Senate Bill 25, a state legislative act, was passed on June 14. The bill aims to make transferring credits from junior colleges to public higher education institutions easier in order to facilitate academic progress and timely graduation of undergraduate students.
“In practice, semester credit hours are often stranded at the point of transfer, resulting in frustration for students, and a waste of taxpayer dollars estimated to be $58 million annually,” Texas Senator Royce West, a sponsor of the bill, said.
This bill calls for a restructure of the Texas Common Core as well as transfer pathways that increase the number of courses that are transferable and count towards degree recommendations.
“The student-centered system envisioned would provide students and advisers with clear and transparent information about expectations and requirements,” West said.
According to Lynn Barnes, UTSA senior vice provost for strategic enrollment, UTSA already accepts the maximum amount of transfer credits but expects the percentage of credits applied towards degree plans to increase with partnerships with community colleges and improved access to degree requirements.
“The bill will streamline the transfer credit evaluation process for the more than 3,100 students who transfer to UTSA to earn a 4-year degree each year,” Barnes said.
“UTSA has a partnership with Alamo Colleges District called Alamo Runners. This program allows students who were admitted to UTSA to take courses at UTSA while completing their education at one of the Alamo Colleges,” Barnes said.
To aid transfer students, UTSA also created the transfer credit calculator last year. The tool will help transfer students verify how many of their college credits will transfer to UTSA.
“We value the education they’ve earned up to this point and this tool is one element that sets students up for success from the application process through graduation,” Barnes said. “UTSA continually evaluates curriculum to enhance student success which includes looking at prior coursework in satisfying degree requirements,” Barnes said.
Students are encouraged to check-in with their advisors if they have questions about credit transfers.