The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)
Higher Education Associations Release Updated Statement of Principles on Transfer and Award of Credit
Washington (Dec. 15, 2021)—Three higher education associations today released an updated Joint Statement on the Transfer and Award of Credit, a guide for expert practitioners to ensure their institutions possess sound, equity-minded policies and practices for the award of credit that best meet the needs of today’s students and the challenges they face. It calls on institutions to conduct a “self-audit” to remove any impediments that prevent the timely and appropriate awarding of credit for learning already acquired and ensure they are putting students’ needs first.
The Joint Statement on the Transfer and Award of Credit has served for more than 20 years as the principal statement of the higher education community for what constitutes sound policies and practices regarding the award of credit for prior learning acquired at another institution or in an extra-institutional context. Originally released in 2001, the Joint Statement was developed by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO), the American Council on Education (ACE), and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). These three founding associations have joined together again to author this latest edition.
The 2021 Joint Statement sets forth the fundamental tenets underlying the decision of how and when to award credit for learning acquired elsewhere. In addition to outlining these core tenets, which remain central and unchanged from prior versions, the Joint Statement has been updated to better align with and reflect the significant changes occurring in the field, the impact the pandemic has had on accelerating these changes, and the increasing number of students relying on non-linear pathways to and through higher education.
In an effort to increase its usefulness, the Joint Statement now organizes its guidance around seven key considerations to help practitioners evaluate their own campus policies and practices and ensure credit award policies support these students. It encourages every institution to conduct a self-audit of its policies and practices to determine whether there are areas for improvement to better serve students. It also includes new guidance for institutions advising them to remove unnecessary obstacles, such as small unpaid bills and other institutional charges that prevent students from accessing their transcripts.
Click here to read the full statement and principles.