Spotlight News

  • Gets Bigger! Gets Bigger! now includes transfer equivalencies to seven BC post-secondary institutions (PSIs) from across the country, and the globe, in addition to transfer agreements among BC Transfer System members.

    As a result, students from all over the world are now able to search for transfer decisions to identify the credit they would receive at the onboarded BC PSIs for learning obtained outside of BC.

    This expansion continues the work of facilitating student mobility, by reducing barriers and promoting pathways to access quality, post-secondary education in BC.

    We thank the onboarded post-secondary institutions and the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training for continuing to facilitate student mobility and our province's transfer-friendly culture - another reason why BC is the ideal destination for transfer students from across Canada and the world.

    Check out the BCTG Expansion Project Update for further details.

    *Please feel free to share this news with colleagues, students, and those involved with student services and advising at your institution.*
  • 2021 BCCAT Transfer Awards - Nominations Welcome!

    2021 BCCAT Transfer Awards - Nominations Welcome!

    BCCAT is now accepting nominations for the 2021 BCCAT Transfer Awards.

    *Deadline: August 31, 2021*

    These awards were designed to celebrate the "transfer champions" among us who make significant and valuable contributions to BC's transfer community and student mobility through their exemplary leadership, vision, and creativity.

    So... who will YOU nominate?

    • Do you know someone like Tamara Sweet who has a fresh, proactive approach to supporting or advancing transfer at your institution?
    • Do you have colleagues like Debbie Lin and the UBC Student Communications Team who have demonstrated exceptional leadership or vision, significantly contributing to transfer and articulation in BC?
    • Are you inspired by an extraordinary individual like Dr. John Dennison who has demonstrated unswerving dedication and career-long leadership impacting BC's Transfer System? 

    There are three different award categories: Rising Star, Leadership, and Lifetime Achievement. If you know of anyone deserving of this kind of recognition, we want to hear about them!

    For further details, check out the links below. Also see to find out more about previous award winners. Contact us at and we'll be glad to answer your questions.


  • "Research Factor" Video Series

    "Research Factor" Video Series

    BCCAT coordinates and conducts a wide range of research projects to help inform and support institutional policies and processes that advance student transfer and mobility.

    The "Research Factor" video series is designed to offer quick, concise overviews of research higlights of interest across the BC Transfer System and beyond.

    The first video, "Transfer Students Profile & Performance", is now available on BCCAT's YouTube channel.

    Watch as other videos are released throughout the year!

  • REPORT: Data Governance Policy Models

    REPORT: Data Governance Policy Models


    Prepared for BCCAT by Plaid Consulting

    Published March 2021

    Download/View:    REPORT    INFOGRAPHIC (4-pages)

    This report focuses on data governance at post-secondary institutions and related organizations. Data governance is defined as the formal execution and enforcement of authority over the management of data and data-related assets (Seiner, 2014).

    An overview of data governance at higher education institutions provides detail on elements of data governance, e.g., defined roles and responsibilities of those involved in data governance at a post-secondary institution. The analysis of the goals and motivations of data governance programs revealed that one of the primary motivators for pursuing data governance was from a risk management perspective. Institutions aimed to ensure that institutional reporting is based on consistent, reliable, and trustworthy data. Organizations and institutions with data governance programs were more likely to have clearly defined data governance goals and motivations, e.g., British Columbia First Nations’ Data Governance Initiative aims to empower First Nations citizens through collective data ownership within Indigenous nations.

    The report discusses options for the implementation of data governance frameworks at four levels – from strategic to operational level. For some institutions, a data governance framework can incorporate all the elements of data governance. For others, implementation can start with a pilot project and use existing expertise and committee structures can help to build momentum towards larger data governance initiatives. Data governance is described as an iterative process, and it was common to see initiatives move through more than one structure before implementation.

    The scan of maturity models in the context of Canadian higher education uncovered that data governance is most often practiced informally. Those with formal data governance programs have either implemented their programs recently or are still in the development process. One of the most common themes identified was the need for a shift toward a data-driven culture within the institution or organization. Unlike organizations that work with student data, organizations that use health data are more likely to have developed formal data governance programs.

    An overview of data access and privacy legislation in the context of higher education identifies relevant legislation from British Columbia, such as Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (BC FIPPA), Private Information Protection Act (PIPA), Personal Health Information Access and Protection of Privacy Act (BC E-Health), and Higher Education Acts. Applicability of Canadian national legislation, legislation at nine other Canadian provinces or territories, several American states, and Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was also discussed.

    The report concludes with key considerations, insights, and recommendations for higher education organizations and institutions in relation to the data governance programs.

