Transfer Credit Policy

The University of New York in Tirana designed this policy document to facilitate the transfer of students and credits from one college or university to UNYT, assure maximum utilization of prior learning, and encourage students to advance as far through the educational system as they can in pursuit of their goals.

I. INTRODUCTION

The University of New York in Tirana (UNYT) recognizes that in line with the student mobility objectives of the Bologna process and in the interest of social equity, sound public policy and educational effectiveness, inter-institutional transfer student mobility must be facilitated through the development and implementation of reasonable and definitive policies for the evaluation of transfer courses and the award of University transfer credit. The source authority for the evaluation of transfer courses and the award of University transfer credit rests with departmental faculty and structures.

UNYT distinguishes between the acceptance of transfer courses for University transfer credit and the application of said credit toward University degree requirements. While this policy governs the acceptance of undergraduate courses for University transfer credit, policies and procedures which govern the application of credit are vested separately within the province of the student’s department. Considering the varied purposes and requirements of individual degree programs, uniform application of all transfer credit awarded is not feasible without seriously compromising degree integrity. Therefore, acceptance of transfer courses and the award of University transfer credit shall not express or imply that all transfer credit will be fully applicable toward degree requirements.

The evaluation of transfer courses to determine the award of University transfer credit is a multi-factorial process initially driven by an assessment of the institutional source and educational quality of the course work as evidenced by the national, regional or professional accreditation held by the originating institution. Given that a transfer course is determined to be eligible for evaluation by the aforementioned accreditation standards and given that a student has demonstrated acceptable performance in the course, criteria relative to the nature, level, content and comparability of the course will be applied to determine the acceptability of the course for University transfer credit.

As a central principle, implementation of this policy shall strike an acceptable balance between sound public policy and administrative burden. It will provide equitable treatment for native and transfer students, and ensure that students will not be required to repeat course work completed at an acceptable level of performance at a previously attended institution.

II. ACCREDITATION AND THE AWARD OF CREDIT

Determination of the institutional source and quality of course work, as reflected by the accreditation held by the originating institution, shall be the overarching criterion used to assess the eligibility of a course for evaluation and the award of University transfer credit. While course work from both collegiate and non-collegiate originating institutions may be considered in this process, each must meet the test of accreditation by a University recognized national, regional or professional accrediting body.

A. Collegiate Sources

1.         Domestic. Consistent with established educational practice, the University will evaluate and award credit for all successfully completed college course work, as defined in section V below, at post-secondary institutions (e.g. colleges, universities, community colleges, technical colleges/institutes) holding accreditation from either the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Albania or any one of the six U.S. regional accrediting associations. Institutions that have been granted official candidacy status by a U.S. regional, national, or by an international accrediting association will be accorded like treatment to those that are fully accredited. Colleges within the N.Y.C. Education Group shall be treated as domestic collegiate sources.

2.         Basic and general college level course work (neither remedial, nor technical) successfully completed at U.S. post-secondary institutions holding national or professional accreditation from an association recognized by the Council on Post-secondary Accreditation (COPA) is also eligible for evaluation and University transfer credit will be awarded based on the nature, level, content and comparability of the course to University offerings.

3.         International. Likewise, college level course-work completed at international post-secondary institutions holding national or professional accreditation from an association recognized by the European Association of Quality Assurance (ENQA) or similar European or non-European organizations is also eligible for evaluation and University transfer credit can be awarded based on the nature, level, content and comparability of the course to University offerings.

4.         Course work offered at domestic or international collegiate institutions that do not hold national, regional or professional accreditation by a University recognized body is not eligible for evaluation and the award of University transfer credit.

B. Non-collegiate Sources

Seminars, workshops, training programs and other formal learning experiences provided by non-collegiate agencies and organizations may be eligible for consideration in the evaluation process based on the nature, level, content and comparability of the course to University offerings.

