Transfer and articulation
California State University, Northridge and Pierce College, through their participation in the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) Quality Collaboratives project, used the DQP to enhance transferability by aligning the outcomes expected of lower-division general education courses that mapped to three thematic pathways: Social Justice, the Global Village and Sustainability.
These courses satisfy the broad general education requirements and make it possible for transfer students to contextualize their learning as well as to accumulate credits for a minor that is consistent with one of these three themes. Campus events organized around the thematic pathways bring together faculty and students from both campuses.
As a result, the CSU-Northridge-Pierce initiative helped align student learning outcomes for each of these pathways, ensuring that all students — whether “native” or transfer — attain the same general education goals.
Georgia State University and Georgia Perimeter College are using the DQP to create a more robust approach to transfer in specific degree programs than focusing solely on grades. The animating question posed to faculty teams was: “How can we leverage the distinctive characteristics of the DQP as a way of predicting and aiding student success in the transition from AA to BA?”
Georgia State worked closely with its two-year partner institution to integrate the DQP and prior learning assessment in an effort to improve student learning in the complementary disciplines of criminal justice, psychology and biology.
As part of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities consortium, teams of faculty from different disciplines discussed DQP plans, strategies and protocols. With the assistance of a senior-level project adviser, common student learning outcomes were established, and faculty reviewed textbooks that would best address the common topics and themes that each department deemed important.
Working with the DQP helped faculty think more deeply about skills rather than focusing simply on content knowledge. The DQP framework also helped them clarify what students at each degree level should know and be able to do. In this manner, the DQP served as an impetus for faculty members to collaborate with colleagues from other institutions. By all accounts, the conversations between the two institutions were substantive and helpful in building consensus about the proficiencies that are expected from transfer students in these three programs.
IUPUI (Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis) and the Indianapolis campus of Ivy Tech Community College are working together under the aegis of the AAC&U Quality Collaboratives project (www.aacu.org/qc/index.cfm). The collaboration is investigating methods and forms of identifying the transfer of competencies between institutions.
Specifically, it seeks to learn how institutions can partner to identify readiness for the movement from the first 60 hours of credit to the second, including the move into specific academic programs. IUPUI and Ivy Tech are focused on a general education competency, written communication, and program-specific competencies related to readiness for upper-level engineering and technology courses.
The work began with a focus on written communication competence. In July 2012, an inter-institutional workshop was conducted during which a Dynamic Criteria Mapping (DCM) process was used with student writing artifacts to foster dialogue among writing instructors on the characteristics of student work that they most valued. The workshop introduced the DQP to faculty, and it also provided a forum for them to share their experiences in teaching beginning students.
The DCM process revealed that the characteristics of writing competence extend across different outcomes explicated by the DQP. So, while faculty members understand their responsibility for teaching writing, they also insisted that, by fostering writing competence, they are always addressing other qualifications outlined in the DQP.
Interpreting the DQP as a set of descriptive outcomes, IUPUI and Ivy Tech are learning more about how and where their students demonstrate competence, how the institutions demonstrate it, and how those create points of investigation for developing curricula, courses and assignments.