REPORT: Assessing Sending Institutions

ASSESSING SENDING INSTITUTIONS
Outside the BC Transfer System

By Dr. Fiona A. E. McQuarrie

Published September 2021

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At many BC Transfer System member institutions, the assessment of a transfer credit request includes an assessment of the sending institution, to determine whether the sending institution is academically comparable to the receiving institution. 

This study reviewed the criteria that BC Transfer System (BCTS) member institutions use to assess sending institutions. Of the 39 BCTS member institutions, 21 have specific evaluation criteria for domestic sending institutions, and 16 have specific evaluation criteria for international sending institutions. The evaluation criteria range from short descriptors such as “recognized” and “accredited” to detailed explanations of specific characteristics that the institution and/or course must have in order for transfer credit to be awarded. 

The  study recommends that:  

  • Each BC Transfer System member institution should define the institutional characteristics that it considers indicators of acceptable academic comparability for sending institutions, in the context of transfer credit. 

  • Each BC Transfer System member should ensure that its policies and procedures for assessing sending institutions align with and reflect the institutional characteristics it has identified. 

  • Each BC Transfer System member institution should clearly communicate to internal and external audiences, on a regular basis, the specific characteristics that sending institutions are expected to possess to be considered academically comparable, for the purposes of granting transfer credit. 

  • BC Transfer System member institutions using external assessments (e.g. association membership, accreditation, transcript evaluation service) to evaluate sending institutions should regularly review the institutional characteristics used by external assessors, and ensure that these align with the institutional characteristics the institution itself has identified as indicators of acceptable academic comparability.   

  • If acceptable institutional characteristics vary at the program level (e.g. if an occupational regulatory body licenses programs at both public and private post-secondary institutions), BC Transfer System member institutions should consider how to accommodate these program-level variations when assessing the academic comparability of sending institutions.