C. Location and Origination of Course Work

1.         Domestic Institutions: The evaluation and award of University transfer credit for course work originating at Albanian or American Higher Education institutions will be based on official transcripts. To be eligible for evaluation, course work must appear on an official transcript from the institution that offered the course work and initially conferred the credit in question.

2.         International Institutions: College-level course work pursued in non-Albanian and non-U.S. institutions that hold regional accreditation will be assessed based on the nature, level, content and comparability of the course to University offerings.

3.         Inter-institutional Affiliations: Course work originating at another NYC Educational Group campus shall, for the purposes of evaluation and University transfer credit award, be treated in a manner similar to course work originating at UNYT.

In addition, it is recognized that some free-standing institutions might establish close contractual relationships leading to interdependent course offerings, similar academic record keeping and joint degrees. In those cases where such a relationship can be documented, the course work shall be evaluated based on the accreditation held by the senior institution (i.e. the institutional partner holding the higher level of accreditation). Said course work should be recorded on the Home University transcript in a manner similar to courses taken on the main campus of said university. In this case the course work would be treated the same as courses taken on the Home University.

III. CREDIT AWARD BASED ON LEVEL AND NATURE OF TRANSFER COURSE WORK

A. Level of Course Work

1.         Undergraduate Level: The tenets of this policy shall govern the process of course evaluation and the award of University transfer credit for undergraduate course work as defined by the originating institution.

2.         Graduate Level: The scope of this policy shall also be extended to the evaluation process for graduate course work. For the purpose of applying uniform assessment standards for all students, though, a graduate student may not transfer more than 30% of their total credit requirements from other institutions. At a number of other institutions there are some courses designated both for graduate and undergraduate use. When course work from an originating institution is so designated in the catalog/other official document, said course work is eligible for evaluation within the parameters of this policy and undergraduate University transfer credit may be awarded.

3.         Post-Graduate Level: Transfer credit policies for Ph.D. degrees are NOT governed by a separate policy document.

4.         Non-collegiate Level: Courses (e.g. English, Mathematics and basic Computer skills) that are clearly intended to be a review of secondary school material are often designated remedial/developmental and are not awarded University transfer credit. Included in this category are selected orientation and study skills (e.g. speed reading and note-taking) courses. In a similar manner English as a Second Language (ESL) or Writing for Academic Purposes (WAP) courses are not eligible for evaluation or the award of University transfer credit.

B. Nature of Course Work

1.         Basic and General Education Courses: The University shall evaluate and award as appropriate, within the tenets of this policy, transfer credit for basic and general undergraduate level course work (e.g. English, Mathematics, History, Art). These courses would include but not be limited to those found in transfer modules approved by UNYT-SUNY/ESC. This guideline shall apply equally to the course-by-course evaluation of work from two-year, three-year (universities adhering to the Bologna process) and four-year institutions regardless of degree completion by the candidate.

2.         Technical Courses: The University shall evaluate applied technology course work and, in keeping with the multiple criteria and standards of this policy, award or deny University transfer credit.

3.         Vocational Training Unit (VTU): Consistent with University policy and the statements issued by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training, the VTU is a measure used only for non-credit continuing education programs. Therefore, course work assigned a VTU value only is not eligible for evaluation in the transfer process and University transfer credit will not be assigned for said course work.

IV. DETERMINING COURSE ACCEPTABILITY, COMPARABILITY, AND CREDIT HOUR VALUES

A. Acceptability of Courses

1.         Acceptable: Course work evaluated and deemed acceptable based on its content and comparability relative to standard college/university curricula will be awarded University transfer credit. Such transfer credits will be posted to the student’s permanent University record upon enrollment.

2.         Unacceptable: Course work which, by an evaluation of its content, is deemed to be inconsistent with standard college/university curricula will not be awarded University transfer credit.

