Articulation and transfer: The Texas perspective
Bush, Walton Boyd
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The purpose of this investigation was to conduct an analysis of legislative policy actions and coordinating board mandates related to articulation and transfer in the state of Texas. Policy analysis techniques enabled an examination of the reasons the Texas Legislature and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board created policy actions concerning articulation and transfer, the resulting policy actions, and the outcomes of those policy actions. Articulation and transfer have become important across the United States with each state focusing on these issues in ways suitable to the individual state, and Texas is no exception. This study identified several reasons for changing the articulation and transfer policy in Texas. The reasons included: increased student mobility, difficulties faced by community college students when transferring credit, lost transfer credit, increased numbers of transfer students, elimination of duplicate courses in order to realize financial savings, and time to degree. The Legislature of Texas created several policies to address these articulation and transfer needs. The two main avenues utilized by the state to standardize credit transfer are a fully transferable core curriculum and field of study curriculum. Furthermore, if the entire core or field of study curriculum is not completed, all successfully completed courses within the core or field of study curriculum are transferable; however, the student may still be required to fulfill any remaining requirements in the core or field of study at the receiving institution. Following an analysis of reasons behind Texas' current transfer and articulation policy and the policy itself, the outcomes of the policy analysis demonstrate that students are transferring at a higher rate and that the number of students transferring has also increased. As the majority of the state's current articulation and transfer policies have been around since 1997, the Coordinating Board is still in the process of compiling the data to report policy outcomes.