Completed Research Projects

This list of completed project shows latest projects by year when they first appeared on the Council work plan. Search our Publications for reports on these projects.

For further information on completed projects, please contact

Stranded Credit
This project will examine the prevalence of, and practices around, stranded credit in the BC Transfer System. Stranded credit is defined that credit that a student has earned but which cannot be transferred, or applied to credential completion, because the student has unpaid fees at the postsecondary institution.  
Assessing Sending Institutions Outside the BC Transfer System
An increasingly important issue for BC Transfer System (BCTS) institutions is the assessment of transfer credit requests for courses taken at institutions outside the BCTS. The purpose of this project is to review and compare the institutional assessment standards currently used by BCTS institutions as part of processing transfer credit requests, and to make recommendations for best practices.

Data Collection Supporting Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
This project, developed in conjunction with the BC Registrar’s Association and Education Planner BC, will provide a survey of key considerations around the collection of data on student ethnicity and ancestry, and a survey of approaches adopted in other jurisdictions. Issues specific to post-secondary admission and reporting processes will be highlighted.

Examining the Potential for Reverse Transfer in the BC Transfer System
Reverse transfer occurs after a student transfers from a college to a university without completing a credential at the college; the incomplete credential is usually a two-year associate degree. The purpose of this project would be to provide information and recommendations on the potential for reverse transfer in relation to associate degrees in the BC Transfer System.

Impact of COVID-19 on Transfer and Articulation Practices
While the impact of Covid-19 is still emerging, the pandemic has had an impact on admission and evaluation practices at all BC Transfer System members. This project will document and highlight the significant impacts as a result of the pandemic from a transfer and articulation perspective.

Online Learning in Rural and Remote Communities
This project will utilize institutional data, and interviews, to explore how access to technology, and other learning resources, have affected students in rural and remote communities during this period of remote delivery. In addition to providing a multi-jurisdictional literature review on the “digital divide” in post-secondary education, the research will utilize institutional data to assess impacts on student performance, and will seek to capture the experiences of students learning online in rural and remote communities during the pandemic, where possible, utilizing existing student forums and surveys.

Pandemic Response: Admissions and Registrarial Policies
This study will capture key changes in admissions and registrarial policies implemented to support students and to respond to institutional challenges during the pandemic. The study will also attempt to identify the outcomes of these changes, and which policies may persist in the post-pandemic environment. Changes impacting student mobility will be highlighted.

Pandemic Response: Student Surveys
This study aims at creating a repository of student surveys conducted at BC post-secondary institutions during the Covid-19 pandemic. It is anticipated that the repository will be useful for institutions considering similar surveys in the future, by providing examples of survey methodology, question and response models, and findings in comparable institutions. Opportunities for meta-analysis of the survey data will be pursued to the extent possible.
Exploring Credit Accumulation in Pathways Programs
The project aims to assess the number of credits to graduation in pathway programs and to explore the experiences of transfer students and of direct entry students enrolled in the same program areas at BC Transfer System institutions.

Exploring Students’ Motivations for Credit Accumulation
The goal of this project is to explore the motivations, experiences and perceptions of transfer and direct entry students regarding the credits they complete at BC Transfer System institutions – particularly those beyond the strict program requirements for their chosen credential(s).

Pathway Partnerships with Indigenous Post-secondary Institutions
The project aims to identify successful practices in the development, implementation and on-going maintenance of pathways specifically intended to support indigenous learners through the recognition of prior post-secondary learning.

Supporting Students with Lived Experience in Care
The goal of this project is to identify successful practices in improving access, and supporting persistence and success of students attending BC public post-secondary institutions and receiving the Provincial Tuition Waiver.

Who decides transfer? A Review of Policies and Practices at BC Transfer System Member Institutions
This research aims to examine and compare transfer credit decision-making processes at BCTS member institutions.
Competency-Based Assessments: Understanding the Use of Competency-Based Assessments in Admissions Processes
This project will review current and emerging trends in the incorporation of competency-based credentials in the post-secondary admissions process, in BC and elsewhere, and to identify areas for future research which would support the development of policy and practices at BC Transfer System institutions

Examining the Extent of Unarticulated Courses and Courses at Differing Year Levels
This study will examine the scope of courses that are offered at BC Transfer System institutions that have either not been previously articulated, or have been awarded credit at a year level that differs from the offering at the home institution.

Micro-credentials: Trends in Credit Transfer and Credentialing
This study will review literature on micro-credentialing and credit transfer in various jurisdictions, catalogue available information on micro-credentials published online by BC Transfer System members, and interview faculty and staff to capture institutional practices and perspectives on the prospects of delivering and recognizing micro-credentials.

Moving Forward with Flexible Pre-Majors in the BC Transfer System
The project will review North American literature and practice on developing major pathways and suggest ways of improving current BCCAT policy and communications in this area

Quantifying Block Transfer and Degree Partnerships Pathways in the BC Transfer System
In addition to using existing data sources to describe the volume, characteristics, and trends of block transfers and degree partnerships, this study will attempt to describe current business practices and to identify strategies that could improve the existing data and our understanding of this important type of mobility. The project will also generate an environmental scan of successful business practices for documenting block transfer and degree partnership students which may be useful to institutions that wish to strengthen their data on student pathways.

Surveying Data Governance Policy Models
The study will scan existing legislation, policy, and practices governing the collection, storage, security, sharing, public and institutional reporting, and analysis of student data, as many of these data sources are key to understanding learner pathways and success. Based on these findings, key emerging issues in BC will be identified.

