A. Student Admission
Transfer admission to each college and university for any students with transferable college credit and/or equivalent articulated college credit is governed by the following requirements and guidelines:
- Graduates with associate degrees conferred by Ohio public institutions and a completed, approved Ohio Transfer Module (OTM) shall be admitted to a public institution of higher education in Ohio, provided their cumulative grade-point average is at least 2.0 for all previous college-level courses. Transfer students so qualified shall be able to compete for admission to specific programs on the same basis as native students of that institution. Furthermore, these transfer students shall have admission priority over graduates with an out-of-state associate degree and other students with transferable and/or articulated college credit.
- Associate degree holders who have not completed the OTM from an Ohio public institution of higher education are eligible for preferential consideration for admission as transfer students as long as the institution’s admission criteria, such as the minimum academic standards, space availability, adherence to deadlines, payment of fees, and grade-point average, are fairly and equally applied to all undergraduate students.
- In order to encourage completion of the baccalaureate degree, students who are not enrolled in or who have not earned an associate degree, but who have earned 60 semester or 90 quarter hours or more of credit toward a baccalaureate degree from an Ohio public institution of higher education with a cumulative grade-point average of at least a 2.0 for all previous college-level courses, are eligible for preferential consideration for admission as transfer students as long as the institution’s admissions criteria, such as the minimum academic standards, space availability, adherence to deadlines, payment of fees, and grade-point average, are fairly and equally applied to all undergraduate students.
- Students who have not earned an associate degree or who have not earned 60 semester or 90 quarter hours of credit with a cumulative grade-point average of at least a 2.0 are eligible for admission as a transfer student on a competitive basis.
- Transfer applicants dismissed from another institution will be considered for admission on the same basis as native students dismissed from the receiving institution (e.g., institutions may require such conditions as waiting periods, successful completion of an entrance examination, or courses at another regionally accredited institution, etc.).
- Although institutions are not obligated to admit transfer students who have earned a cumulative grade-point average below the 2.0 minimum, they may elect to consider such students for admission on an individual basis (e.g., students who have matured after having been out of school for a period of time or may have a reasonable probability for academic success). Special processes may be required, such as examinations, written essays, personal interviews, developmental courses, repeating courses, etc.
- Transfer students may be admitted on a conditional basis or with a probationary status based on their previous academic records. The criteria for being admitted with conditions or probationary status will be the same as those for native students.
- The admission of transfer students by an institution does not guarantee admission to a specific degree program, major, minor, or field of concentration. Some programs have additional requirements beyond those for general admission to the institution (e.g., background check, a grade-point average higher than a 2.0, or a grade-point average higher than the average required for admission to the institution). In such cases, admission for transfer students will be the same as those for native students.
- Students who plan to seek admission to programs with special requirements beyond those for general admission to the institution should plan to satisfy those special program admission requirements prior to transfer, to the extent possible. It is the responsibility of each student to be aware of the requirements for programs of interest, seek advice from a program/academic advisor, and plan course schedules that correspond with degree requirements prior to transferring.
This Policy generally preserves the institution's practice of making transfer student admission decisions on the basis of academic standards, space availability, adherence to deadlines, payment of fees, and other non-academic requirements applicable to all students entering the institution.
B. Institutional Policy and Catalog
Institutional articulation and transfer policy and corresponding catalog statements shall concur with all provisions of this Policy. This Ohio Department of Higher Education adopted Policy, or an Ohio Department of Higher Education approved summary of this Policy, shall be included in the electronic and/or print catalogs of each public institution of higher education. Institutions may provide an approved Policy summary in a print catalog by alternatively providing a link to the electronic catalog in the print catalog (For additional information, see Appendix F, CATALOG STATEMENT).
Students bringing credit to the receiving institution are subject to the requirements and processes cited in the catalog that is current at the time of their admission and to any revisions that occur after its publication and prior to their enrollment. Once admitted, such students are subject to the same regulations governing applicability of catalog requirements as native students and are accorded the same class standing and other privileges (e.g., financial aid, housing, course registration, parking privileges, etc.) as native students on the basis of the number of credits earned. Exceptions to this regulation may be found in Section IV. C. State Certification, Statutory, Regional Accrediting Commission, and Professional Association Accreditation Requirements.
C. State Certification, Statutory, Regional Accrediting Commission, and Professional Association Accreditation Requirements
While enrolled, students must complete requirements specific to their degree or certificate and sometimes must also meet state certification or licensure requirements as in the case of teacher education programs. Statutory regulations, as well as regional accrediting commission and professional association accreditation requirements or expectations, may also impose restrictions on enrollment persistence or degree completion duration in some programs.
Ohio Articulation and Transfer Policy is developed to comply with state licensure, statutory, and certification requirements. Therefore, faculty proactively endeavor to accommodate guidance and expectations of the regional accrediting commission and professional associations as they review course learning outcomes when developing and revising course/program learning outcomes for Transfer Assurance Guides (TAGs), Career-Technical Assurance Guides (CTAGs), Military Transfer Assurance Guides (MTAGs), Apprenticeship Pathway Programs, or other articulation and transfer initiatives. However, the accommodation of such guidance and expectations should not contravene the acceptance and application of an approved course/program in a TAG, CTAG, MTAG, Apprenticeship Pathway Program, or any other Policy initiative.
The application of requirements for state licensure, statutory, certification, regional accrediting commission, or professional association shall be the same for both native and transfer students.
D. Acceptance and Application of Credit
Because individual degree and certificate programs have varied purposes, learning outcomes, and course requirements, universal application of all credit is not feasible. Attempts to do so would, in many cases, seriously compromise program integrity and disadvantage student career readiness and advanced study. Consequently, certain credits will be recorded on the student transcript even when they will not necessarily apply to all or any degree or certificate programs at the receiving institution. As receiving institutions accept credit and then apply it towards graduation and specific program or major requirements, credit acceptance and application must always occur within the provisions of this Policy.
The provisions of this Policy define pre-planned sets of courses and/or agreed-upon credit awarding structures for degree applicability, such as the Ohio Transfer Module (OTM), Transfer Assurance Guides (TAGs), Career-Technical Assurance Guides (CTAGs), Military Transfer Assurance Guides (MTAGs), course equivalency alignments to Advanced Placement (AP) exams, apprenticeship programs, One-Year Option, and certain prior learning assessments, each of which is specifically designed to guarantee both the acceptance and application of credit to discrete courses that are required or program electives courses.
