The main purposes of this research are to describe the volume, features and trends of block transfer agreements (BTA) and degree partnership (DP) pathways in the BC Transfer System (BCTS); to determine existing business practices that determine collection of data on degree pathways; and to identify successful practices that may assist institutions in collecting data on tracking BTA/DP usage by students.
The analysis utilized the Central Data Warehouse (CDW) transfer credits data covering the period 2009-10 to 2018-19. The sending and receiving institutions identified in the CDW data were compared to similar information in 1,424 block transfer or degree partnership agreements drawn from the BC Transfer Guide (BCTG).
Over the ten-year period, CDW institutions assessed transfer credits at block transfer for 3,481 students from BCTS member institutions. These students transferred 125,843 credits as block, or 7.4% of the total transferred through all credit types. Only approximately 27% of transfers occurred with a block transfer or degree partnership agreement between the sending and receiving institution posted on the BCTG.
There was a fair amount of variation in what information on incoming students was collected and recorded. Most institutions recorded block credit awarded, although many assessed block credit transfers on a course-by-course basis “sometimes” and in a few cases “always or most of the time”. Most institutions treated degree partnership transfer the same as block transfer. A majority of survey respondents (63%) reported that they accommodated block transfer without a formal agreement being in place. Some institutions did not record block credit, despite the apparent presence of block transfer agreements.
The study concludes with a discussion of possible strategies for improving institutional and system-level data. Institutional data and information support are discussed, as well as the possibility of creating a comparative base for system reporting.