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Re-Articulating an Existing Course

BCCAT recommends that once a course has been articulated and transfer credit has been established, the course should be re-articulated only if it changes substantively. However, since some non-substantive changes may affect the way a course is recorded in the BC Transfer Guide, it is important to notify all institutions of these changes, even where those changes do not require that the course be re-articulated.

Types of Course Changes Requiring Re-Articulation

Courses are re-articulated by an institution sending the revised and approved course outline to all relevant institutions, with a request that it be assessed for transfer equivalence. These requests are sent through the Transfer Credit Evaluation System. Re-articulation should only be requested when one or more of the following conditions exist.

  • There is substantive change to the course content, subject matter, objectives, or outcomes. Course articulation is based on the principle of equivalence between courses. Substantive changes are defined as changes to content, subject matter, topics covered, or objectives/outcomes that will alter the equivalence of the course to those courses with which it has been articulated. Relatively minor changes in topics; changes in texts, materials or assignments; reasonable modifications to learning outcomes; and/or changes intended to update the course or keep it in line with the evolving norms of the discipline are not usually considered substantive changes.

  • There is substantive change to assessment criteria or evaluation methods that are integral to the articulation of a course. For example, some institutions require all courses, or certain courses, to have a final exam, and some specify a minimum percentage of the final grade that must be based on the final exam. In these situations, if an articulated course is redesigned to eliminate a final exam, the course should be submitted for re-articulation to all institutions requiring a final exam in their equivalent course.

  • There are changes to the number of credits assigned to the course, or to the number of contact hours. Normally, a change to credit hours signals that content has been added or subtracted. Such changes may affect the equivalence of the course, including the transferability of the course and/or the number of credits awarded. Therefore, re-articulation is appropriate.

Course Changes Requiring Notification but Not Re-Articulation

Examples of changes to courses that would require notification to institutions involved in a transfer agreement, but not re-articulation of the transfer agreement, are:

  • Changes in the discipline code or course number. For example: MATH 100 to MATH 199; Fine Arts courses (FINA) to Visual Arts courses (VISA).

  • Changes in the course title or course name.

The TCES can be used to circulate notifications of non-substantive changes to articulated courses. The record of transfer credit will be updated in the BC Transfer Guide, and contact persons at institutions awarding transfer credit for the course will also be notified to update their internal records. Since transcripts can now be read electronically, failure to notify other institutions of such changes can endanger transfer credit for students; the new identification will not be recognized as a transferable course by the receiving institution if that institution's records contain the previous identification. Therefore, it is important for institutions to promptly update their internal records when notified of these types of changes.

In the Classroom

Students may complain about transfer credit assessment because of mistaken expectations that a course will transfer, or will transfer as assigned credit rather than unassigned credit, or will satisfy a program requirement at the receiving institution.

Where possible, BCCAT encourages instructors to:

  • include information regarding course transferability in course outlines distributed in class;

  • encourage students to check the BC Transfer Guide to determine whether or how a specific course will be transferrable;

  • encourage students to keep the course outlines from the courses they take, as these documents may be requested by the receiving institution if the student initiates a transfer request; and

  • suggest that students read the How Transfer Works and Frequently Asked Questions pages on the BC Transfer Guide.