Joint Boards Articulation Commission

Annual Report


Purpose and Introduction

The purpose of this report is to outline the activities of the Joint Boards Articulation Commission (JBAC) during the past year. This section briefly presents background information regarding the JBAC and the following section describes the specific JBAC projects and activities.

The JBAC was created by the State Board of Education and State Board of Higher Education in July 1992 and recently completed its sixth year of operation. The JBAC is comprised of representatives from the community college, higher education, K-12, and independent college sectors and was established to encourage active cooperation and collaboration among sectors and within systems in order to achieve the most effective and efficient articulation possible. JBAC members are appointed by each education sector's chief executive officer. The JBAC is specifically charged with:

The JBAC met on a monthly basis throughout the year to address the issues arising from its charge. In order to maximize the number of topics discussed, a variety of concerns were also addressed by the JBAC's standing and ad hoc committees. During the 1997-98 academic year the JBAC established new Action Teams focused on Student Services, Credit for Prior Learning, and the revision of the Joint Boards Agreement. The JBAC gave new duties to it's Student Transfer Committee and Data Tracking Committee, monitored specific activities of other existing groups involved with identifying or studying the implications of a proficiency-based system, and early college options for high school students.


JBAC Projects and Activities

During the last year, the JBAC and its committees completed or made significant progress in the following areas:

Credit for Prior Learning Action Team
The Credit for Prior Learning Action Team met twice (February and May 1998) to identify what it will take to make credit for prior learning transferable to all Oregon postsecondary institutions. Discussions expanded from the specific practice of awarding credit for prior learning to more general discussion of proficiency-based assessment. Tentative recommendations have been formulated and presentation to the JBAC will be made during fall 1998.

Student Transfer Committee
Charged by the JBAC with soliciting specific examples of student transfer problems and working toward policy recommendations which the JBAC may wish to endorse, the Student Transfer Committee (STC) studied the inclusion of professional-technical (PT) courses in the AA/OT degree, and the transferability of WR 115 and its applicability to the AA/OT degree. The STC has held three extended meetings (January, March, May) to deliberate on the issues.

In their work on PT credit transfer, the STC explored other states policies with respect to PT credit transfer, examined current definitions of professional-technical, researched the content and use by Oregon community colleges of PT courses in their AA/OT degrees, examined current practice of OUS institutions in accepting PT credits, compared the general education requirements of OUS institutions (to explore the validity of the current structure of the AA/OT), reviewed the potential financial aid impact on PT credits in the AA/OT, and solicited the community college chief academic officers opinions regarding inclusion of PT courses in the AA/OT. With the support of the academic officers of the community colleges, the STC recommended to the JBAC that up to 12 professional technical credits be allowed in the construction of each community college's AA/OT degree (with the AA/OT-acceptable PT courses to be identified by each college from their own PT offerings).

The STC also chose to examine the nature of WR 115 and its appropriateness as a transfer course. The questions which were of primary concern included whether or not WR 115 was/is developmental in nature (suggesting that a course number below 100 is appropriate), or if the course is, in fact, true college level work (deserving of its present number and legitimate as a transfer course). The STC involved the Oregon Writing and English Advisory Committee (OWEAC) in this discussion. OWEAC devoted two of its quarterly meetings focusing on the questions posed to it by the STC. These questions included: (1) Can outcomes for WR 115 be identified?, (2) What are the elements of WR 115 that make this a college level course?, (3) Can WR 115 be articulated as part of the overall writing sequence?, and (4) Can OWEAC recommend a number for this course (if another number is indicated)?

OWEAC found that two different kinds of WR 115 courses are in existence: some that are pre-college and would be more appropriately numbered at 99 or below, and some that are college level and are appropriately numbered at WR 115. OWEAC proposes that the courses be identified and distinguished as either "WR 99, College Writing Fundamentals" or "WR 115, Introduction to College Writing." OWEAC also concluded that WR 115 be tied to specific writing outcomes, and be legitimately identified as an AA/OT transfer course elective (not to diminish writing requirements already established). OWEAC hopes that the JBAC will be able to assist in drawing the line between these two types of courses to provide more standardization across the state.

In other matters, the STC examined the current structure of the AA/OT and concluded that no additional changes were indicated at this time.

Additionally, the STC wished to continue to explore the feasibility of an Associate of Science transfer degree.

Data Tracking Action Team
Members of this team are now able to track students through the two systems of postsecondary education in the state. For example, it is now possible to know how many students from which community college subsequently enroll in individual OUS institutions. Conversely, it is also possible to track students in a reverse transfer mode, i.e, OUS students/graduates who attend Oregon community colleges. A standard set of reports was put together in an attempt to describe the students and assist with community college and OUS performance measures and continuous improvement efforts. A copy of the full report is available.

Student Services Action Team
The Student Services Action Team (SSAT) was charged by the JBAC to "identify student support service systems that enable student to navigate effortlessly between and among educational sectors(primarily the community colleges and the public baccalaureate-granting institutions)." The SSAT interpreted its charge to include the identification of barriers which impede effective transfer and to make suggestions and recommendations that could lead to the elimination of such barriers.