3.         Deferred: While an initial transfer course evaluation will, in most cases, lead to a determination of the appropriate University transfer credit award (i.e. credit and the type of credit to be awarded or no credit awarded), some courses will be referred to department faculty for further review and a final decision. Department faculty will review the course and issue a final acceptability decision (i.e. credit and type of credit to be awarded or no credit awarded). On occasion department faculty may ask applicants to sit a test determining the level of a subject matter’s command. The results of that decision will be appropriately reflected on the student’s permanent University record.

B. Content Comparability to Existent UNYT Course

1.         Content match identified: Transfer credit will be awarded for a course that is equivalent to a University course. A specific number of University transfer credits will be awarded (see IV-D).

2.         Content match possible, but not confirmed: Transfer credit awarded will be designated “Elective Credits” when a course specific equivalency is possible but cannot be readily determined. While the course is fully acceptable as undergraduate credit and the degree-granting college may determine its applicability against degree requirements, the appropriate department may be consulted by the student to determine if an exact UNYT course equivalent can be identified.

3.         Content match non-existent for a basic or general course: University transfer credit awarded will be “Elective Credits” for a course if a specific course equivalent is not offered at the University. This determination will be made based on equivalency information and guidelines supplied by a department. The course may be used to fulfill degree requirements upon approval by the appropriate college office.

C. Assignment of Course Credit to University Department

1.         When the content of a course is determined to be within the discipline covered by a particular UNYT department, the course credit will be assigned to that specific department. This principle will also apply to the assignment of courses that require further departmental review (See IV-A-3).

D. Determination of Semester Hour Equivalent Value Assigned

1.         University transfer credit hour values are based on the credit hour value assigned by the originating institution and the appropriate conversion is made to yield semester credit hours.

2.         If the academic calendar of the originating institution is other than the semester system, the appropriate conversion of the assessed credit hours of course work will take place based on the calendar of the originating institution.

3.         If the originating institution is adhering to the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS), the appropriate conversion of the assessed credit hours of course work will take place based on the equivalence of ECTS to the semestral American Credit Transfer System (ACTS).

4.         Since only whole hours of credit may be awarded, should fractional hours result from the conversion, then the credit awarded may be alternately rounded up or down for individual courses.

5.         If an UNYT course-specific equivalent is awarded, the University may “over-award” or “under-award” by one (1) or two (2) credit hours respectively, relative to the number of semester credit hours that students earn when taking this course at UNYT.

V. DETERMINING SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE

A. Completion Outcome

1.         Complete: Course work must be successfully completed for undergraduate credit, with an appropriate grade (see V-C) before it is eligible for evaluation and the award of University transfer credit.

2.         Audit: University transfer credit is not awarded for course work that was only audited at the originating institution. However, a course that was audited and was subsequently successfully completed, under non-audit conditions, with an appropriate grade (see V-C) is eligible for evaluation and the award of University transfer credit.

3.         Incomplete: University transfer credit is not awarded for course work that has not been completed (e.g. given a grade of “I”).

4.         Withdrawn: University transfer credit is not awarded for course work from which the student has withdrawn (e.g. grades of “W,” “WP,” “WF”).

B. Completed Course Performance Outcome

1.         Pass: Transfer courses in which the student earned a passing grade are eligible for evaluation and University transfer credit may be awarded subject to the more specific performance criteria listed below (See V-C).

2.         Non-Pass: Transfer courses in which the student was awarded a non-passing grade (e.g. F/Fail, U/Unsatisfactory, NC/No Credit) are not eligible for evaluation or the award of University transfer credit.

3.         Audit: (See V-A-2)

C. Passing Performance Level

1.         Course work that is considered acceptable for undergraduate transfer credit and in which a “C-” (C Minus), i.e. the equivalent of no less than 70% or its equivalent to other grading systems, or better has been earned is eligible to be evaluated and awarded University transfer credit.

2.         Course work that has been awarded a non-standard passing grade (e.g. “P”/Pass; “CR”/Credit; “S”/Satisfactory) is eligible to be evaluated and awarded University transfer credit only when it is accompanied by evidence regarding a student’s performance and assessment fit under the V-C-1 ruling; otherwise, it may be considered towards a course waiver.