The following Policy sections specify the requirements and guidelines for making those determinations:
D.1. Acceptance of Transfer and Articulated Credit
Acceptance of credit is the decision process performed by the receiving institution to determine which credit it will post to the student's official academic record (i.e., the transcript). Acceptance of transfer credit should not be confused with the application of credit to a specific program or degree, which is covered in Section D. 2., APPLICATION OF TRANSFER AND ARTICULATED CREDIT.
Articulated credit for successfully completed college-level learning shall also be accepted as specified in this Policy. The receiving institution will determine which courses are college-level on the basis of the provisions of this Policy, the Guidelines and Procedures for Academic Program Review Manual, and institutional processes that contravene neither. Three standards have offered useful guidance in the past: 1) The course is not remedial or developmental, 2) the course carries one or more credit hours, and 3) the credit hours of the course are eligible to count toward graduation at the sending and receiving institutions or should otherwise appear on the student’s official academic record according to this Policy. How the receiving institution applies transfer credit to a program is covered in Section D. 2, APPLICATION OF TRANSFER AND ARTICULATED CREDIT.
The following guidelines and requirements shall govern the acceptance of transfer credit:
- Transfer credit will be accepted for successfully completed college-level courses and other college-level learning according to the requirements of the Policy and the Guidelines and Procedures for Academic Program Review. Credit shall be transferred for course credit awarded by Ohio public institutions of higher education which are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission or other regional accrediting commission (See Appendix G, REGIONAL ACCREDITING AGENCIES FOR HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS) that have been recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). For purposes of this Policy, institutions accredited by national or professional agencies which are recognized by CHEA, but not also accredited by a regional accrediting commission, will be considered non-accredited.
- The receiving institution will accept credit that originates from sources other than public institutions of higher education according to the credit guarantee provisions of this Policy, such as those that occur based on experiential and prior learning assessments (apprenticeships; military training, experience, and coursework including Military Transfer Assurance Guides; credit-by-examinations) and through adult and secondary career-technical courses/programs (Career-Technical Assurance Guides, One-Year Option and Apprenticeship Pathway Programs).
- Distinct from the statewide articulation process of this Policy where college-level learning that took place at adult and secondary career-technical institutions is accepted by public institutions, credit accepted through a Bilateral Agreement, by definition, limits student opportunity to have that credit applied specifically on a one-time basis to the public higher education institution that has entered into agreement with the career-technical program (See Appendix H, DIRECTIVE FOR THE BILATERAL ARTICULATION AGREEMENTS WITH SECONDARY CAREER-TECHNICAL INSTITUTIONS: PRINCIPLES AND GUIDELINES). Such credit is accepted and applied upon the student’s matriculation to that singular institution. Although the credit will be subsequently accepted at other public higher education institutions (since it was transcripted), students have no guarantee that the credit accepted and applied on a one-time basis through the Bilateral Agreement will be applied to any program/degree by another receiving institution. Note that the discretionary acceptance and applicability of credit in this provision does not mitigate the required acceptance and application of credit specified in the Policy.
- Since limited transfer credit may be occasionally granted in special circumstances for a course completed at an independent, non-public postsecondary institution that is not regionally accredited (e.g., an automotive or diesel engine mechanics school or an independent police academy), an institution that subsequently reviews that credit for possible transfer may consider such credit on a course-by-course basis if deemed appropriate. Although the credit will be subsequently accepted at other public higher education institutions (since it was transcripted), students have no guarantee that the credit accepted and applied on a one-time basis will be applied to any program/degree by another receiving institution. Students must be so advised by the public institution that applies such credit toward a degree. Note that the discretionary application of credit in this provision does not mitigate the required acceptance and application of credit specified in the Policy.
- To recognize courses previously completed at regionally accredited public institutions and to provide equity in the treatment of credit for transfer and native students, incoming transfer students will receive transfer credit for all college-level courses which they have passed or are regarded as passed. These credits include those associated with Pass/Fail, institutional and external credit-by-examinations, prior learning, and other non-traditional credit awards that may be known by other names at institutions. Final grades awarded by the sending institution will be recorded on the student's transcript. This provision only applies to courses taken in and/or after Fall 2005 (For additional information, see Appendix E, TRANSFER OF COURSES WITH A PASSING GRADE POLICY).
- To recognize fully and encourage successful completion of associate degrees, graduates who have earned an associate degree with an overall GPA of 2.0 or better from a public institution in Ohio will receive transfer credit for all college-level courses which they have passed or are regarded as passed. These credits include those associated with Pass/Fail grades, institutional and external credit-by-examinations, prior learning, and other non-traditional credit awards that may be known by other names at institutions. Final grades awarded by the sending institution will be recorded on the student's transcript. This provision applies only to courses taken prior to Fall 2005 (For additional information, see Appendix E, TRANSFER OF COURSES WITH A PASSING GRADE POLICY).
- Grade-point average does not transfer, but transfer student GPA calculations are determined and applied differently by institutions. Some count the grades earned at another institution in the GPA calculation while others do not. Some count all grades for honors recognitions, but count only local grades for the cumulative GPA used to determine “academic standing” relative to probation and dismissal. In sum, the method of treating grade-point average calculations must be consistent with the principles espoused throughout this Policy (e.g., Section IV. D, Acceptance and Application of Credit) and shall be applied equally to native and transfer students.
 https://www.ohiohighered.org/content/directive_2015_016 , see Appendix A: Definition
Report and Recommendations Regarding Postsecondary Credit Opportunities in Career-Technical Education. Submitted to the Governor and the General Assembly by the Chancellor and the Superintendent of Public Instruction, June 2014, pgs. 10-11.
D.2. Application Of Transfer And Articulated Credit
Application of credit is the decision process performed by the receiving institution to determine how the credits it has accepted and recorded on the student's official academic transcript will or will not apply toward program and degree requirements. While the receiving institution makes this decision, it will do so within the parameters of this Policy.
The following guidelines and requirements shall govern the application of transfer and articulated credit:
D.2.a. Ohio Transfer Module (OTM) Requirements
Public institutions of higher education require all students to complete a set of liberal education courses within associate and baccalaureate degrees. These courses are commonly known as the general education requirements, but may be called "General Requirements", "University Requirements", "Core Requirements", or "Liberal Education Requirements". Because of the higher ratio of technical courses required in applied associate degree and technical study degree programs, these types of two-year degrees have a smaller set of general education requirements than other degree programs.