Transfer Policies for Students with Historical Learning
This project will review the transfer and program credit policies for students who are seeking to transfer and build upon learning that includes five or more years since their last registration. This project will involve an environmental scan of current institutional policies, and produce a report on the findings
2013/14-2017/18 Transfer Students: Profile and Performance Report
The goal of this project is to analyze current trends in the performance of transfer students at large receiving public universities of BC as compared to direct-entry students. The project will also provide information on strategies for developing a more sustainable process for this recurring research by developing a data specification for assessing students’ performance; investigating possibilities of using system-wide databases (such as STP).

Academic Dual Credit Students: Experiences and Performance in the BC Post-Secondary System
The goal of this project is to describe the experiences, and performance of students completing at least one Dual Credit course in an academic area and transitioning to post-secondary. The objectives of this project are to describe the performance of students who completed at least one Dual Credit course in an academic area and transition to post-secondary (DC students) relative to a comparison group which did not complete a dual credit course.

An Exploration of the Efficacy of Flexible Pre-Majors
The Flexible Pre-Majors Working Group (2011) recommended that BCCAT conduct an evaluation on the effectiveness of implementing FPMs across the BC Transfer System. This study was in response to that recommendation.

Application of Credit to Multiple Undergraduate Credentials
This project is aimed at collecting and analyzing institutional policies and practices of applying earned credits to multiple undergraduate credentials. The objectives are to publish a literature review, to collect and analyse published policies in related areas, and to typologize these policies to aid in general understanding.

Block Transfer Agreements: Implementing and Communicating BTAs at BC Transfer System  Institutions
This project is aimed at capturing the range of institutional practices pertaining to the definition, implementation and communication of BTAs at BC Transfer System institutions.

English Language Proficiency Standards for Admissions and for First-Year English Courses
This project will include review of admission and first-year English course pre-requisites specific to non-native speakers of English at all BC Transfer System member institutions. Given the context for this environmental scan—the pending changes to the English Language Arts curriculum and literacy assessment in the graduating years’ curriculum in BC secondary schools, the updating of ESL’s EAP Level IV learning outcomes and the significant rise across the province of students for whom English is not a first language—the results of the study will be timely and of interest to all BCTS members and relevant articulation committees.

Experiences and Performance of Dual Credit Students in the BC Post-Secondary System
The goal of this project is to describe the experiences, and performance of students completing at least one Dual Credit course in an academic area and transitioning to post-secondary. The objectives of this project are to describe the performance of students who completed at least one Dual Credit course in an academic area and transition to post-secondary (DC students) relative to a comparison group which did not complete a dual credit course.

Surveying Mobile Students in BC Post-Secondary Institutions
This project is aimed at updating the Survey of Movers, with an opportunity to introduce new data on issues germane to today’s transfer students. The data would provide insight into student decision-making and experience of transfer.

Trades to Academic / Academic to Trades Transfer Pathways in BC
This project will produce an environmental scan of available pathways between training/apprenticeship in Red Seal trades and post-secondary credit programs at the certificate, diploma, associate degree and degree levels. The primary focus will be on pathways in and out of BC institutions, but those in other provinces may be noted as well.
Admissions of High School Non-Graduates to Post-Secondary Institutions in BC
The proposed study will assess institutional policies and practices of admissions of high school non-graduates, and identify demographic and program characteristics of high school non-graduates at post-secondary institutions in BC.

Admissions Policies and Practices for Underrepresented Groups of Students
In BC, no system-wide research has summarized institutional policies and practices for admitting students from underrepresented groups. The purpose of this project is to assess the policies and practices in BC Transfer System institutions for admitting these students. Funding will support a contract for this research.

Charting the Growth of Post-Degree Certificates and Diplomas in BC
This project is aimed at providing an update on post-baccalaureate certificates and diplomas available in BC, as well as analyzing the trends in uptake and completion in post-degree credentials.

Patterns in Mid-Program Transfer
This study will focus on students who have completed a credential in 2015-16 at the first Central Data Warehouse (CDW) institution at which they studied (their “home” institution) and who have been awarded transfer credit for studies completed at one or more other BC public institution between their first semester at the home institution and the semester of their program/credential completion at that same institution.
Credits to Graduation
The proposed study aims at revisiting the “credits-to-graduation” notion while capturing the increased range of degree completion options in the BC post-secondary system.

Field School Coordination Feasibility
The need for provincial coordination of field school opportunities has been raised by a number of articulation committees and deans groups. This feasibility study will develop options for provincial coordination of field schools and describe the pros and cons and costing of each of them in consultation with interested parties.

Gender Nomenclature in Post-Secondary Admissions Processes
This research incorporates consultation with various stakeholders with the objective of providing recommendations to the BC Registrars Association around appropriate, respectful and streamlined nomenclature for increasing the declaration of gender from the time of application through the admission process, and the remainder of the student life cycle. The project has been supported by an Advisory Committee from the BC Registrar’s Association.

Indigenous Educational Pathways: Access, Mobility, and Persistence in the BC Post-Secondary System
This project is aimed at conducting a comprehensive analysis of Indigenous students’ educational pathways and the systemic barriers the students face within BC public post-secondary institutions.

Interdisciplinary Course and Program Transfer
This study will review current offerings of interdisciplinary courses and programs in BC and determine whether there are any issues related to credit transfer and the role of articulation committees.

International Transfer Credit Practices
This report examines current practices, constraints, perspectives, and possibilities for transfer and exchange assessment informed by a cross-Canada and international environmental scan on international assessment of academic documents by post-secondary institutions and other bodies.

Understanding Advanced Placement Grading in BC
Students at the secondary level presumably undertake AP courses for a variety of objectives. This study seeks to assess the practices of evaluating AP grades at admissions, and to provide data to inform institutional discussions of related policies and practices.