December 16, 2021
Three higher education associations—the American Council on Education, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers—published a new statement Wednesday that outlines “sound, equity-minded” policies for accommodating transfer students.
The three associations, which first co-signed the statement in 2001 and last updated it in 2017, were motivated to update it this year to reflect new challenges brought on by the pandemic, according to an ACE spokesperson. The most recent version recommends that colleges and universities use consistent standards to evaluate transfer credits, remove unnecessary barriers to accessing transcripts and self-audit their transfer policies.
Lara Couturier, principal at the consulting firm Couturier Consulting LLC, called the statement a terrific first step toward solving transfer issues.
“I think it’s really exciting to see the players in this statement coming together—to have registrars and accreditors teaming up to talk about some of the more nuanced and knotty sides of transfer,” Couturier said.
Institutions should use consistent standards to evaluate credits, regardless of where incoming students earned them, according to the statement. This practice helps ensure that students of all academic backgrounds are considered fairly during the transfer process, said Gelsey Mehl, senior program manager for the college excellence program at the Aspen Institute (and a contributor to an Inside Higher Ed blog).