Must Haves

The following must have policy elements ensure efforts are comprehensive and center equity, accountability, and quality.

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  • Require participation of all state and state-related two- and four- year institutions.
  • Guarantee transfer of certificates and associate degrees that include credit earned from out-of-college learning.
  • Ensure articulation of all credits earned towards degrees and credentials (e.g., cannot be restricted to general education electives).


  • Require Black, Latinx, and Native American policymakers, institutional leaders, and students be involved in creating policy or regulation.
  • Address equity gaps uncovered in annual reports by identifying and focusing on the policies and practices that contribute to inequity and shift policy as necessary.
  • Mandate systematic examinations of how any proposed transfer and articulation decisions may affect different racial, ethnic, and other relevant demographic groups.


  • Require annual reports that detail transfer and articulation patterns by race, ethnicity, and other relevant demographic variables, and by institution.
  • Require reports by institution on the percentage of credits transferred in that applied to major as opposed to elective credit.


  • Require annual reports that track the relationship between transfer, completion, and employment/wage data.

Additional Facilitating Policy Reform

  • Uniform course numbering across institutions or conversion to uniform course numbering.

State Exemplars

Ohio and Oregon present two different policy approaches to creating a statewide credit transfer and articulation system that facilitates the awarding of academic credit for prior learning in a way that is transferable across institutions.

Ohio: Transfer of Credit for Many Types of Out-Of-Classroom Learning

Ohio: Transfer of Credit for Many Types of Out-Of-Classroom Learning

The Ohio Transfer and Articulation Policy guarantees transfer of academic credit for many forms of out-of-college learning including military, apprenticeships, career and technical education, and PLA. It also outlines a competency based common core, stackable credentials, and associate to bachelor’s pathways.

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Oregon: Statewide Common Core and Major-specific Transfer Maps

Oregon: Statewide Common Core and Major-specific Transfer Maps

Oregon has established statewide common core curricula, major-specific transfer maps, and statewide transfer degrees. Oregon is also highlighted because the state recognizes that seamless transfer is an equity issue, stating “we recognize that as transfer students are more likely first generation, underrepresented, rural, and lower income, a seamless system of transfer is congruent with the goal of greater access and affordability for students who have been underserved in the past.”

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Ohio Revised Code 333.16

This code established a universal course equivalency classification system to ensure that “students are not inhibited by inconsistent judgment about the application of transfer credits.”

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Ohio Revised Code 3333.162

This code established policies and procedures to enable transfer of technical courses completed through an adult career-technical education institution to a state institution of higher education.

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Ohio Revised Code 3333.164

This code establishes baseline standards and procedures for granting college credit for military training, experience, and coursework.

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Ohio Articulation and Transfer Policy

Ohio Department of Higher Education

This policy sets the statewide standards by which institutions must adhere to in regards to transfer and articulation of credits.

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Ohio H.B. No. 64, 131st General Assembly

This bill requires reporting on transfer.

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Oregon House Bill 2998 (2017)

This bill requires the Higher Education Coordinating Commission and community colleges and public universities to develop foundational curricula and unified state transfer agreements.

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The Oregon Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) Standards

Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission

These standards, originally developed in 2013 and updated in 2017, aim to facilitate the transfer of credits earned through recognition of prior learning.

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