Credit Accumulation in Pathway Programs

Author: Plaid Consulting | Published: May 04, 2022

Pathway-transfer students are a seldom-studied subset of students in the BC Transfer System. This study assessed the number of credits completed by pathway-transfer and direct-entry students in Business, Engineering, Nursing, and Social Work, and explored the reasons why students complete the number of credits they do. In this study, pathway transfer students are defined as students transferring from one or more sending institutions to one of the four receiving institutions in the BC Transfer System with Year 2 standing or equivalent.

The study employed a survey of current pathway-transfer students, and a quantitative analysis of credit data for pathway transfer graduates and direct-entry graduates who obtained a baccalaureate degree in the four disciplines. The summing up transfer credits from 21 BC public post-secondary institutions and credits completed at the receiving institutions allowed for comparison of the total number of credits obtained on the way to graduation between direct-entry and pathway-transfer students.

Pathways appeared to take slightly more credits to complete overall, but were relatively efficient for pathway transfer students. However, more than two-thirds of pathway transfer students surveyed were satisfied or very satisfied with the transfer process. Helping students understand why some of their previous academic credit is not recognized at their new institution may improve student satisfaction, and confidence, in pathway programs.

Related research:

Credit Accumulation: Students’ Motivations (2021)

Credits to Graduation (2020)

Credits to Graduation (2010)