10 Tips to make it easier to Transfer to Texas Tech

Thinking about Transferring to Another College or University? Doing it Right Begins with You!

Here are 10 tips to make it easier.

1. Understand How Courses Transfer

Transferring courses is easier in Texas than it is in many other states because Texas has a Common Course Numbering System. That means similar courses that are taught at public colleges and universities in the first two years of college are identified by common numbers (although the numbers may not be used on your campus). Each college and university catalog identifies freshman- and sophomore-level courses that have common course numbers. If you are planning to transfer, these are often the best courses to choose. However, sometimes your college may have a special transfer agreement with another school for other courses to transfer. See an advisor, who can help you sort out the information and make the right choices.

2. Get Advising!

Most students want to transfer from one school to another painlessly, without losing credit they have already earned. Luckily, this can be done if you follow a few important steps. Your college or university has advisors who are trained to help you make the right decisions about what courses to take when you are preparing to transfer. Be sure to contact an advisor at the school you’re planning to transfer to as well. Getting help from both your current school and the new school is the best way to make your transition as smooth as possible.

3. Make a Transfer Plan

Start by identifying a major that corresponds with the career field you wish to enter. Plan carefully if you can; changing majors can result in course hours lost in transfer. There are many courses that transfer from one college or university to another, but your ability to apply those courses to your degree program will depend on whether or not they fit into your transfer school’s degree plan. Transfer works best for students who get information about the degree plan they want to follow at the school they want to attend and then match the required course work as closely as possible prior to transferring. The earlier you identify a plan, the better chance you have of transferring without losing a single credit hour toward your degree plan. An advisor who understands the transfer process can help you put your plan together.

4. Shop Around

Sometimes students make decisions about where to attend college without looking at all the options. Of course, the first priority is to find a college that offers the degree program you want and has the other qualities you prefer in a school. As a transfer student, you may also want to look for a university or college that has a strong transfer relationship with the college you attend now.
Similar programs at different universities may be structured very differently. Shopping around can help you find a program and a school that are most compatible with your needs.

5. Take the Core Curriculum

If your goal is to receive a bachelor’s degree from a public university, Texas law requires you to complete a core curriculum ranging from 42 to 48 semester credit hours. Each college or university identifies which of its courses fit into the core curriculum. If you complete the core curriculum with grades of “C” or better and transfer, the entire core curriculum transfers and substitutes for the core curriculum you would have taken at your new school. You may have to take additional course work if your transfer school has a larger core curriculum than the school you came from. If you complete only part of the core curriculum before you transfer, each course you completed should apply to the transfer school’s core curriculum. Caution: In some bachelor’s degree programs, students take requirements for the major as part of the core curriculum. If you know what you want to major in, it’s best to follow Tip 2 and make a transfer plan so you do not have to take extra course work to satisfy your degree plan.

6. Check into Field of Study Curricula
In addition to the core curriculum, Texas law authorizes the state to create field of study curricula. A field of study curriculum consists of freshman and sophomore courses that apply to a specific major. A student who successfully completes all or part of a field of study curriculum prior to transferring will receive degree credit for the field of study curriculum course work (as long as the student stays in a degree program in that discipline). Some of the disciplines for which there are field of study curricula are nursing, computer science, engineering technology, music, early childhood-grade four teacher certification, middle grades teacher certification, criminal justice, engineering, business, and communication. More field of study curricula will be added over time.

7. Special Articulation Agreements

If you are transferring from a community or technical college to a university, it’s a good bet that your school has articulation agreements for transfer of credit. An articulation agreement is a contract that spells out exactly which courses will transfer to which degree programs and how the credit will be applied. Many schools have articulation agreements that will allow you to apply a complete associate’s degree program to a bachelor’s degree at your transfer school. Check with your college’s advising staff for specifics about articulation agreements.

8. Know Which Courses and Programs are Designed to Transfer

If you attend a community or technical college, you need to understand that there are several types of college credit. Academic transfer courses are the common courses (see Tip 1) that transfer to most public universities. Workforce education courses are designed to give you skills for immediate employment; many of these courses may not transfer to universities. Workforce continuing education courses are also technical in nature but do not result in college credit at all; these are the most difficult courses to transfer. If you are a degree-seeking student at a two-year college, the Associate of Arts and Associate of Science (AA and AS) degrees are designed to transfer. Applied associate degree programs (the AAS or AAA) contain some transfer courses and also technical courses that may transfer to certain kinds of applied bachelor’s degrees (BAAS or BAT). Again, an advisor can help you identify courses and programs that will work best if transfer is your goal.

9. Transfer Dispute Resolution

If you transfer to a public college or university in Texas and you believe you were entitled to more transfer credit than you received, you have the right to ask for transfer dispute resolution. Procedures for transfer dispute resolution should be published in every public college and university catalogue. Most transfer credit disputes can be worked out by talking to your new or previously attended college. Start with the institution to which you are transferring; then, if your question is not settled, discuss it with the college where you earned the credit. If the dispute is not resolved after the two colleges or universities have worked together, the issue can be referred to the Commissioner of Higher Education for a final decision.

10. “Reverse Transfer”

If you transfer from a two-year college to a university after you have accumulated 30 or more credit hours but before you complete an associate’s degree, many two-year colleges will be happy to transfer courses completed at the university back into your program and award an associate’s degree. This is a win-win arrangement; you can continue working on the bachelor’s degree, but meanwhile will have a college degree until you can finish the four-year program. Talk to someone in the transfer office of your two-year college to work out this kind of arrangement.

For more information about specific colleges and universities and their degree programs, visit www.CollegeForALLTexans.com

Prepared by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Transfer Issues Advisory Committee April 2004.

Schedule a convenient time for you to visit Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, USA: www.Visit.TTU.edu/Schedule/default.asp

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