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Criteria for transfer credit complicated, mysterious

Difficulty transferring credits leaves students frustrated and behind schedule

By Loumarie Rodriguez
On February 5, 2013

  • Administrators working in the Gordon W. Tasker Undergraduate Admissions Building at the University of Connecticut review all undergraduate admissions applications. FILE PHOTO

Students who take classes elsewhere or transfer in from various universities or community colleges have to check carefully that their credits will be accepted into their major or face repeating the class.
Many students take courses at community colleges in order to save money. However if they plan to do so, they need to research in advance that the credit or prerequisite will count for UConn. According to Deborah Rice, the associate director for undergraduate admissions, the courses have to come from a regionally accredited institution and need to be similar in content and quality standards. Once the credit is transferred, the grade earned doesn't count but only transfers the credit.
"Students need to have a C or better in order for the credit to transfer," said Rice.
A few colleges and universities across the nation are changing their policies in order to incorporate more transfer credits. The University of South Florida and four state colleges created a system that would reverse credit transforming and allow students to count USF credits for two-year degrees according to an article from Tampa Bay Online. This is a result of the changing times where some students need to derail their four-year college plans or are otherwise delayed. Schools in Texas are picking up the same plan as well.
UConn has specific guidelines listed online that students are recommended to follow if they plan to take courses outside of UConn and even lists the accredited institutions and classes that could be transferred. However not all courses transfer over as both credit and pre-requisite sometimes they transfer over as just credit or just the pre requisite which leads to students repeating the class.
Justin Scarzella, a 7th-semester chemistry major and music minor faced the issue of repeating math classes since two of math classes he took at Naugatuck Valley Community College (NVCC) didn't count as credit but was accepted as pre -requisite.
"I had to retake pre calculus and it didn't make any sense why," said Scarzella. "I could have graduated on time if everything had transferred over."
Scarzella says that he didn't know his math classes wouldn't transfer until a friend had to explain to him that he had to research specifically which classes would transfer. When Rice was asked about why both pre requisite and credits don't transfer she was unable to comment but said courses transfer in as only equivalent courses and reiterated that grades don't transfer.
"The undergrad office of admission decides based on the faculty senate's and university standards what is transferrable," said Rice. "We look over the details of the course descriptions (from other accredited institutions), go over the syllabi and look at the quality of the content."
Christina Marrone, a 6th-semester in the accelerated nursing program was unable to attain her biology minor because many of her credits did not transfer over from NVCC. Marrone would have to retake the biology classes in order to get the bio minor. UConn only accepted certain credits into specific programs.
"They accepted my physiology and anatomy only in a certain major or programs," Marrone said. "It could become really tricky. I just don't understand why because the human body is the same anywhere you go. I could graduate on time but it's frustrating because you have to retake classes that I already learned and it is same exact material at NVCC."
Marrone advices to know your major if you plan to transfer into UConn or take courses outside in order to get your money's worth or else face retaking classes. For specifics on what classes are transferable and from what specific institutions, Rice stressed the importance of researching the classes first and going through the pre-approval process found through PeopleSoft in self service. Specifics can be found on the undergraduate admissions website.

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