The team met in March, April, May and June 1998. Initial discussions centered on identifying current successful student service practices as well as listing areas of possible concern. Of particular interest to the team was the development of dual admission/co-enrollment programs, joint efforts between community colleges and OUS campuses. An examination of the processes of establishing and maintaining such agreements led to the identification of a variety of policy issues that the team chose to discuss.

Recommendations were formulated and presented to the JBAC at their July 1998 meeting. A full report, including context for the following recommendations, is available. Recommendations from the SSAT to the JBAC were as follows:

  1. The Oregon University System and Oregon community colleges adopt a universal calendar for instructional activity for Fall, Winter and Spring terms.
  2. Incentives and funding be sought for establishment of inter-institutional cooperative instructional, admission, and transfer activities.
  3. OUS institutions consider adoption of "good academic standing" (minimum 2.0 cumulative grade point average) as its standard for transfer admission for students from Oregon community colleges.
  4. Institutions be encouraged to explore the use of consortium agreements, in some cases with multiple "host" schools if appropriate, to provide better financial aid access for students concurrently enrolled in multiple institutions. A technology solution needs to be pursued to assist in tracking all requirement of financial aid as the current process is manual and tedious.
  5. The OUS revise its residency rules to provide individuals an opportunity to establish residency regardless of their initial and continuing enrollment in an Oregon public or private college.
  6. The area of Satisfactory Academic Progress standards be reviewed to determine if there are common areas of policy which can be standardized for all institutions while at the same time allowing for individual institutional discretion.
  7. The OUS and the Oregon community colleges work to establish common guidelines for the definition and release of student directory information to accommodate ready access to other education institutions which have on going legitimate needs for such information (e.g., identification of community college graduates for universities to contact about transfer opportunities).
  8. Means be sought to permit institution-to institution exchange of students' educational records in order to assist in tracking transfer student progress.
  9. The systems jointly study the feasibility of establishing standard tuition rates for identical courses and course levels.
  10. Each institution make provision for partial and full fee waivers for students unable to utilize the respective fee funded programs (e.g., a distance education student may not be able to benefit from a fee-supported health center).

The SSAT report was accepted by the JBAC and continuing discussions on each of the above recommendations are scheduled for 1998-99. These ongoing efforts are included in the JBAC Workplan for 1998-1999 (see below).

Joint Boards Agreement
Members reviewed and recommended revisions to clarify and update the 1993 Joint Boards Agreement. The JBAC voted at their July meeting to recommend approval of the changes to the Joint Boards of Education.

Implications of a Proficiency-based System
A report was given to the JBAC summarizing an intersector meeting which was held to discuss the implications of moving to a proficiency-based system. The complexities were noted and additional discussion will be held by the JBAC during 1998-99.

Early Options Study
The JBAC monitored progress of a report on early collegiate opportunities for Oregon's high school students. JBAC discussion will be scheduled after its completion in fall 1998.

JBAC Web Page
The JBAC web site is devoted to transfer students and their issues; the web address is Important features of the site include: (1) three main sections, depending on one's relationship to and interest in transfer issues (student; counselor or advisor; administrator or policymaker); (2) the most up-to-date version of the Articulation Hotline List; (3) information for transfer students who are encountering problems (names of OUS or OCCS staff who may be contacted); (4) links to the OUS institutions' home page sections and their course equivalency tables; (5) links to all the Oregon community college home pages; (6) information about the Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer (AA/OT) degree; and (7) important JBAC documents such as the current version of the workplan, membership list, and meeting minutes.

JBAC Workplan for 1998-99
The JBAC approaches its work by identifying issues arising from its charge and incorporating those issues into the workplan for the group. The workplan is a dynamic document with items continually being added and priorities assigned/reassigned. The latest version of the JBAC workplan, which will provide general guidance during the 1998-1999 academic year is attached. Items continuing in the workplan arise in response to HB 2387 and SB 919 of the 1997 session of the Legislative Assembly. HB 2387 calls for an intersector report on progress made in addressing student transfer and articulation efforts. Unless the report and subsequent plan are approved by the 1999 legislature, a plan for transfer-course approval is to be implemented as described in the bill. The most important task the JBAC will undertake in the coming year, pending Joint Boards approval of the incorporation of this item in the workplan, is the production of a report for the 1999 legislature. The JBAC seeks approval of this workplan to guide its work in the coming year.


The workplan of the JBAC reflects the many issues arising from its charge and this report has outlined the activities of the JBAC in the past year. The JBAC continues to be an important and active group which is always available to address the concerns surrounding student transfer and articulation.

JBAC Recommendations to the Joint Boards

The Joint Boards Articulation Commission recommends that the Joint Boards:

  1. Adopt the recommended revisions to the Joint Boards Agreement.
  2. Revise the AA/OT degree requirements to include allowance of 12 credits of professional technical coursework.
  3. Accept the 1998-1999 JBAC Workplan as the primary document to guide the JBAC in its deliberations during the coming year.



Joint Boards Articulation Commission Workplan, 1998-1999

Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer Degree (AA/OT)

1998 Joint Boards Articulation Agreement


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Joint Boards Articulation Commission Page by Jim Arnold, Director of Community College Articulation, Oregon University System

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Revised: December 23, 1998