On campus beat: MnSCU outlines transfer rights

  • Article by: Jenna Ross
  • Star Tribune
  • May 15, 2012 - 5:50 PM

It's a bill of rights for transfer students. But it is also a bill of responsibilities.

And it extends both rights and responsibilities to colleges and universities, as well.

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system is set to pass a policy Wednesday on "transfer rights and responsibilities" as part of the public system's ongoing effort to smooth students' switch from one school to another.

It outlines students' right to "receive clear, accurate and current information" about transfer deadlines, degree requirements and course equivalencies. But it also emphasizes students' responsibility to get such information by enrolling in transfer workshops, talking with advisers and mapping their degrees.

"Folks should understand that they can have certain expectations," said Mike Lopez, associate vice chancellor for student affairs. "On the other hand, students need to take certain actions.

"It's a balancing act, a two-way street."

For years, the organizations that represent students at MnSCU's two-year colleges and four-year universities have pushed the system to improve credit transfers. A bill of rights and responsibilities is one part of an attempt to make a sometimes-opaque process more transparent.

"One of the biggest barriers to seamless transfer is education," said Geoff Dittberner, president of the Minnesota State College Student Association.

MnSCU and the student associations worked together a few years back to survey students and analyze transfer numbers. The survey showed that 89 percent of students who appealed decisions about which of their credits transferred had some or all of those credits accepted, in the end.

But it also showed two-thirds of students surveyed were not aware of that appeals process.

MnSCU and student leaders hope this new policy will help.

"We're optimistic," Dittberner said, "that this will become a part of the way the system does business."

Jenna Ross • 612-673-7168

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