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Block Transfer Agreements

Block transfer has been used for many years in the BC post-secondary system to facilitate the credit transfer of completed credentials, such as certificates and diplomas. Although most block transfer agreements deal with the transfer of professional and applied programs, there are also block transfer agreements in place for associate degrees. Currently, over 900 block transfer agreements are documented in the BC Transfer Guide.

Block transfer agreements represent the most efficient mechanism for arranging transfer credit for graduates of many diploma programs. These programs may be delivered at a standard consistent with degree studies, but the individual courses within the program may lack equivalents at the receiving institution, and may not be readily transferable on a course-to-course basis.

For example, graduates of a two-year college forestry diploma program, designed as a terminal, employment-oriented credential, may receive little or no course-to-course credit towards a forestry degree. However, under bilateral block transfer agreements, students from some forestry diploma programs who have successfully completed the diploma are eligible for either one or two years of credit towards a forestry degree at some institutions. The content of first- and second-year courses at the sending and receiving institutions is sufficiently different that it precludes the establishment of equivalencies and hence the granting of credit for individual courses. Nevertheless, an assessment of the entire diploma curriculum has established that diploma graduates are likely to possess the prerequisite knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for success in upper division degree courses.

In the example above, and in typical block transfer agreements, the transfer credit can only be applied to a specific program at the receiving institution. For example, a social work diploma program may receive block transfer credit only towards a social work degree. The credits earned in the diploma may not be applicable for credit toward a different degree, unless the courses are transferable on a course-to-course basis.

Each block transfer agreement involves a unique program at the sending and the receiving institution. The educational content of those programs and the institutional context dictates the nature of each block transfer agreement. Depending on the desired outcomes, negotiating parties may want to explore several models.

Visit the sections below to learn more about Block Transfer agreements: