The Bachelor's Degree
Associate of Arts (AA) and Associate of Science (AS) degrees are designed to prepare students for transfer to a four-year institution to continue their education at the bachelor’s degree level. General Education and pre-major courses offered by Tri-C for transfer purposes are designed to parallel those courses that comprise the equivalent of the first two years of study leading to the bachelor’s degree at a four-year college or university. Learn more about AA and AS degrees.
In some career-technical programs in Tri-C's Associate of Applied Business (AAB) and Associate of Applied Science (AAS) curricula, an option enables students to earn an associate degree in the program at Tri-C and then transfer to a four-year institution to work toward a bachelor's degree in the designated technical field or other programs. Some credits earned at Tri-C in an AAB or AAS degree are transferable toward a four-year degree only at cooperating four-year colleges and universities or those where articulation agreements exist. Students should consult with both a Tri-C counselor and an advisor at the receiving institution regarding this.
It is the responsibility of the student to become acquainted with and follow the requirements for the transfer of courses. Students are strongly encouraged to complete an associate degree prior to transfer as there are numerous benefits such as additional scholarship opportunities, upper class standing, and an increased likelihood of completing a bachelor’s degree. Counselors are available to assist with academic planning and Transfer Center specialists are able to discuss pre-transfer planning.
Students intending to transfer take General Education courses, usually from the Ohio Transfer Module (OTM), and lower division major-related courses, usually from Transfer Assurance Guides (TAGs), during their freshman and sophomore years at Tri-C. OTM and TAG courses are part of the Ohio Transfer to Degree Guarantee and, as such, are guaranteed to transfer to any public college or university in Ohio. After transferring, students will specialize in a major at the receiving institution during their junior and senior years. Learn more about the OTM. Learn more about TAGs. Learn more about the Ohio Transfer to Degree Guarantee.
Articulation Agreements and Transfer Pathways
University Partnerships and Articulation Agreements have been established by Tri-C with many of Ohio's public colleges and universities, a number of Ohio’s private institutions, and with other institutions across the country. Most of the Articulation Agreements provide seamless transfer pathways that have been approved by both institutions for the completion of the associate and bachelor’s degrees or for an opportunity for Dual Admission (Learn more about Dual Admission). Some of the agreements offer completion of a bachelor’s degree at a Tri-C location or online. Students are encouraged to check Articulation Agreements periodically for newly added partnerships, agreements, and transfer pathways as they are updated throughout the year. These program-specific legal agreements offer transfer opportunities for students and enable them to take advantage of benefits associated with the agreements such as significant financial savings, upper class standing, additional scholarship opportunities, and/or the ability to take classes at both institutions concurrently. Learn more about Articulation Agreements.
In cases where an Articulation Agreement has not been established, Tri-C Associate of Arts and Associate of Science “Area of Emphasis” course guides are available for some areas. These guides have been developed for a variety of intended bachelor's degree majors and are customizable for different student needs and transfer plans. Students should meet with a counselor at Tri-C and with an advisor at the intended transfer institution for assistance in determining the appropriate courses for that institution. Please note, if an Articulation Agreement and/or transfer pathway exists for a student's intended transfer school and program, it should be used rather than using an “Area of Emphasis” course guide, which is not specific to any institution.
For the most successful transfer experience, it is recommended that students consult with a Tri-C Counselor for academic planning and assistance, a Tri-C Transfer Center Specialist for pre-transfer planning, and an advisor from the intended transfer school for that institution’s requirements and procedures. Students are encouraged to start their transfer planning early to save time and money. Learn more about Tri-C Counseling. Learn more about Tri-C Transfer Centers.
Ohio Transfer To Degree Guarantee
Advanced Placement (AP): High school students who have taken an AP course and the associated AP exam may be eligible, based on their AP exam score, for guaranteed college credit upon entering an Ohio public college or university. The awarded credit is usually applied toward General Education curriculum. Learn more about AP and how your score may be applied from the Ohio Department of Higher Education.
Apprenticeship Pathway Programs: The Apprenticeship Pathways Initiative advocates for individuals completing apprenticeships to incorporate their learning into academic credit, saving them time and money and encouraging them to advance their academic credentials.
Ohio apprenticeship programs partner with Ohio public two-year institutions of higher education to provide technology-specific statewide articulation agreements that recognize non-traditional prior learning. College credit awarded through an Apprenticeship Pathway Program applies toward an applied associate degree. Each articulation agreement simplifies student advising by outlining how apprenticeship training in a certain pathway applies to an applied associate degree and lists the remaining courses required to complete the degree. The application of credit toward an applied associate degree is guaranteed at the participating receiving institutions. Learn more about Apprenticeship Pathway Programs.
Career Technical Assurance Guides (CTAGs): CTAGs provide recognition of learning to students who have completed approved adult or secondary (high school) career-technical coursework. CTAGs help these students enter college with articulated college-level credit. In order to receive credit, students must complete Verification Form 1 and may need to provide additional information. Time limits and conditions for awarding CTAG credit vary by technical area. See a Tri-C counselor to discuss details. Learn more about CTAG courses from the Ohio Department of Higher Education. Learn more about Tri-C's approved CTAG courses.
College Level Examination Program (CLEP): Students who are interested in earning college credit for subject area knowledge and skills acquired through prior learning should consider taking a CLEP exam. Learn more about available exams. Learn more about how your score applies at Tri-C. Learn more about taking a CLEP exam at a Tri-C location.
Military Transfer Assurance Guides (MTAGs): MTAGs guarantee that certain types of military training, experience, and/or coursework align to existing college and university courses, thus granting students appropriate credit. MTAGs work best for students who have either a Joint Services Transcript or a Community College of the Air Force transcript. See a Tri-C counselor to review your military transcript for potential MTAG credit. Learn more about MTAG courses from the Ohio Department of Higher Education.
Ohio Articulation and Transfer Policy: The State of Ohio, through the leadership of the Ohio Department of Higher Education, has established a coherent statewide policy intended to facilitate a student’s ability to seamlessly complete their highest level of educational goal achievement within Ohio’s post-secondary educational system. To that end, the Ohio Articulation and Transfer Policy was developed to facilitate the transfer of students and credits from any state college or university to another. It encourages faculty recognition of comparable and compatible learning experiences and expectations across institutions. It also encourages students to complete units of educational experience as they progress (i.e. Ohio Transfer Module, Transfer Assurance Guides, associate and bachelor's degrees). Learn more about the Ohio Articulation and Transfer Policy.
Ohio Articulation Number (OAN): When a course at an Ohio public institution of higher education is approved by a statewide faculty panel for a particular assurance guide, it is assigned an Ohio Articulation Number (OAN). These discipline-specific courses or course sequences meet established learning outcome standards. This common statewide OAN is assigned to each approved course in addition to its unique institutional course number or designation. This signifies, in part, that the course is guaranteed to apply as an equivalent course or courses bearing the same OAN offered at other Ohio public institutions of higher education. Students are assured of these courses' equivalency at any Ohio public institution of higher education that has the same OAN approval for the same time period during which the student took the course at another Ohio public institution of higher education. Assurance applies not only to the equivalency of the course, but to its application to the degree objective. Courses within the Ohio Transfer Module (OTM) may also be part of a Transfer Assurance Guide (TAG). In this case, the course has both an OTM OAN (beginning with "TM") and a TAG OAN (beginning with "O")
Ohio Guaranteed Transfer Pathways (OGTPs): OGTPs help students streamline credit transfer among Ohio’s public institutions of higher education and find pathways to degree completion. OGTPs serve as advising tools by identifying courses that are part of the Ohio Department of Higher Education's statewide transfer guarantees. OGTPs are designed to provide a clear path to associate degree completion followed by transfer to an Ohio public university for bachelor’s degree completion. Tri-C's articulation agreements with many of Ohio's public colleges and universities, a number of Ohio’s private institutions, and with other institutions across the country also provide students with transfer pathways for both associate and bachelor's degree completion. Learn more about Ohio Department of Higher Education’s OGTPs. Learn more about Tri-C's articulation agreements.
Ohio Transfer Module (OTM): The OTM consists of General Education course requirements guaranteed to transfer among all Ohio public institutions of higher education. Students who intend to transfer to a state four-year institution to pursue a bachelor's degree after completing a Tri-C associate degree should select their General Education courses from Tri-C's approved OTM courses. For course selection assistance, see a Tri-C counselor. An OTM course may also be a Transfer Assurance Guide (TAG) course. Learn more about OTM courses from the Ohio Department of Higher Education. Learn more about Tri-C's approved OTM courses.
