Transfer-From a New Perspective?
Four years ago at this time, the Rostrum carried an article on the state of transfer. At that time, we were hopeful that the California Articulation Numbering System (CAN) would emerge renewed and reinvigorated. It didn't. We were hearing administrators from transfer institutions claim that our students took too many "unnecessary classes." Administrators continue to make such questionable claims. Legislators and their aides insisted that transfer should be as straightforward for today's students as it was for them-thirty years ago. It's not.
Fall 2005 promises to bring us continued discussions between the System and the Academic Senate about our own alternative, truly intersegmental numbering system to replace CAN.
Chancellor Mark Drummond's letter of August.announced a memorandum between the CCCs and the Csus on the Lower Division Transfer Project (LDTP), the continuation of TAAS and TAGS, and (four years later) broadly outlined a dual admissions program between the two systems. The Academic Senate worked diligently to secure options and services important to our students.
Something NOT available in the swirling discussions then was a document written by the members of the 2004-05 Intersegmental Committee of Academic Senates (ICAS) Transfer Discussion Document (July 2005). ICAS had determined that what was missing from debates and testimony was the perspective of faculty. After awaiting action by the Intersegmental Coordinating Council and its Transfer Committee, in December 2004, the fifteen members of iCas-five representatives of each of the academic senate executive committees or councils of the University of California, the California State Universities, and the California Community Colleges-began their own discussions. By June, members had collaboratively written, revised, and finalized their contribution to the transfer discussion. As an ICAS-authored document, it is not meant merely as a counterpoint to other reports; rather, it is intended to extend the discussion among faculty, staff, administrators, and program managers on how best to promote successful student transfer. The report is available at: www.academicsenate.cc.ca.us/ICAS/Publications/TransferDocument.
The foundation of the report rests not on purported outcomes, data, or methods of transfer-but rather the functions of transfer: what is essential for successful transfer to occur and for students to move from one institution to another? then, given those functions, what agent or agency is fulfilling them? and finally, what yet remains to be done?
Transfer requires various intersegmental transfer participants; some are institution-specific (e.g., counseling or advising services); some are intersegmental initiatives (e.g., ASSIST, IMPAC); some depend upon membership of particular groups (e.g., the California Intersegmental Articulation Council-CIAC, Intersegmental Coordinating Council-ICC); and some are very segmental specific and have varying reliance upon or cooperation with other segments (e.g., Lower Division Transfer Project-LDTP, UC streamlining major preparation, and student friendly services) . The ICAS report focused on those activities that draw most heavily upon faculty and therefore were most subject to development or modification by our intersegmental faculty. Over the course of multiple drafts, the ICAS faculty agreed upon ten elements necessary if students are to transfer smoothly. The first nine have direct bearing on our responsibilities as faculty within our disciplines and among intersegmental colleagues. We must:
Provide students with access to current information about major preparation, prerequisites, transfer requirements at UC and CSU, and course requirements.
provide counselors, advisors, transfer center directors, and others with current information about existing and new articulation agreements and major preparation.
Provide a venue for faculty from across the segments and disciplines to discuss curricular and transfer-related issues.
Provide articulation officers with access to new information about changes in major requirements so they might support new articulation agreements and faculty-created new or revised curricula.
Provide a mechanism for ongoing certification of courses meeting the common general education curriculum (IGETC/CSU GE Breadth, and SciGETC).
Provide a mechanism for assigning course identification numbers and verifying that courses actually qualify for that identifier number.
Provide for statewide dissemination of curricular recommendations and decisions (e.g., agreement on course identifier descriptions, findings of discussion groups regarding major preparation, essential changes in course content).
Provide students with assurances that the courses they take will transfer to a fouryear university.
Provide transfer students with UC/CSU advising linked to confirmed acceptance of units from their community colleges, their declaration of a major, and development of their personal graduation plans.
The tenth function, seen as equally important, calls upon us as faculty to consider the effectiveness of various transfer projects whose efficacy must always be examined. The final function calls for a process whereby all transfer initiatives are reviewed by faculty responsible for effectuating them.
When outside readers (primarily administrators from UC and CSS) raised objections to various portions of the document, ICAS determined that it would correct any errors of fact but would remain resolute in its voice and recommendations, most notably, the recommendation that ICAS review all transfer initiatives in which faculty participate and upon which the success of transfer depends.
We urge you to review and share this document with those on your campus addressing transfer. Assume your individual responsibility for transfer; participate in local discussions and the broader conversations in IMPAC and LDTP; and watch for future Rostrum articles that report on ICAS activities-all from a faculty perspective.
The articles published in the Rostrum do not necessarily represent the adopted positions of the academic senate. For adopted positions and recommendations, please browse this website.