3.         A course in which a “D+” (D Plus), D, or “D- (D Minus)” was earned is not eligible for evaluation or an award of University transfer credit.

4.         A “D+” (D Plus) or “D” earned in a course that is both part of a sequence of courses and a prerequisite to a course in which a transferable grade is earned is eligible for a course waiver, but not for evaluation and the award of University transfer credit.

VI. ADDITIONAL WAYS STUDENTS MAY OBTAIN CREDIT

The University recognizes that students have opportunities for learning beyond the traditional or more formal methods of education. Some of these opportunities may be eligible for consideration in the evaluation process based on certain criteria and on the circumstances by which the student obtained the education.

A. Evaluation of Examination Credit/Results

1.         Course credit by examination from originating institution: Course credit is often assigned by an originating institution based on the results of a local testing program. This course credit will be eligible for evaluation and University transfer credit may be awarded for same within the guidelines of this policy, provided that the course credit to be considered is listed on the official transcript according to course number and hours of credit assigned by the originating institution. While the initial evaluation of said course credit will in most cases result in a final decision on the University transfer credit to be awarded, some course credit will need to be deferred to a department for a final decision (See IV-A-3).

2.         Course Credit assigned by originating institution based on Advanced Placement Programme (APP) test results: Course credit assigned by the originating institution is eligible for a course waiver or evaluation and the award of University transfer credit consistent with the provisions in VI-A-1.

If the test results have not been evaluated and/or no course credit has been awarded by the originating institution based on APP test results, then the student may submit official test scores for evaluation and, possibly, a credit award determination.

3.         Credit assigned by originating institution based on College Level Examination Program (CLEP) test results: Course credit assigned by the originating institution is eligible for evaluation and the award of University transfer credit consistent with the provisions in VI-A-1.

If the test results have not been evaluated and/or no course credit has been awarded by the originating institution based on CLEP subject examination results, then the student may submit official test scores to the Admissions Office for evaluation by a department and determination of the award of credit following the guidelines established by the respective departments. University transfer credit is not awarded for CLEP General Examination results presented by the student.

4.         Course credit awarded by an originating institution based on non-traditional Education Support Subject Standardization Tests (DSST): Course credit assigned by an originating institution based on such test results is eligible for evaluation and may be assigned University transfer credit consistent with the provisions of VI-A-1.

B. Evaluation of Experiential Learning

1.         Course credit awarded by the originating institution based on an assessment of experiential learning: Course credit awarded on this basis by an originating institution is eligible for evaluation and University transfer credit may be awarded for the same, consistent with the provisions of VI-A-1. Courses and credits that have been awarded by the originating institution must be listed on an official transcript according to course number and hours of credit awarded.

2.         Experiential learning documentation not previously evaluated by another institution is not eligible for evaluation and University transfer credit.

C. Military Education Programs

1.         Courses and credit awarded by an originating institution (e.g. college/university) based on a military educational experience is eligible for evaluation and the award of University transfer credit consistent with the tenets of this policy. To be eligible for evaluation this course credit must be listed on an official transcript from the originating institution according to course number and hours of credit awarded.

2.         Courses for which credit was earned while in the military through enrolment at a college or university must be listed according to course number and hours of credit awarded on an official transcript of the originating institution.

VII. APPEALS

This policy is used to address appeals regarding provisions of the transfer credit policy, its application as a guide for the evaluation of prior learning experiences, and the award of University transfer credit.

University departments are charged with the authority and responsibility to determine the applicability of University transfer credit against specific degree requirements, but not to assess appeals related to those issues.

A. Appeal Submitted by Student

1.         If a student wishes to challenge the transfer credit policy, or the application of the policy to produce a University transfer credit award, then the appeal must be submitted in writing to the department granting University transfer credit which will determine either that the policy is being challenged or the application of the policy is at issue.