Similarly, the Ohio Transfer Module (OTM) is defined as either a subset or the complete set of an institution’s general education requirements in Associate of Arts (AA), Associate of Science (AS), and baccalaureate degrees. Applied and technical studies associate degrees have a smaller general education component as previously noted; therefore, students in these degrees may choose to go beyond the general education requirements of their program or degree and complete additional courses to fulfill more or all of the OTM requirements.
Institutions often have general education requirements which go beyond the OTM or have individual degree programs with specific requirements in the liberal education area which go beyond those required to meet the institution's general education requirements. Such additional requirements may be prerequisites for more advanced courses in the program, external professional accreditation association requirements, or part of the pedagogy of the field or the philosophical intent of the degree. For example, foreign language requirements of Colleges of Arts and Sciences are generally part of the philosophical basis of the degree. Likewise, foreign languages recommended in a chemistry degree may be helpful in the field and for graduate study. Such requirements determined by the institution provide each program its distinct character and must consistently apply to both native and transfer students alike.
As the philosophical and educational basis for the general education requirements may vary across programs and majors, the structuring of these requirements, through the total number and type of courses and/or credit hours required and the method of course delivery, may also vary among institutions and even among programs within institutions. Nonetheless, most institutions require a common body of knowledge and academic skills within the general education requirements. For this reason, receiving institutions have typically been able to apply transfer credit to many of their general education requirements for equivalent or similar courses.
OTM Guidelines were established after examining general education requirements of AA, AS, and baccalaureate degrees offered by Ohio public institutions of higher education and the legal definitions of general education requirements (see Appendix I, OHIO TRANSFER MODULE GUIDELINES AND LEARNING OUTCOMES; and Appendix J, ARTICULATION AND TRANSFER INSTITUTIONAL INFORMATION GUIDE - Q AND A POLICY CLARIFICATION STATEMENTS).
The Ohio Transfer Module contains 36-40 semester or 54-60 quarter hours of course credit in English composition (minimum of 3 semester or 5 quarter hours); mathematics, statistics, and logic (minimum of 3 semester or 3 quarter hours); arts and humanities (minimum of 6 semester or 9 quarter hours); social and behavioral sciences (minimum of 6 semester or 9 quarter hours); and natural sciences (minimum of 6 semester or 9 quarter hours).
Courses in oral communication and interdisciplinary areas may be included as elective credit hours by individual institutions to satisfy OTM requirements. Courses for the OTM should be at the lower-division level general education courses commonly completed during the first two years of a full-time student’s residency.
- Transfer students with an earned AA or AS degree which includes an identifiable OTM will have met the OTM requirements of the receiving institution. An institution will apply transferred courses to general education requirements which go beyond those included in the OTM on a course-by-course basis.
- Transfer students who have completed the OTM as certified by the sending institution will have met the OTM requirements of the receiving institution. An institution will apply transferred courses to general education requirements which go beyond those included in the OTM on a course-by-course basis.
- Students will receive credit for successfully completed courses from the OTM without having completed the entire module. The applicability of individual OTM-approved courses will depend on the approval type within the OTM. OTM courses reviewed and approved using only the established statewide learning outcomes will be guaranteed to be applied as equivalent courses at the receiving institution. If an equivalent course is unavailable, the credit hours associated with the course will be applied toward the appropriate area on a course-by-course basis. Credit hours associated with OTM-approved courses that were reviewed and approved using a hybrid of established statewide guidelines and learning outcomes will be guaranteed to transfer among public institutions of higher education and be applied appropriately on a course-by-course basis.
- Completion of the OTM or the entire set of general education requirements may not constitute completion of specific program requirements unless the specified requirements are successfully completed as part of the OTM or the broader institutional general education requirements. In such cases, the receiving institution will apply transfer credit to these specific requirements at its discretion on a course-by-course basis.
- OTM course credit applies to degree-specific general education course requirements on a course-by-course basis. For example, a student majoring in business needs to complete micro- and macroeconomics as part of the OTM Social and Behavioral Sciences when these courses are required for business degree-specific general education course requirements. Some of the OTM approved courses are also guaranteed to transfer and apply as equivalent pre-major/beginning major courses in accordance with the Transfer Assurance Guide (TAG) policy (See Section III. D. 2. b. Transfer Assurance Guides).
Courses evaluated to be equivalent to general education courses at the receiving institution will be applied to the General Education requirements of the receiving institution. Non-equivalent courses which were used to satisfy general education requirements at the sending institution and which are in the general area of the courses used to satisfy the general education requirements at the receiving institution may be applied toward the general education requirements at the discretion of the receiving institution.
An institution’s OTM must be explicitly defined in electronic and/or print catalogs and other appropriate places for the benefit of students and receiving institutions.
 See the Guidelines and Procedures for Academic Program Review Manual, Appendix C: General Education Guidelines. https://www.ohiohighered.org/content/directive_2015_016
 See the Guidelines and Procedures for Academic Program Review Manual, Appendix C: General Education Guidelines. https://www.ohiohighered.org/content/directive_2015_016
D.2.b. Transfer Assurance Guides (TAGs)
In response to the legislative requirement (Ohio Revised Code 3333.16) to develop and implement a universal course equivalency classification system, discipline-specific Transfer Assurance Guides (TAGs) were established. The purposes of the TAG initiative are not only to improve advising and empower students to make more informed course selection decisions at the sending institution, but also to avoid unnecessary duplication of coursework that students had successfully completed after transfer.
TAG is a statewide transfer initiative that guarantees degree pathways, as well as the course equivalency and applicability of pre-major/beginning major courses within the degree pathways. Each TAG pathway has four parts: Ohio Transfer Module (OTM) with Recommended Courses, Pre-Major or Beginning Major Courses, Advising Notes, and if applicable, Foreign Language Requirement. Pre-major or beginning major courses are called TAG courses, each of which is associated with an Ohio Articulation Number (OAN).
To support the development and ongoing implementation of the course equivalency classification system, TAGs were established to match course content to a common set of learning outcomes and/or third-party standards. The system is designed to not only promote uniform evaluation and application of transfer credit at receiving institutions, but also progressive student success and advancement to higher levels of educational attainment without sacrificing the educational rigor and quality.
Discipline-specific TAGs are available to provide students the advising information needed to make appropriate course selection decisions in general education and pre-major/beginning major requirements at their institution prior to transferring. Completion of a discipline-specific TAG paves the wave for efficient pursuit of a corresponding baccalaureate degree.
Baccalaureate degrees are typically completed in four semesters after earning an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree. This may not be true for transfer or native students who change programs of study or who fail to complete the appropriate prerequisite or general education courses that satisfy the Ohio Transfer Module (OTM) or the broader general education or major requirements. For example, students who complete algebra-based or applied physics courses to satisfy the OTM will find that they cannot transfer such courses to satisfy the requirements for a Bachelor of Science degree in physics or engineering. Appropriate lower-division courses that are prerequisite to upper-division requirements in a given program must additionally be completed by the transfer student.
The TAG program became effective Fall 2005 (See Appendix K, GUIDING PRINCIPLES FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE TRANSFER ASSURANCE GUIDES [TAGS]). Additional TAGs and courses within existing TAGs will be developed in the future.
D.2.c. Career-Technical Assurance Guides (CTAGs)
Ohio Revised Code 3333.162 advanced articulation and transfer through the Career-Technical Credit Transfer (CT)² initiative, which led to the development of Career-Technical Assurance Guides (CTAGs). CTAGs are statewide articulation agreements that guarantee the recognition of learning which occurs at public adult and secondary career-technical institutions and the awarding of equivalent college credit specific toward technical courses/programs at public higher education institutions without unnecessary duplication of work or institutional barriers. Once posted on the student’s college or university transcript, CTAGs facilitate the transfer and applicability of such credit in technical courses/programs among other public higher education institutions.
To support the future development and ongoing use of CTAGs, as well as to reduce unnecessary variability in the transfer credit evaluation process, a universal course/program equivalency process relates course/program content to a common set of learning outcomes and/or third-party standards. Some of the CTAGs require third-party program accreditation, credentialing, and/or other industry standards. Other CTAGs use the same learning outcomes from respective Transfer Assurance Guide (TAG) courses; thus providing students with an additional guarantee for their awarded course(s) to be accepted and applied toward a TAG-related degree at public institutions of higher education, especially toward a baccalaureate degree. Courses/Programs involved are guaranteed to transfer and apply to appropriate degree/program requirements by the receiving institution. Other CTAGs specific to secondary career-technical education depend upon affirmation that the district is delivering courses according to the Ohio Department of Education’s Secondary Career Field Technical Content Standards and may require students to complete examinations developed by a third-party.
CTAGs are designed to improve advising and empower students to make more informed course/program selection decisions while at the sending institution. Advising resources are available to inform students who are considering enrolling in a CTAG-approved course/program of available pathways to advance their career and academic goals. Each CTAG course/program is assigned a Career-Technical Articulation Number (CTAN). The number signifies in part that credit most likely applies to a related postsecondary career-technical program. While many career-technical program pathways culminate with an award of an associate degree, a few culminate with an award of a baccalaureate degree. The number of credits guaranteed to apply from each career-technical area/program (having a CTAG) to its associated degree program varies by CTAG and the type of degree to which it articulates.
In 2011, the Ohio Department of Higher Education, in collaboration with the Ohio Department of Education, launched the Secondary Career-Technical Alignment Initiative (SCTAI) to streamline the awarding of college credit through the CTAG process that occurs between public secondary career-technical institutions and public institutions of higher education. In order to meet the requirements of the ORC 3333.162 and to ensure that Ohio’s higher education system utilizes exemplary bilateral agreements that maintain the standards and consistency among bilateral agreements statewide, a directive related to bilateral articulation agreements with secondary career-technical institutions was signed in 2012 (See Appendix H, DIRECTIVE FOR THE BILATERAL ARTICULATION AGREEMENTS WITH SECONDARY CAREER-TECHNICAL INSTITUTIONS: PRINCIPLES AND GUIDELINES).
The Career-Technical Assurance Guide program became effective Winter 2007 (See Appendix L, GUIDING PRINCIPLES FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF CAREER-TECHNICAL ASSURANCE GUIDES [CTAGS] THROUGH THE CAREER-TECHNICAL CREDIT TRANSFER (CT)² INITIATIVE). Additional CTAGs and associated Career-Technical Articulation Numbers (CTANs) will be developed in the future.
D.2.d. Military Transfer Assurance Guides (MTAGs)
In response to the legislative requirement (Ohio Revised Code 3333.164) to create a military articulation and transfer assurance guide for college-level learning that took place through military training, experience, and coursework, college credit will be granted to students with military training, experience, and/or coursework that is recognized by the American Council on Education (ACE) or a regionally accredited military institution, such as Community College of the Air Force (See Appendix A, LEGISLATION).
In order to streamline the awarding, transferability, and applicability of college credit, service members and veterans are guaranteed to earn certain types of credit(s) or course(s) as specified in the Military Transfer Assurance Guides (MTAGs), which are based on the endorsed baseline standards and procedures by the Chancellor. Equivalent course(s), credits for courses, or block of credit is to be awarded and applied towards general education and/or major course requirements at the receiving institution in accordance with the MTAG guarantee. There is some training, experience, and coursework that the receiving institution may be able to award college credit only toward general or free electives.
In addition, public institutions of higher education shall ensure that appropriate equivalent credit is awarded for military training, experience, and coursework that meet the baseline standards and procedures according to the Ohio Revised Code 3333.164 (See Appendix M, DIRECTIVE FOR THE BASELINE SET OF STANDARDS AND PROCEDURES FOR THE AWARDING OF COLLEGE CREDIT FOR MILITARY TRAINING, EXPERIENCE, AND COURSEWORK). This requirement goes beyond credit/course awarded based on the MTAG alignment process.
The MTAG program became effective Spring 2015. Additional MTAGs and course alignment within existing MTAGs will be developed in the future.
 ACE works under a contract from the Department of Defense to conduct and facilitate academic credit recommendations for military courses and occupations, the results of which appear on the ACE website http://www.acenet.edu/news-room/Pages/Military-Guide-Online.aspx
D.2.e. Apprenticeship Pathway Programs
The Apprenticeship Pathways initiative advocates for individuals completing apprenticeships by incorporating their learning into academic credit, thereby saving them time and money and encouraging them to advance their academic credentials to contribute to a strong, educated workforce.
Ohio apprenticeship programs partner with public two-year institutions to provide technology-specific statewide articulation agreements that recognize non-traditional prior learning. College credit is awarded toward a technical associate degree. Each agreement simplifies student advising by outlining how apprenticeship training in a certain pathway applies to an applied associate degree and lists remaining courses required to complete the degree. The application of the credit toward a technical associate degree in these agreements is guaranteed at the participating receiving institutions.
The first statewide apprenticeship program agreement was established for the Electrical Trades pathway to an applied associate degree in 2010. Additional statewide agreements in apprenticeship programs will be developed in the future.
D.2.f. Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)
To help students earn postsecondary certificates and degrees and to make Ohio more competitive in a global economy, public universities, colleges, and adult career-technical institutions will advance and promote the awarding of credit to students for prior learning based on transparent, consistent, and rigorous statewide standards. Institutions will transcript, apply, and transfer credits awarded on the basis of statewide standards.
Assessing the prior learning of students recognizes that college-level learning is acquired through means in addition to credit course enrollment. The Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) Initiative extends articulation and transfer policy to, for example, employment experience, professional training, military training, and recognized examinations, certificates, and certifications.
Prior learning experience may be measured for college credit through a number of rigorous evaluation methods known as PLA, which measures student learning (knowledge, skills, and competencies) that has occurred outside the college classroom to determine whether it is appropriate for college credit. PLA is a comprehensive phrase used to reference the evaluation methods to measure prior learning experience. Examples of PLA methods include, but are not limited to: individualized portfolio-based assessments; credit-by-examinations such as College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), Advanced Placement (AP) Examination Program, Excelsior College Exams, DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST), and International Baccalaureate Exams (IB); military training, experience, and coursework recognized by the American Council on Education (ACE) or a regionally accredited military institution; apprenticeship pathway training programs; and adult and secondary career-technical courses and programs.
D.2.g. Advanced Placement (AP) Exams
In response to the legislative requirement (Ohio Revised Code 3333.163) to adopt standards for each public institution of higher education to award credit to any student enrolled who has attained a passing score on an Advanced Placement (AP) examination, college credit is guaranteed for students who achieve an Advanced Placement (AP) test score of 3 or higher. The equivalent course from this credit is to be awarded and applied mainly toward general education and/or major course requirements at the receiving institution as recommended in the statewide course alignment guide. There are some exam areas that the receiving institution may be able to award college credit only toward general or free elective requirements in accordance with the statewide alignment recommendation for a minimum score of 3. Apart from Ohio Transfer Module and Transfer Assurance Guide guarantees, how AP credit applies toward a particular degree requirement will vary and be determined by each institution.
Public institutions of higher education are expected to follow the alignment recommendation guide to ensure the equity of credit for the score of 3 on AP exams within the public institutions of higher education in Ohio.
The Advanced Placement Policy became effective Fall 2009 (See Appendix N, DIRECTIVE FOR THE ADVANCED PLACEMENT [AP] POLICY).
D.2.h. International Baccalaureate (IB) Exams
In response to the legislative requirement (Ohio Revised Code 3345.38), board of trustees of Ohio’s public institution of higher education shall adopt and implement a policy to grant undergraduate course credit to a student who has successfully completed an International Baccalaureate diploma program. The policy adopted by each institution under this section shall do the following:
- Establish conditions for granting course credit, including the minimum scores required on examinations constituting the International Baccalaureate diploma program in order to receive credit and
- Identify specific course credit or other academic requirements of the institution, including the number of credit hours or other course credit that the institution will grant to a student who completes the diploma program.
See Appendix A, LEGISLATION, for further details.
D.2.i. One-Year Option
The One-Year Option establishes an articulation system whereby adults who complete a career-technical education program of study consisting of a minimum of 900 clock-hours and achieve an industry-recognized credential approved by the Chancellor shall receive thirty (30) semester hours of technical course credit toward a standardized Associate of Technical Study Degree (ATS) upon matriculation at a public institution of higher education in Ohio that confers such a degree. The 30 semester hours will be awarded as a block of credit (rather than credit for specific courses) and will satisfy the technical course requirements for the ATS degree. Proportional credit is to be awarded toward the ATS degree for adults who complete a program of study between 600 and 899 clock hours.
The One-Year Option builds upon Ohio’s articulation and transfer system to help more adults accelerate their preparation for work by earning a technical associate degree. Consistent with the philosophy of the Career-Technical Assurance Guides (CTAGs), the One-Year Option guarantees that college credit will be awarded for college-level learning that occurs at career-technical institutions. The credit earned through the One-Year Option will be applied to ATS degrees bearing the following standardized degree titles:
- Associate of Technical Study in Building and Industrial Technology
- Associate of Technical Study in Business Technology
- Associate of Technical Study in Health and Allied Health Technology
- Associate of Technical Study in Information Technology
- Associate of Technical Study in Services Technology
Inter-institutional credit affirmation teams provide oversight for the One-Year Option through peer reviews of career-technical education program of study and certifications to affirm that students who complete each program and approved certification(s) demonstrate competencies equivalent to 30 (or proportional) technical course credits.
Advising resources are available to guide students who are considering enrolling in either a One-Year Option program of study or a Career-Technical Assurance Guide (CTAG) program of study. Effective advising is essential to inform the decision about which pathway is most appropriate to advance each student’s immediate and future career and academic goals.
Section 363.120 of House Bill 59 of the 130th General Assembly provided the impetus for the One-Year Option.
D.2.j. Associate-to-Baccalaureate Degree (2+2) Pathways
Pertinent to the Ohio Revised Code 3333.16 (C), not later than December 1, 2018, the Chancellor of the Ohio Department of Higher Education shall update and implement the policies and procedures to ensure that any associate degree offered at a public institution of higher education may be transferred and applied to a bachelor degree program in an equivalent field at any other public institution of higher education without unnecessary duplication or institutional barriers. The policies and procedures shall ensure that each transferred associate degree applies to the student's degree objective in the same manner as equivalent coursework completed by the student at the receiving institution (See Appendix A, LEGISLATION).
When updating and implementing the policies and procedures pursuant to this section, the Chancellor will seek input from faculty and academic leaders in each academic field or discipline.
D.2.k. Credit When It's Due
The Credit When It’s Due program provides the opportunity for students with prior college credit to be awarded an associate degree or certificate by applying credit earned before and/or after they began their current enrollment in a degree or certificate program. Students benefit as credits already earned are recognized without having to re-enroll at the previously attended associate degree-granting institution. Additionally, academic credentials provide a sense of accomplishment as a sign of persistence in a student’s academic career, as well as a qualification for employment that requires a degree or certificate.
With the permission of the student, participating institutions collaborate to exchange the academic records of eligible students with the associate degree-granting institution, which audits all of the student’s previously earned credits to determine the completion of an associate degree or certificate. Institutions are to comply with the policies, procedures, and tools delineated in this Policy to complete the degree verification processes. Partnerships through Credit When It’s Due program may occur: a) between institutions and/or b) within the institution in which the student is currently enrolled if it confers an associate degree or a certificate.
D.2.l. Application of Credit to the Major, Minor, and Field of Concentration
Apart from the credit guarantees delineated in this Policy, the receiving institution will determine on a course-by-course basis how transfer credit applies to requirements in a specific academic major, minor, or field of concentration. Documentation of transfer course content may be necessary in courses without a statewide course/program equivalency guarantee if catalog descriptions are not conclusive. In these cases, additional information, such as the course or program syllabus and, if not documented in the syllabus, student assessment methods used in the course, may be obtained from the sending institution or student. Although it is inappropriate to assess students who have successfully completed standard classroom courses, it may be necessary in a limited number of cases to establish proficiency through auditions, portfolio reviews, or other types of competence verification as part of the transfer credit review for performance-based courses or programs for which the learning outcomes or standards of the sending institution are clearly and substantially different from those at the receiving institution.
D.2.m. Treatment of Upper- and Lower-Division Credit at Two- and Four-Year Institutions
Universities often distinguish between lower- and upper-division courses/credits and require that a given number of courses/credits must be completed at the upper-division level. The intent is to guarantee that each graduate will complete a minimum number of courses in areas of specialization after completing lower-division pre-requisite courses.
Upper- and lower-division credits will be awarded for transfer coursework based upon the level of course to which each course is equated at the receiving institution. A course completed at one public institution of higher education and transferred to another shall be applied to the student’s degree objective in the same manner as its equivalent course at the receiving institution. If a lower-division course at the sending institution is transferred as equivalent to an upper-division course at the receiving institution, it will apply as upper-division course credit. Likewise, an upper-division course taken at the sending institution that is transferred as equivalent to a lower-division course at the receiving institution will be counted as lower-division credit.
This Policy applies to students enrolled at an Ohio public institution of higher education beginning in the Fall of 2010 and who have not had their transfer credits evaluated for course equivalencies. Institutions may establish a petition process for the re-evaluation of their students’ transfer credits evaluated after Fall 2005.
 Fall 2005 is the statutory implementation period for the ORC 3333.16.
D.2.n. Applied Associate Degrees
Applied associate degrees (which in Ohio are the Associate of Applied Business [AAB], Associate of Applied Science [AAS], Associate of Technical Study [ATS], and Associate of Individualized Study [AIS]) have a different curricular design than the Associate of Arts (AA) and Associate of Science (AS) degrees. Curricula for applied associate degrees are designed to proportionately contain more technical courses (i.e., applied courses in the major and fewer general education courses) compared to AA and AS degrees. Consequently, applied degree graduates who choose to transfer into an AA, AS, or baccalaureate degree program typically have to complete additional courses to meet the general education requirements for those degrees. Individual Ohio Transfer Module (OTM) courses completed as part of or in addition to the applied associate degree will transfer and apply toward the OTM of the receiving institution.
There are many articulation and transfer agreements that facilitate the acceptance and application of applied degree courses, including those facilitated through Transfer Assurance Guide (TAG) and Career-Technical Assurance Guide (CTAG) guarantees. Some baccalaureate-completion articulation agreements are specifically designed for technical degree programs. These structured agreements tend to be institutional and discipline specific. Therefore, students should seek information about these programs early in their college studies. Informed course selection decisions and transfer planning are required to take maximum advantage of the articulation and transfer agreements.
D.2.o. Non-Traditional Credit and Electives
Credits earned through Pass/Fail grading options, credit-by-examinations, portfolio reviews, and other non-traditional credit awards that may be known by other names at institutions will transfer as equivalent courses when available at the receiving institution. If there are no equivalent courses and the courses are not applicable to the TAG, CTAG, MTAG, OTM, General Education Requirements, or specific program requirements, such courses will transfer or articulate as free or general electives when they exist in a program. However, some institutions limit the number of non-traditional credits that can apply toward a given program or degree, or limit the fields in which these credits may be taken. In these cases, the receiving institution shall apply such credit in the same way for both native and transfer students.
E. Institutional Support for Student Advising through the Ohio Articulation and Transfer Network (OATN)
Both sending and receiving institutions shall provide transfer and articulation advising to students as early in their matriculation as possible. Resources such as transfer guides, transfer course equivalency tables and database, institutional transfer and articulation processes, and articulation agreements shall be made available to students in prevailing customary formats. The goal is to advance course planning at the student’s current institution that maximizes successful transfer and application of credits to the student’s chosen program at the receiving institution. Inter-institutional cooperation, including consortia, to develop advising materials and processes is encouraged.
To directly support effective student advising, all public institutions shall comply with the following Policy expectations:
- Provide requirements of all degree programs and certificates through an electronic course/program transfer and applicability database in the form of a degree audit using a course/program applicability system that the OATN subscribes for use by institutions. Each prospective and current student will be able to view specific requirements for all degree programs and certificates.
- Provide course equivalencies, including courses that carry a statewide transfer guarantee even when a receiving institution does not offer an equivalent course, for any Ohio public institution of learning from which twenty-five or more transfer students are enrolled each year. The number of transfer students will be tracked in the statewide higher education information system and will be reviewed annually to appraise institutions when the twenty-five threshold is reached. Course/Program equivalents will include:
- Approved courses/programs tied to any of the statewide credit transfer guaranteed programs, including the Ohio Transfer Module, Transfer Assurance Guides, Career-Technical Assurance Guides, Military Transfer Assurance Guides, and Advanced Placement exam course alignments;
- Courses equating to those that apply to a degree requirement, including general education, graduation, and specific major and degree requirements; and
- Other commonly transferred courses and programs for degree programs with higher percentages of transfer students enrolled.
- Prior to the start of the academic year, perform data validation against all statewide course/program reporting systems, institutional course inventories, equivalencies, and degree programs that will be active for the upcoming academic year. The updates must reflect changes in degree program requirements and equivalencies based on course and program changes. This requires submission of course inventory information to the statewide higher education information system as prescribed.
- Develop and operate an ongoing training program for appropriate advisors, counselors, outreach staff, faculty members, and admissions personnel concerning the various electronic course/program transfer and applicability database systems, including the statewide course/program reporting systems. Each person must know how to locate, navigate, and provide instruction for the various systems. The training will be documented and offered to all new employees serving in those positions and to all employees as needed.
Institutional requirements for serving and advising veterans and active duty service members are specified in Appendix O, INSTITUTIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR SERVING VETERANS AND ACTIVE DUTY SERVICE MEMBERS.
F. Student Responsibilities
To maximize transfer credit application, prospective transfer students must take responsibility for planning their course of study as early as possible to meet both the academic and non-academic requirements of the institution to which they desire to articulate or transfer credit. The student is responsible to investigate and use the information, advising, and other available resources to develop such a plan, which for those planning to transfer credits should occur in advance of enrollment for adults and prior to graduation for high school students. Students should:
- Actively seek program, degree, and transfer information; meet with an advisor from both the current and receiving institutions to assist them in preparing a course of study that meets the academic requirements for the program/degree to which they plan to transfer; and use the various electronic course/program transfer and applicability database systems, including Ohio Transfer to Degree Guarantee web resources, and select courses/programs at their current institution that satisfy requirements at the receiving institution to maximize the application of transfer credit;
- Be aware that remedial and developmental credits/courses will not transfer and not apply toward any degree program;
- Know exactly the credit that will be awarded and how it will apply to their courses and program, and be familiar with the formal appeals process at their receiving institution;
- Understand the policies that may affect the transition to another institution: (a) the grade-point average earned at the sending institution does not transfer to the receiving institution, but may be used to determine institutional and program admission requirements; (b) after failing a course at the receiving institution and subsequently passing its equivalent at another institution (e.g., in the summer or online) does not mean that the grade earned for the equivalent course will replace the failed grade earned at the receiving institution; and (c) successfully completing a credit-by-examination may not necessarily replace a failed course at the receiving institution;
- Know that delays in developing and following an appropriate transfer plan or changing the plan (e.g., changing their majors or withdrawing from courses) will likely reduce the number of transfer credits that apply to the major or degree program ultimately selected and/or extend the length of time to complete the degree;
- Understand requirements and processes for application fees, transfer admission, course transfer, financial aid, scholarships, and housing policies and procedures of the colleges and universities to which they plan to apply;
- Adhere to deadlines, restrictions, and other criteria, such as the policies regarding deposits required prior to enrollment and the dates when any refunds of those deposits are available;
- Complete all materials required for the admission application and submit them on or before all deadlines;
- Notify each college or university that accepts them for admission whether they will accept or reject its offer as soon as they have heard from all the institutions to which they applied by no later than the deadline date set by the respective institution; and
- Confirm their intent to enroll and submit any required deposits to only one college or university by its required notification/deadline date if required.
Institutions shall establish routine communication and internal accountability methods (e.g., liaison officers, inter-institutional administrative committees, faculty collaborations) to address systems and issues associated with student transfer. For example, inter-departmental committees can address process improvement, advising concerns, course content mismatches, and patterns of poor student performance in sequential courses.
Any pertinent issues at the institutional level may be brought to and shared with other institutions through various statewide stakeholder venues including the Ohio Articulation and Transfer Network (OATN) Advisory Council and various committee meetings, as well as by contacting the OATN directly. Issues may also be communicated through an institution’s chief academic officer/provost or superintendent, who can contact the appropriate staff at the OATN. All official communications from the OATN are shared with chief academic officers/ provosts and/or superintendents, who distribute the information to appropriate stakeholders on their campuses. In addition, OATN often communicates directly with coordinators for each of the transfer guarantee programs who were designated by the institution, as well as representatives from various institutional offices/departments and governmental and professional organizations when appropriate, such as registrars, admissions directors, veterans affairs directors, and Ohio State Apprenticeship Council (OSAC). The OATN also provides an electronic forum to conduct statewide articulation and transfer discussions and share promising practices among users of the forum.
See Appendix P, OHIO ARTICULATION AND TRANSFER NETWORK COMMUNICATION FLOWCHART, as an example for various statewide means that promote effective communication throughout the OATN. A faculty and staff resource website is also available to facilitate communication among stakeholders.
H. Ohio Articulation and Transfer Network Oversight Board
In order for the Ohio Articulation and Transfer Network (OATN) to effectuate the transfer of students within public institutions of higher education, maintain and validate quality assurance of courses and programs, broaden the number of courses and programs guaranteed to transfer, enhance electronic transfer tools, and expand various articulation and transfer initiatives, including the awarding of college credit for prior learning experiences, the OATN Oversight Board shall serve in an advisory capacity to the Chancellor of the Ohio Department of Higher Education. Chaired by the Chancellor or his/her designee, membership of the Oversight Board includes college presidents, superintendents, provosts, chief academic officers, and other representatives from college, university, and adult/secondary career-technical institutions having responsibility relating to articulation and transfer.
The Oversight Board shall advise the Chancellor concerning the following OATN areas of purview: strategic directions and goals, policy development with the goal of identifying issues and recommending strategies to correct them, institutional compliance considerations, the OATN budget and expenditure of revenues, assessment of fees, hiring an executive director of the Network, and considerations for the recommendations of the OATN Advisory Council.
The Oversight Board may create subcommittees and shall serve as the Steering Committee to the OATN Advisory Council. The Board may also direct the Advisory Council to assist the Oversight Board with its duties, but shall do so with a specific charge on topics and desired compositions for task groups.
A hallmark of the Oversight Board is its practice of open and mutual communication throughout the OATN whereby any entity or stakeholder can propose a Policy revision or improved articulation and transfer practice (See Appendix P, OHIO ARTICULATION AND TRANSFER NETWORK COMMUNICATION FLOWCHART).
