some that may be equivalent in overall intent, approach, or broad subject matter, such as a second-year regional history course being comparable to a second-year course on Chinese history.

Obtain copies of relevant course outlines from the receiving institutions. These may be available online, or may be available on request from the receiving institutions. For articulation purposes, it will be most helpful to obtain, if possible, both the official course outline that was approved by the institution when the course was created or updated and the syllabus distributed in class for the most recent time when the class was offered.

Consult with the institutions or programs that will be receiving the transfer credit request. There may be institutional policies at receiving institutions that affect how a particular course must be structured or delivered to be transferable. For example, are final exams required? Are there limits to the percentage of the final grade that is based on exam marks? Are there class size limits? Are labs required or optional? It will also be helpful to identify the person in the institution, department, or program who is the best source of information regarding the course, or regarding institutional transfer policies in general.

Check the BC Transfer Guide. Searching with the'by Receiving Course' function at bctransferguide.ca can help identify other institutions with similar courses that already receive transfer credit. Since these courses have already been determined to be transferable, the course outlines for those courses may be particularly useful in identifying the components of a transferable course on this topic.

Consult the members of the relevant articulation committee. Once a draft course outline is ready, articulation committee members may be able to provide advice or feedback. Many articulation committees have listservs, group email lists, or other online tools (e.g. Moodle) that can circulate these requests. Articulation committee contact persons are listed on each committee's webpage. The person at the receiving institution who has been identified as the best source of information on the course may also be willing to provide feedback on a draft course outline, especially if there is any doubt about transferability.

Reflect on and balance advice received from external parties. Asking for advice and feedback on a course can be a sensitive area. The principles of professional responsibility and autonomy for faculty members include the principle of freedom to develop and teach a course according to one's best professional judgment. Occasionally, a receiving institution proposes modifications that may be unacceptable to the sending institution, or that may compromise the transferability of the course to other institutions. In these instances (rare, in BCCAT experience) best practice involves communicating these concerns as diplomatically as possible and seeking a mutually acceptable solution. The sending institution may decide that maintaining the intended purpose or content of the course in relation to the institution's own programs is more important than altering the course to make it transferable to other institutions.