  • REPORT: Dual Credit Students

    REPORT: Dual Credit Students


    Experiences and Performance in the BC Post-Secondary System

    Prepared for BCCAT by Plaid Consulting

    Published April 2020

    Download/View:    REPORT    INFOGRAPHIC (4-pages)

    Dual credit in BC occurs when credit is granted at both a secondary school and post-secondary institution for completion of a course (FitzGibbon, 2015). With its focus on academic dual credit, this study examines a subset of dual credit programs and follows a 2017 study on dual credit programs that assessed transitions of dual credit students into further post-secondary.

    The analysis of provincial Student Transitions Project (STP) data identified 9,317 academic dual credit students in BC public post-secondary institutions for years 2010/11 through 2016/17. The analysis shows that 68% of academic these dual credit students participated in further BC public post-secondary education. Of them, 41% continued to the same PSI where they took the dual credit course, and 27% transitioned to a different PSI. Thompson Rivers University, the University of Victoria, and the University of the Fraser Valley were the institutions with the highest rates of academic dual credit students returning to the same PSI where they were previously enrolled in dual credit course.

    Of the dataset that contained 10,524 aggregate records for students who took academic dual credit courses at BC’s public institutions between 2010/11 and 2017/18 academic years, 2,353 students (roughly one in five) completed one or more credentials, most often in business, health or in multiple disciplines.

    The 4,146 academic dual credit students who studied at four case-study institutions (Camosun College, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, North Island College, and Thompson Rivers University) during the period 2010/11 to 2017/18 were characterised by the following:

    • They tended to take academic dual credit courses in Grades 11 and 12
    • They were predominantly female
    • They tended to have high grades in English 12, and
    • They were typically high academic performers overall.

    An online survey of students who completed a dual credit course and continued to one of the four case-study institutions gathered information on the experiences of 727 students. More than half of respondents (56-64% varying by case-study institution) undertook post-secondary programs related to their academic dual credit courses. The student respondents chose academic dual credit courses because they were keen on obtaining post-secondary experience. They identified three most influential motivators for them to take academic dual credit course: high school teachers, someone with dual credit experience, and high school counsellors. When asked for suggestions on how to improve academic dual credit programs, the respondents’ most common answer was “More academic dual credit opportunities”.

  • REPORT: BC Transfer Students Profile and Performance

    REPORT: BC Transfer Students Profile and Performance

    BC TRANSFER STUDENTS: Profile and Performance Report (2013/14-2017/18)

    Prepared for BCCAT by Plaid Consulting
    Published June 2020

    View/Download:     REPORT    INFOGRAPHIC (4 pages)   VIDEO (8 minutes)

    This report examines transfer student pathways and performance from BC Transfer System institutions into BC's public research-intensive universities: Royal Roads University, Simon Fraser University, Thompson Rivers University, University of British Columbia, University of Northern British Columbia, and University of Victoria. On average, transfer students represent about one third of all student population at these universities in a given academic year; and thus are important to these institutions.

    The data from the 2013/14 academic year through to the 2017/18 academic year support the findings of the previous similar reports, which were published for nearly 30 years, with the latest editions completed in 2010 and 2015. These studies compare transfer students’ performance with the performance of students who enter the universities directly from high school (“direct entry students”).

    While the educational journeys of transfer students differ from those of direct entry students in a number of ways, most performance trends seen for direct entry students are echoed in the data from the transfer student population. Transfer students differ demographically: they are older, more often take slightly smaller course load in a given semester, and more often enrol in arts baccalaureate degree programs than their direct entry counterparts. However, the current analysis highlights the continued overall success of transfer students following their transfer to research universities. Their post-secondary success is demonstrated by their course and semester GPA, and degree completion.

  • REPORT: Block Transfer & Degree Partnerships

    REPORT: Block Transfer & Degree Partnerships


    Prepared for BCCAT by P. Merner & M. Bennett
    Published September 2020

    View/Download:  REPORT

    The main purposes of this research were to describe the volume, features and trends characterizing block transfer and degree partnership pathways in the BC Transfer System, to determine existing business practices that may impact data on degree pathways in British Columbia and Alberta, and to identify successful practices in recording and tracking block transfer and degree partnership agreements.

    Recorded Data and Agreements in the BC Transfer Guide

    The study utilized transfer credits data covering the period 2009-10 to 2018-19 from the Central Data Warehouse (CDW), maintained by BC Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training. Over the ten-year period, 3,481 students transferred to CDW institutions from BCTS member institutions via block transfer. This represents 3.7% of all student transfers. These students transferred 125,843 credits as block, or 7.4% of the total transferred through all credit types.

    The sending and receiving institutions identified in the CDW data were also compared to institutional information in 1,424 block transfer or degree partnership agreements drawn from the BC Transfer Guide. Only approximately 27% of block transfers occurred with a block transfer or degree partnership agreement between the sending and receiving institution posted on the BC Transfer Guide.

