Articulation & Transfer Glossary

Accreditation and Accrediting Bodies
Accreditation speaks to the educational quality of the institution. It is an indicator that the institution meets certain minimum standards of quality. Institutions which have been accredited by bodies recognized by the Council on Postsecondary Accreditation (COPA) and, specifically, by the COPA recognized regional accrediting commissions (defined below) shall be considered accredited institutions for the purposes of this document.

In order to facilitate evaluation and accreditation of institutions of higher education, COPA, a national body, has the responsibility for setting standards for accrediting bodies which carry out these activities. COPA has a formal process of recognition which requires that any accrediting body so recognized must meet the same standards. COPA has recognized three types of accrediting bodies: regional accrediting commissions, national accrediting bodies for specialized institutions, and certain professional organizations that accredit free-standing professional schools and professional programs in multi-purpose institutions.

Regional accrediting commissions (which traditionally accredit the more traditional colleges and universities, but which now accredit propriety, vocational-technical, and single-purpose institutions as well) include:
  • Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
  • New England Association of Colleges and Schools
  • North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Northwest Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Western Association of Colleges and Schools

National accrediting bodies that accredit various kinds of specialized institutions have also been recognized. COPA annually publishes a list of these bodies.

Finally, certain professional organizations that accredit freestanding professional schools, in addition to programs within multi-purpose institutions, have been accredited. COPA annually publishes a list of recognized accrediting bodies, as well as a directory of institutions accredited by these organizations. Examples of recognized accrediting bodies in this category include such organizations as:
  • American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business
  • American Board of Examiners in Speech Pathology and Audiology
  • American Library Association
  • American Psychological Association
  • Council on Rehabilitation Education
  • National Architectural Accrediting Board
  • National Association of Schools of Art and Design
  • National Association of Teacher Education
  • National Council on Education of the Deaf
  • National League for Nursing
Articulation
A systematic coordination between institutions of higher education to ensure the efficient and effective movement of students among those institutions, while guaranteeing the students' continuous advancement in learning.
Associate of Arts/Associate of Science Degrees
Usually referred to as the University Parallel or Transfer Program, the degree is designed for students who plan to complete their first two years of college work at an Ohio Community College and then transfer as juniors or seniors to Ohio institutions of their choice. Upon completion of the degree students will have completed the "Transfer Module" requirements of the sending institution.
Associate of Applied Science and Associate of Applied Business Degrees
The Associate of Applied Business and the Associate of Applied Science degrees prepare students for entry into specific occupations or are designed to articulate with four year technical programs. The Associate of Technical Study and the Associate of Individualized Study degrees are technical education programs designed to meet specific needs not available in formal degree programs.
Bachelor's Degree or Baccalaureate Degree
The degree customarily granted upon completion of a course of study normally requiring four academic years of college work. College work encompasses both upper and lower division institutional requirements.
Bilateral Articulation Agreements
The written agreements reached between individual colleges and universities about course equivalency and undergraduate requirements.
College Level Courses
These are courses taught at an institution of higher education for which credit is granted toward a particular degree(s). These courses are taught at an intellectual and content level which goes beyond courses taught at the high school level.
Free Electives
College level courses taken for credit outside of specific university, collegial, or departmental degree requirements. Some institutions have prescriptions governing the total hours of free electives permissible within a single degree program.
General Education Requirements
This is a prescribed course of study, generally in the liberal education area, as defined by institutional faculty and validated by the institution's administration or governing board. This course of study is distinct from a program major, minor, or field of concentration and is often supplemented with additional liberal education requirements which are related to the needs of the individual degree programs. It is required of all graduates and is intended to insure that all graduates possess a common core of college-level skills and knowledge. This course of study encompasses, and is generally broader or more comprehensive than, the "Transfer Module" defined below. It may contain both lower and upper division requirements.
Institution of Higher Education
Two-year and four-year state assisted colleges and universities, and independent colleges and universities accredited by North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and authorized by the Ohio Board of Regents which formally adopt this policy.
Lower Division
Courses at a level of comprehension usually associated with freshman and sophomore students and offered during the first half of a baccalaureate degree program are called lower division courses. These courses are numbered at a lower level than junior or senior courses (e.g., 100 or 200 instead of 300 or 400).
Native Student
A student whose initial college enrollment was at a given institution of higher education and who has not transferred to another institution of higher education since that initial enrollment.
Pass-Fail
Any system by which a student can take courses for a grade of pass or fail in lieu of a letter grade. This includes systems which count as failing D's and F's or just F's.
Passing Grade
Passing grades include the grades of A, B, C, and D.
Receiving Institution
The institution of higher education at which a transfer student currently desires to enroll and to have previously earned credit applied toward a degree program.
Sending Institution
The institution of higher education of most recent previous enrollment by a transfer student at which transferable academic credit was earned.
Transfer
One of the processes of articulation; it is the mechanics of credit, course, and curriculum exchange.
Transfer Credit
Transfer credit refers to units (hours) of academic credit awarded at a receiving institution in recognition of college level credit earned at a sending institution. Academic institutions operate under a variety of systems (e.g., semester or quarter, etc.). For example, each unit of academic credit assigned to a course as the credit value for that course under the semester system is known as the semester-hour. The term hour usually refers to a 50-minute period of time. Generally, semester- hours of credit for a course are directly equivalent to the number of classroom contact hours per week for lecture courses. Thus, a three-semester-hour course normally will meet for three 50-minute periods per week for 15 weeks and will lead to the award of three-semester-hours of academic credits toward degree requirements upon satisfactory completion. Non-lecture type courses may require more contact hours per hour of credit. For example, laboratories generally require two or three hours of class time per semester hour of credit. Semester-hour credit may be converted to quarter-hour credit by multiplying by three and dividing by two (e.g., five-semester-hour credits will equate to 7.5 quarter-hour credits).
Transfer Module
This is a subset or a complete set (in some cases, the institution's Transfer Module may satisfy the entire set of general education requirements) of a college's or university's general education requirements that represents a body of knowledge and academic skills common access Ohio colleges and universities, containing 36- 40 semester hours or 54-60 quarter hours of courses in the fields of (1) English; (2) mathematics; (3) arts/humanities; (4) social and behavioral sciences; (5) natural and physical sciences; (6) interdisciplinary coursework (optional). This requirement is generally completed in the first two years of a student's residency and is more fully described in the Transfer Module Guidelines.
Transfer Student
A student who is applying to an Ohio institution of higher education who has previously attended another Ohio Institution of higher education.
Upper Division
Courses at a level of comprehension usually associated with junior and senior students and offered during the last half of a baccalaureate degree program are called upper division courses. In general, these courses are numbered at a higher level than the freshmen or sophomore level courses (e.g., 300 or 400 numbered courses as opposed to 100 or 200 numbered courses).