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ERIC Number: ED505019
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005-May
Pages: 56
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 6
Transfer Credits and Transfer Students at the University Colleges of British Columbia: A Study of the Baccalaureate Graduates of 1998-2001
Church, Roderick
British Columbia Council on Admissions and Transfer
This report examines transfer credits and transfer students among more than 5,000 baccalaureate graduates at the five university colleges of British Columbia in the calendar years 1998 through 2001. It is intended to complement the reports that BCCAT has commissioned from the universities on how the college-to-university transfer system works in British Columbia. It addresses five main questions: (1) What role do the university colleges play in granting baccalaureate degrees in BC?; (2) How important is transfer to university colleges (i.e., how can the university college role as a transfer receiving institution be quantified)?; (3) How did transfer activity at university colleges change as these institutions made the transition from providing partnership degrees to awarding their own degrees?; (4) What is the impact of regionalism on the pattern of transfer to university colleges?; and (5) How do transfer students at university colleges differ demographically from other admission categories and how do they perform academically? This study differs in important ways from most university studies of transfer, which are based on admitted students and their admission categories--e.g., "BC College Transfer" and "BC High School." For the period of this study, university colleges had not yet developed a "transfer" admission category, nor did they routinely track transfer credits at the point of admission. To compensate, this study focuses on baccalaureate graduates (not students admitted) and examines their course records to assess the role that transfer credits played in meeting graduation requirements. In section 4, this study uses transcripts to infer university-like admission categories for graduates earning their first degree at a university college. These categories and the process for deriving them are outlined in the diagram on the next page. The basic admission categories for this study are High School, Mature, and Transfer. To be considered a Transfer admission, a university college graduate must have had 24 (mainly lower division) transfer credits before beginning at the university college. Transfers are further divided on the basis of the origin of the majority of their transfer credits--BC Transfer, Out-of-Province Transfer, and Unknown Transfer (when the origin of the transfer credits is unknown). BC Transfers are further divided into BC College Transfer and BC University Transfer, depending on the institutional origin of the transfer credits. Although university colleges tend not to distinguish between colleges and universities as sources of transfer credit, universities do, and the creation of separate BC College and BC University Transfer categories for this study allows better comparisons with university studies that focus on BC College Transfers. Using the system records of graduates to track transfer credits and infer admission categories proved more difficult than expected, mainly because of incompletely documented transfer credits. Various efforts were made to correct the data problems (including consulting paper records at Malaspina), but in the end it was necessary to have the "unknown" element, which comes in two forms. Sometimes the transfer credits are on the student record, but their source is unknown (a problem that is compounded because of a coding scheme that lumps together both unknown Canadian institutions and all international institutions). In other cases (most commonly at Okanagan), it was necessary to attribute transfer credits to students where it was reasonable to infer that they must have been admitted with transfer credits that had simply gone unrecorded in a university college's on-line student record system. Appended are: (1) The data and their limitations. (Contains 4 figures and 17 tables.) [Moufida Holubeshen assisted in preparing this document.]
British Columbia Council on Admissions and Transfer. 709 - 555 Seymour Street, Vancouver, BC, V6B 3H6 Canada. Tel: 604-412-7700; Fax: 604-683-0576; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: British Columbia Council on Admissions and Transfer
Identifiers - Location: Canada