    The vast majority of block transfer students and credits originated from graduates Simon Fraser University, the University of British Columbia, the University of Northern British Columbia, and the University of Victoria. These universities do not submit data to the CDW, but are recorded as sending institutions in the data of institutions that do contribute to the CDW. However, the significant transfer credit volume received by the four non-CDW universities is not captured in these data, and thus a full system-level view on transfer credit volume is not available.

    Institutional Practices of Recording BTA/ DP

    A survey of the BC Transfer System institutions and several Alberta institutions revealed the following:

    • 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”.
    • About two-thirds of survey respondents reported that they accommodated block transfer without a formal agreement being in place, e.g., through assessment of students’ credentials. Most institutions treated degree partnership transfer the same as block transfer, and most differences found were minor.
    • Many institutions recorded credits as more than one type of transfer credit (e.g., as a combination of assigned, unassigned and block transfer credit) with respect to a given student transfer, and that some institutions did not record block credit, despite the apparent presence of block transfer agreements.

    A possible aide to making block transfer and degree partnerships more visible in institutional data would be to employ separate coding for these types of student pathways. This flag would also be helpful for analyzing and reporting the use of block transfer and degree partnership agreements.

    There does not appear to be a consensus about the best way to portray block transfer in the BC CDW data, and institutions have found different ways to best support student transfer in their institutional practices. Supporting business practices and process quality to include recording block transfer and degree partnership agreements data would greatly enhance the system-level view of transfer credit flows.

    Related publications: 2019 Implementing Block Transfer Agreements report, 2014 Block Transfer in the BC Transfer System report

  • REPORT: International Transfer Credit Practices

    REPORT: International Transfer Credit Practices


    Prepared for BCCAT by Joanne Duklas, Duklas Cornerstone Consulting
    Published January 2019

    Download/View:    REPORT    SUMMARY

    International assessment of academic documents by post-secondary institutions and other bodies represents a complex field guided by quality assurance frameworks, formal conventions and best practice. It is a formal field of practice and requires system-level supports and expertise that are not easily replicated within individual institutions. This research reviewed and showcased exemplars across Canada of use innovative and promising practices in assessing international transfer credit.

    Often course equivalency is established by looking for substantial equivalence. This requires highly detailed assessments of inputs, such as credits, weighting, and text used, with the intent of establishing maximum comparability in program content. The Lisbon Recognition Convention and best practice guides encourage the adoption of quality assurance and access practices informed by concepts such as substantial difference and a focus on learning outcomes. Assessing substantial difference in courses identifies areas sufficiently significant to impede a student’s subsequent success in further study, and encourages the granting of credit recognition when such significant gaps are not found.

    A survey of institutions and qualitative interviews, with a particular focus on members of the BC Transfer System showed that most of the review processes of international documents rely on hand review of individual credentials and/or supporting information submitted by individual students and/or sent directly from other institutions in paper or PDF formats. Documents reviewed to support the transfer and exchange equivalency assessment processes tend to include academic transcripts, other academic credentials, detailed course information, and translations (where needed). The Registrar’s Office remains pivotal in policy and partnership development, and the Admissions Office tends to support individual document evaluations, while faculty members within program areas conduct most of the course equivalency assessments.

    The report contains a sample list of service providers of international transfer credit assessment practices across the globe, a list of institutional resources with transfer policy examples and tools, a list of associations that support credential evaluation service providers, as well as a list of challenges in assessing international transfer credit and recommended responses to those.

  • REPORT: Micro-Credentials

    REPORT: Micro-Credentials

    MICRO-CREDENTIALS: Trends in Credit Transfer and Credentialing

    Prepared for BCCAT by Joanne Duklas
    Published November 2020


    This report provides insights into current micro-credentialing practices, motivations, and perspectives at Canadian higher education institutions and beyond. The environmental scan, the pan-Canadian survey as well as expert interviews highlighted the need of establishing shared definitions that fit the purpose intended.

    The survey identified a few institutions, including some in British Columbia, that recognize micro-credentials for admission and credit transfer. “Certificates” was the most common term that was used by both the BC and ON respondents when referring to micro-credentials awarded to students.

    Institutional respondents indicated that the top motivator for offering a micro-credential was to support access to future studies. This suggests an opportunity for institutions to align the purpose of micro-credentials for admission, credit transfer, and stackability.

    The report highlights several promising exemplars both from within Canada and internationally, for example, Thompson Rivers University micro-courses, Simon Fraser University’s FASS Forward microcredit courses, Algonquin College’s comprehensive Micro-credentials Framework, and the New Zealand Qualifications Authority’s system.

    Demonstrating quality and future transferability represent fundamental design principles for micro-credentials to be used for admissions and credit transfer. In general, the purpose of a proposed micro-credential should drive its design. An implementation checklist for micro-credential design is provided in the report.

    For a quick overview of key findings, check out the infographic below: