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Joint Boards Articulation Commission

Student Transfer Committee

Meeting Summary Notes for October 30, 2003

Oregon Institute of Technology-Metro Center
Portland, OR 

Members Present
Glenda Tepper, Clackamas Community College, Chair
Jim Arnold, Oregon University System
Mary Brau, Lane Community College
Paul Hill, Portland Community College
Dea Hoffman, Eastern Oregon University
Dave Phillips, Clatsop Community College
Martha Pitts, University of Oregon
Terrel Rhodes, Portland State University
Diane Watson, Linn-Benton Community College
Elaine Yandle-Roth, Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development

Guest Present
Maureen McGlynn, Chemeketa Community College

Glenda Tepper called the meeting to order at 10:10 a.m.

1. Introductions and Announcements

Tepper welcomed everyone to the start of the work of the Student Transfer Committee (STC) for another year. All members introduced themselves.

Jim Arnold announced the lunch arrangements for the day and then distributed two documents: (1) a compilation of web server statistics for the Joint Boards Articulation Commission (JBAC) website, and (2) a chart providing a side-by-side comparison of the implementation of the Associate of Arts/Oregon Transfer degree by Oregon community colleges [furnished by the Oregon Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (OrACRAO)]. Several members noted errors in the chart, and Tepper indicated that she would contact the OrACRAO president to see how the organization wants to handle any feedback that STC members might have to offer.

The agenda item having to do with the comparison of course syllabuses by Lane Community College (Mary Brau) and the University of Oregon (Martha Pitts) is to be re-scheduled for another meeting.

2. Meeting Notes from June 5, 2003

The meeting notes from June 2003 were reviewed, and a change was suggested for agenda item number 3: the word "substantial" is to be changed to "substantive." (This change was made on November 4, 2003, and the revised version of the minutes posted to the JBAC website.)

A question was posed about the Council of Instructional Administrators' (CIA) reaction to the JBAC's "fixing the AA/OT" report, which was discussed (again) at the summer CIA meeting. Phillips indicated that the dialog on these issues continues, and that there is support for encouraging colleges to follow the statewide AA/OT guidelines as closely as is possible. The CIA also discussed the transferable general education core concept, which may be pursued further when the community college academic officers meet with the OUS provosts in February 2004. 

With regard to the "substantive change" issue of the Associate of Science/Oregon Transfer degree in Business (AS/OT-Bus), Phillips noted that the addition of the new transfer degree is, indeed, a substantive change according to the accreditation guidelines of the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. Campuses that adopt this new degree need to submit a letter to the Commission requesting the addition of the degree, with items (a) through (i) being addressed within that letter. That this is a repackaging of existing curriculum does simplify the process somewhat.

3. AS/OT-Bus Update

Elaine Yandle-Roth reported that, to date, four community colleges have adopted the newest block transfer degree. Those colleges are: Clackamas Community College, Clatsop Community College,  Rogue Community College, and Southwestern Oregon Community College.

4. Transferability of RD 115 and Unwrapping the AA/OT

Guest Maureen McGlynn, Director of the Curriculum Resource Center at Chemeketa Community College, provided some background information on this topic. McGlynn had contacted Jim Arnold recently regarding a particular student's situation, and Arnold invited her to speak to the STC at this meeting because of the issues this case raised. 

The case: A Chemeketa AA/OT graduate recently transferred to the University of Oregon (UO), having earned 90 credit hours in her transfer degree. However, UO "unwrapped" the transfer degree, disallowing three credits of RD 115, putting the student at 87 transfer hours, which technically classified her below a junior in class standing, and had negative implications for her financial aid award. The reasoning in this case is that "UO does not accept RD 115." Advising materials at both the UO and Chemeketa websites seem to acknowledge this practice (not accepting this reading course), even though Chemeketa's claim is that RD 115 is a true collegiate level course. Other OUS campuses, particularly OSU and WOU, will accept this reading course from Chemeketa without any problem. In this case, however, the student is caught in a bind: she completed what she believed to be a legitimate college level course that was a part of her block transfer degree. The assumption was that this degree was transportable, in its entirety, to any OUS campus. UO, however, balked at accepting this one course. Chemeketa acknowledges that it may have played a part in creating this problem with the AA/OT and wants to resolve this problem of creating real confusion for students in other such scenarios.

Martha Pitts, from the University of Oregon, stated that UO was confounded by this case as well. As she read the course description, it did not appear to meet the "college-level" standard and therefore it was deemed to be non-transferable. However, the UO did allow this student to register as a junior and, although she lost financial aid because of lack of junior status, the UO was able to make additional loans available to the student for one term. The question for UO seems to be: how does such a course transfer in? (if it were to transfer in...UO does not have any equivalent course offering...)

Phillips observed that up to 12 credits of an AA/OT can be professional-technical courses that are "not technically transferable", so it's a little difficult to understand how this course could be disallowed. Why would it be that this course, with a number over 100, and considered a transfer course by Chemketa, not be accepted as a legitimate elective in the AA/OT? 

A couple of years ago, there was an issue with reading courses and their transferability from PCC to PSU. That particular issue was resolved between those two campuses, but it appears that reading courses are still a problem in terms of their acceptability to (at least) some OUS campuses. At the time of the PCC/PSU issues, Yandle-Roth checked in with the UO and found that since UO does not offer the subject, they did not transfer it in because of lack of anything "equivalent." 

Further comments and observations about these issues included:

Action: Arnold and Yandle-Roth will identify and convene faculty that can provide an analysis of the existing reading courses and make any recommendations regarding their assessment as "college level". Pitts will seek to identify courses that are numbered above 100 and not accepted in transfer at UO.

5. The Transferable General Education Core Curriculum

Arnold indicated that two reports have been produced for the JBAC this year that lead to the present continuation of this discussion at the STC level. First, the "fixing the AA/OT report" was produced in response to a variety of real and/or perceived limitations to the AA/OT. Then, in response to one of the possible "fixes" listed in the first document (namely a statewide, transferable, general education core curriculum) a subsequent report ("Statewide Transfer Policy: The Transferable General Education Core Curriculum") was produced that examined policies and practices in other states. In addition to the JBAC, the Council of Instructional Administrators and the Council of Student Services Administrators (CSSA) of the community colleges, have spent time discussing this concept. However, until this time, only the "concept" has been addressed and no specific proposal has been advanced. Hence, the JBAC, at the October 9th meeting, charged the Student Transfer Committee "to draft a proposal in this area, specifically defining what is meant by a transferable core curriculum, and what that may look like for the state of Oregon."

Would such a core include just what is in the AA/OT general education core at the present time? Have we received enough feedback to actually generate a proposal?

Phillips indicated that one way to approach this task is to utilize the model the STC used in developing a proposal for the AS/OT-Bus. For that degree, we developed a proposal, floated it to interested stakeholders in the state (especially the Business chairs), and took it through the process. We could something similar here: brainstorm an approach, list some benefits/shortcomings, and seek feedback at various levels.  The components of a general education core already exist in the AA/OT. We could supplement that core with some language regarding outcomes if we so desired. We do have a responsibility to generate something

Comments reflective of the discussion are:

Action: STC members with resource materials that might speak to an "outcomes" approach to general education will forward those materials to Arnold.

6. Schedule Next Meeting

The next meeting will be Thursday, January 22, 2004, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., at OIT Metro, Room 139

The meeting was adjourned at 2:00 p.m.


Prepared by Jim Arnold
OUS Academic Affairs
November 5, 2003
Revised: November 12, 2003/January 23, 2004
URL: http://www.ous.edu/aca/10-30-03.htm

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