One Year Option (OYO): The OYO builds upon Ohio’s existing articulation and transfer processes to help students achieve strong post-secondary foundations and futures. The OYO allows students who have earned specified credentials from an Ohio technical center in a 600+ clock-hour pathway approved by the Chancellor of the Ohio Department of Higher Education to receive up to 30 college-level technical credit hours. The 30 semester credit hours are awarded as a block of credit rather than as credit for specific courses. The credit is awarded toward an Associate of Technical Studies degree after successfully enrolling at Tri-C or another Ohio public college or university. Learn more about the OYO.
Transfer Assurance Guides (TAGs): TAG courses are lower division courses that are part of an academic major. Students who intend to transfer to a state four-year institution to pursue a bachelor's degree after completing a Tri-C associate degree should choose appropriate Tri-C approved TAG courses for their intended bachelor's degree program. For course selection assistance, see a Tri-C counselor. Learn more about TAG courses from the Ohio Department of Higher Education. Learn more about Tri-C's approved TAG courses.
Conditions for Transfer Admission
- Graduates with associate degrees from Ohio’s public institutions of higher education and a completed, approved Ohio Transfer Module shall be admitted to a public institution of higher education in Ohio, provided their cumulative grade-point average is at least 2.0 for all previous college-level courses. Further, these students shall have admission priority over graduates with an out-of-state associate degree and other transfer students with transferable and/or articulated college credit.
- Associate degree holders who have not completed the Ohio Transfer Module from an Ohio public institution of higher education will be eligible for preferential consideration for admission as transfer students as long as the institution’s admission criteria, such as the minimum academic standards, space availability, adherence to deadlines, and payment of fees, are fairly and equally applied to all undergraduate students.
- In order to encourage completion of the baccalaureate degree, students who are not enrolled in or who have not earned an degree but have earned 60 semester/90 quarter hours or more of credit toward a baccalaureate degree with a cumulative grade-point average of at least a 2.0 for all previous college-level courses will be eligible for preferential consideration for admission as transfer students as long as the institution’s admission criteria, such as the minimum academic standards, space availability, adherence to deadlines, and payment of fees, are fairly and equally applied to all undergraduate students.
- Students who have not earned an associate degree or who have not earned 60 semester/90 quarter hours of credit with a grade-point average of at least a 2.0 for all previous college-level courses will be eligible for admission as transfer students on a competitive basis.
- Incoming transfer students admitted to a college or university shall compete for admission to selective programs, majors, and units on an equal basis with students native to the receiving institution.
The admission of transfer students by an institution, however, does not guarantee admission to any majors, minors, or fields of concentration at the institution. Some programs have additional academic and non-academic requirements beyond those for general admission to the institution (e.g., background check, a grade-point average higher than a 2.0, or a grade-point average higher than the average required for admission to the institution). Once admitted, transfer students shall be subject to the same regulations governing applicability of catalog requirements as native students. Furthermore, transfer students shall be accorded the same class standing and other privileges as native students on the basis of the number of credits earned. All residency requirements must be completed at the receiving institution.
Responsibilities of Students
To maximize transfer credit application, prospective transfer students must take responsibility for planning their course of study to meet both the academic and non-academic requirements of the institution to which they desire to articulate or transfer credit as early as possible. The student is responsible to investigate and use the information, advising, and other available resources to develop such a plan. Students should actively seek program, degree, and transfer information; meet with an advisor from both the current and receiving institutions to assist them in preparing a course of study that meets the academic requirements for the program/degree to which they plan to transfer; use the various electronic course/program transfer and applicability database systems, including Ohio Transfer to Degree Guarantee web resources; and select courses/programs at their current institution that satisfy requirements at the receiving institution to maximize the application of transfer credit. Specifically, students should identify early in their collegiate studies an institution and major to which they desire to transfer. Furthermore, students should determine if there are foreign language requirements or any special course requirements that can be met during the freshman or sophomore year. This will enable students to plan and pursue a course of study that will better articulate with the receiving institution's major.