I. Ohio Articulation and Transfer Network Advisory Council
The Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) and the Ohio Articulation and Transfer Network (OATN) shall provide a continuing forum on the progress of higher education in implementing this Policy by coordinating an Ohio Articulation and Transfer Network Advisory Council comprised of representatives from Ohio public and private institutions of higher education, adult and secondary career-technical institutions, and other appropriate stakeholders. The Chancellor shall select Advisory Council members from representatives nominated by institutional chief administrators including presidents, provosts and chief academic officers, or school superintendents.
The OATN Advisory Council shall have the responsibility to advise the Oversight Board and Chancellor of the Ohio Department of Higher Education as follows:
- Conduct a continuing review of the provisions of this Policy and recommend such revisions as needed to meet the intent of the Policy while maintaining program and degree integrity (See Appendix Q, PROCEDURES FOR AMENDING THE POLICY ON ARTICULATION AND TRANSFER);
- Review and make recommendations concerning articulation and transfer issues brought before it by public career-technical and higher education institutions;
- Respond to requests and charges given by the Oversight Board;
- Recommend modifications in institutional policies and procedures which, in the Advisory Council's judgment, would enhance and facilitate the transfer of students while maintaining the academic integrity of curricula;
- Charge statewide faculty panels and subcommittees with the responsibility to develop, review, and recommend adjustments as needed in the Ohio Transfer Module (OTM), Transfer Assurance Guides (TAGs), Career-Technical Assurance Guides (CTAGs), Military Transfer Assurance Guides (MTAGs), Advanced Placement (AP) credit awarding, and all other statewide transfer and articulation criteria based on the stipulations of the Policy;
- Charge respective statewide faculty review panels to review each institution's submissions for the OTM, TAGs, CTAGs, and all other required or requested submissions to assure that the courses and programs identified meet Policy stipulations;
- Establish committees (e.g., OTM Faculty Subcommittees, TAG Faculty Review Panels, CTAG Faculty Review Panels, and Articulation and Transfer Technology Steering Committee) with defined charges, representative membership, and lengths of terms that will provide review and recommendations to the OATN Advisory Council on specific aspects of the Ohio Articulation and Transfer Policy related to the interpretation and implementation of the Policy; and
- Recommend strategies and initiatives to strengthen Ohio’s Articulation and Transfer Policy.
To increase public awareness of available articulation and transfer opportunities, strategies have been developed and executed to advance a consistent brand for Ohio’s many articulation and transfer initiatives, which collectively are called the Ohio Transfer to Degree Guarantee (T2DG). Free materials, including approved logos, are available to education institutions or other organizations that wish to download, distribute, or link to them to promote the Ohio Transfer to Degree Guarantee (T2DG) program.
K. Research and Evaluation
The Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) and the Ohio Articulation and Transfer Network (OATN), working in close cooperation with the OATN Oversight Board and the Advisory Council, shall develop an assessment and validation system to measure Policy effectiveness. Research helps provide validation and also identify needs for policy adjustments and process improvement. The ODHE and OATN will establish and manage short- and long-term plans to monitor transfer system effectiveness. Plans will include ongoing surveys and research to assess and validate the structure, process, outcomes, and overall effectiveness of statewide and institutional articulation and transfer policies.
Certain policies and legislation may require measuring Policy effectiveness within a set time period. ODHE and OATN will keep these requirements in mind when determining research and evaluation plans.
L. Technology Infrastructure
In an effort to implement Ohio’s Articulation and Transfer Policy and support improved articulation and transfer processes, the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) and the Ohio Articulation and Transfer Network (OATN) shall coordinate and maintain statewide resources made available to citizens, public colleges and universities, school districts, adult and secondary career-technical institutions, and other entities that participate in Ohio Transfer to Degree Guarantee programs. Such resources are designed to:
- Standardize data and systems that help institutional partners streamline their transfer business processes,
- Help streamline the transfer credit evaluation process,
- Establish strategic processes that undergird and continually improve articulation and transfer in Ohio, and
- Help students receive and have their completed credit applied in order to advance their education as cost-effectively and expeditiously as possible while protecting the quality of education.
Statewide resources come in various forms using a technology-based transfer infrastructure coordinated and supported by the ODHE and OATN, including:
- An articulation and transfer clearinghouse system that allows the participating institutions to exchange student transcript data electronically with more consistent data structure;
- Course/Program equivalency reporting systems through an information repository of statewide course/program equivalency guarantees to be used by institutional stakeholders that teach, advise, and otherwise help students attain the educational credentials right for them;
- An electronic course/program equivalency management system to submit, review, and approve courses and programs for the statewide transfer guarantees;
- An electronic transfer student portal to streamline credit transfer among participating public institutions of higher education and credit articulation from adult/secondary career-technical institutions to participating public institutions of higher education;
- A course/program applicability system that the OATN subscribes for use by institutions in order to provide course equivalencies, including courses that carry a statewide transfer guarantee even when a receiving institution does not offer an equivalent course, for any Ohio public institution of learning from which twenty-five or more transfer students are enrolled each year; and
- A communication platform/forum that allows institutional users to help each other by sharing and discussing issues, announcements, and other articulation and transfer related information among public institutions.
M. Student Appeals at the Receiving Institution
A multi-level, broad-based appeal process shall be publicized and in place at each institution. When notifying a student of the results of the official transcript evaluation of his/her transfer and articulated credits, the receiving institution shall provide the student with a written statement of transfer and articulated credit applicability. At the same time, the institution must inform the student of the institution’s appeals process, should he/she wish to contest the evaluation. A student disagreeing with the application of transfer and articulated credit by the receiving institution must file his/her appeal in writing within ninety (90) days of receipt of the statement of transfer and articulated credit applicability. The institution shall respond to the appeal within thirty (30) days of receipt of the appeal at each appeal level.
Effective January 1, 2015, all public institutions of higher education shall also establish an appeals procedure for students who are veterans or service members for resolving disputes regarding the awarding of college credit for military training, experience, and coursework. An institution with a broad-based appeals process might already include military training, experience, and coursework, which complies with the spirit of this requirement.
N. Student Complaints Following Transfer Appeals at the Receiving Institution
After a student exhausts the appeals process at the receiving institution and chooses to pursue further action, the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) responds to formal written complaints related to the Ohio Articulation and Transfer Policy against public, independent non-profit, and proprietary institutions of higher education in Ohio. While the ODHE has limited authority over colleges and universities and cannot offer legal advice or initiate civil court cases, staff will review written complaints submitted through its established process and work with student complainants and institutions.