Monday, October 28th, 2013

What You Should Know About Transfer Credits

Student Credit Transfer

Assume nothing and triple-check: our helpful tips may help you get credit for completed course work when you transfer to another institution.

Transfer credits are credits that are granted by one recognized post-secondary institution for the course work you successfully completed at another recognized institution. Having your credits recognized can be a very straightforward process or, as some will attest, it can turn into a major headache. If you’re getting ready to apply to a new school, take a look at our helpful tips and set yourself up for getting as many transfer credits as you possibly can.

Always consult with the institution you’re transferring into.

Remember that it’s up to you to fully investigate and research your options before applying to a new school, transferring into a new program or studying outside your province. Most post-secondary institutions have consultants on campus who can either (a) tell you which courses will automatically be credited or (b) advise you on the information you need to provide in order to increase your chances of having more or all of your credits transferred. They’re there to help you, so ask, ask, ask!

A “similar” course doesn’t necessarily mean automatic transfer credit.

This is especially true if you’re transferring your credits from one province to another. Include official transcripts and course descriptions as well as a program syllabus with your application. This makes it easier for the school to compare courses you’ve completed with similar ones that they may offer, and may help to expedite a decision about if and how your credits will be transferred. Don’t assume that the classes you took at one school or in one province meet the requirements of similar classes in another: your Biology 101 may differ enough from theirs that you’ll have to take their class for those credits.

If you decide to study abroad, make sure your courses will transfer in Canada.

Canadian students who want to study abroad to complete a portion of their program should consult with their current Canadian institution to ensure there is a credit transfer agreement between the schools. Look into any overseas or American “sister schools” that your school may have an agreement with: it will save you a headache and eliminate the possibility that your credits won’t translate when you return to Canada.

Remember: not all credits are transferred equally.

There are, in general, several reasons why your credits won’t be transferred, even if the courses are similar. If you receive an unsatisfactory grade on course work, you will likely have to re-take a similar course to get those credits. Courses that you failed will have to be re-taken once you start at your new institution. If you completed only one half of a two-part course – for example, Accounting 101A but not Accounting 101B – you may not have your credits transferred. If too much time as elapsed since you completed your courses, you may be asked to either take a similar course to get your credits or take a challenge exam to ensure that your skills are adequate and meet the institution’s requirements.

Private career college graduates do have options.

If you attended a private career college (PCC) and earned a diploma, it is possible to work towards a second degree and get credited for the courses you’ve already taken. Yorkville University is one of the few universities in Canada to accept transfers from PCCs. Graduates must meet the university’s criteria – for example, the programs include at least 1000 teaching hours, among others – but if accepted, they can use their diploma to further their education in Yorkville’s Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) program, regardless of whether their PPC diploma was business-centered or not. Through the credit transfer program, PCC graduates can complete their BBA degree in a little as 2.5 years, versus the usual 4 years. The degree is completed online, which means BBA students can study and work at the same time, a very convenient and much-needed option for many students.

To find out more about transfer credits, always start by contacting the institution you’d like to transfer into. If you’re not sure where to start, get in touch with the organizations in your province that can help you optimize your chances of making a smooth transition into a new post-secondary institution.

Linda Galeazzi
Author: Linda Galeazzi
Linda Galeazzi has been an online writer and proof reader for several years.
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