Following the evaluation of a student transcript from another institution, the receiving college institution will provide the student with a Statement of Transfer and Articulated Credit Applicability (Degree Audit Report). A student disagreeing with the application of transfer and/or articulated credit by the receiving institution must file his/her appeal in writing within ninety (90) days of receipt of the Statement of Transfer and Articulated Credit Applicability. The institution shall respond to the appeal within thirty (30) days of the receipt of the appeal at each appeal level.
Student Complaints Following Transfer Appeals at the Receiving Institution
If student exhausts the appeals process at the receiving institution and chooses to pursue further action, the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) responds to formal written complaints related to the Ohio Articulation and Transfer Policy against public, independent non-profit, and proprietary institutions of higher education in Ohio. While the ODHE has limited authority over colleges and universities and cannot offer legal advice or initiate civil court cases, staff will review written complaints submitted through its established process and work with student complainants and institutions.
Degree and Credit Transfer
Students who plan to transfer to a four-year college or university have several transfer options and should meet with a counselor to discuss which is best for them.
Associate Degree Preferred
Students are strongly encouraged to complete an associate degree prior to transfer as there are numerous benefits such as additional scholarship opportunities, upper class standing, and an increased likelihood of completing a bachelor’s degree. Additionally, many articulation agreements with four-year institutions are designed to benefit students who complete an associate degree. If the student completes the degree requirements within the parameters of the Ohio Transfer Module (OTM) requirements, 36 to 40 semester credits will transfer automatically, and the remaining credits up to the 60 that make up the associate degree will be evaluated for transfer on a course-by-course basis unless an articulation agreement is in place. Students who complete the OTM and an associate degree are guaranteed admission to any Ohio public university.
Students who do not complete the OTM or an associate degree can plan a transfer program with a Tri-C Counselor on a course-by-course basis. The receiving school evaluates the transferability and applicability of credit for each course taken, which requires the student to select a receiving school well in advance and enroll in appropriate courses with the assistance of a Tri-C Counselor and especially a representative from the receiving school.
Although this provides no advance assurance of transferability as provided in the OTM or associate degree completion, it does provide the flexibility to select course work tailored to meet specific program admission requirements, if this is important to the student. Successful transfer of courses using this method requires careful planning and course selection with the assistance of a Tri-C Counselor. This method gives the student the option of taking only those Tri-C courses that will be accepted at the program level at the receiving school, avoiding the problem of taking the same course twice (once at Tri-C to meet general transfer requirements and again at the receiving school to meet a program admission transfer requirement). The following guidelines are the recommended process students should follow to transfer the maximum number of credits using the individual course evaluation method:
- Identify the institution and the major to which credit will be transferred
- Refer to the receiving institution's current Catalog
- Review the program admission requirements for the intended major
- Schedule a consultation with a Tri-C Counselor to review the program requirements and identify their equivalents in the Tri-C curriculum
- Consult with the appropriate representative at the receiving school to resolve any questions about transferability and applicability at the admission, general education, and/or program level
- Complete all the specific courses and sequences that the Tri-C Counselor designates as meeting the program requirements for the school where credits will be transferred
- After completing college course work at Tri-C, complete a request for a transcript of grades and have it sent to the admission office at the receiving institution - consult with the admission office about other details necessary to complete this step. Learn more about requesting a Tri-C transcript of grades
Associate Degree to Bachelor's Degree
In general, courses in the Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degrees are designed to parallel the freshman and sophomore level courses at four-year colleges and universities. Some Tri-C career/technical programs in the Associate of Applied Business and the Associate of Applied Science curricula have an option that enables students to earn an associate degree in these programs at Tri-C and then transfer to a four-year institution to work toward a baccalaureate degree in the designated technical field. Credits earned at Tri-C in the two-plus-two option are transferable toward a four-year degree only at cooperating four-year colleges and universities. Students should consult with a Tri-C Counselor if interested in the two-plus-two career/technical transfer option.
Transfer Course Selection
Counselors will help students plan individual transfer programs using the above options. Students who are undecided about a major will be assisted in planning a transfer program that meets general admission requirements at the receiving school. Tri-C offers preparatory or refresher courses in English composition, reading comprehension, mathematics, and speech communication for students who need to upgrade these basic skills. These courses are not designed for transfer but are intended to provide students the opportunity to improve their skills. To avoid taking a course that does not transfer, it is the student’s responsibility to select courses with the assistance of a Tri-C Counselor.