2.         If a policy is at issue, the appropriate research will be conducted under the auspices of the Department (in conjunction with the University Registrar) who will refer the appeal to a subsequently designated faculty governing body to review all available information and make a recommendation to the Academic Council, which will issue the final decision.

3.         If a transfer credit award is at issue, then the Registrar and an appointee of the Academic Council will examine the appeal to determine whether or not the University transfer credit policy was appropriately applied to yield the initial evaluation and pass a proposal to the Academic Council. The appeal will be denied when it is determined that the policy was appropriately applied. An appropriate correction will be issued if the policy was misapplied. Appeals denied by the Academic Council may be appealed to the University’s Academic Board which will issue a final decision.

B. Appeal Submitted by Department or other Institution

1.         If a department or another institution wishes to challenge the transfer credit policy, or the application of the policy to produce a University transfer credit award, then the appeal must be submitted in writing to the Academic Council which will determine either that the policy is being challenged or the application of the policy is at issue.

2.         Institutional challenges to the policy shall follow the guidelines in VII-A-2.

3.         Challenges to the application of the policy toward a transfer credit award shall follow guidelines in VII-A-3.

VIII. CHARGES

1.         As from September 03, 2007, all University Credit Transfer applications are charged with a flat, net rate of 30 €.

IX. FINAL DISPOSITIONS

Considering the varied purposes and requirements of individual degree programs in different higher education institutions, unlimited application of all transfer credit awarded is not feasible without seriously compromising degree integrity. UNYT has therefore set the following policies at place:

1.         Acceptance of transfer courses and the award of University transfer credit may be applicable toward no more than 2/3 of a degree’s credit requirements.

2.         A minimum of 1/3 of a degree’s credit requirements need to be earned in residency at UNYT.

X. TERMINOLOGY

Acceptability

Course work acknowledged by the University as having met standards for evaluation and award of undergraduate transfer credit.

Accreditation

The educational quality of an institution assessed by specific governing bodies and associations indicating that an institution has met certain minimum standards.

Applicability

Course work that the degree-granting college deems appropriate for use within a degree program to fulfil specific requirements.

Assignment

A course is designated as falling under the auspices of a particular instructional unit because of similarity in course content to the discipline covered by that department.

Collegiate

Course work that is taken in a setting within a college or university campus.

Comparability

How a course from another institution compares in content, expectations, and credit hours to the UNYT curriculum.

Content

The specific academic material covered in a course.

Domestic

Course work taken in an institution located in Albania or the United States.

Foreign

Course work taken in an institution located outside of Albania or the United States.

Inter-institutional affiliations

Institutions that have established formal contractual relationships in terms of interdependent course offerings, academic record-keeping and joint degrees.

Level

The rank of a course being determined by the type of student for whom the course is designed and the content and expectations for completion (i.e. 100 level, freshman; 200 level, sophomore, etc.).

Nature

The type of course work evidenced by the content, the breadth and depth of material, and level of the course.

Non-collegiate

Course work that is taken in a setting outside of a college/university campus (e.g. seminars, workshops, training programs).

Originating institution

An institution (i.e. college, University, agency, organization) at which course work has been taken and/or academic credit earned, and from which is received a report of that course work on official documentation (e.g. transcript).

Semester hour equivalency

The number of semester hours of credit assigned to a course on the basis of content and amount of time required for completion. Those credit hours assigned by an originating institution that is not on the semester system are converted to a semester-hour equivalent (1 credit hour at UNYT = 15 lecture hours + 30 hrs. of independent student work). For example: 1 quarter credit hour = 2/3 of a semester credit hour and 1 European credit after ECTS = 0.5 semester credit hours.

Waiver

A course waiver is an intentional relinquishment of a modular degree requirement by a department on the grounds of redundancy to previously accumulated knowledge in the subject matter. A course waiver is not accompanied by University transfer credit award.