Today: Jun 19, 2024

Collaboration of common courses set up across the CSU system

REBECCA BAINER General Assignment Reporter

Work has been done to eliminate some of the headache associated with the transfer of credits from one state university to another. A list of 84 common courses across the Connecticut State University system is now available to students.
German Bermudez, associate executive officer of Academic and Student Affairs with the Connecticut State University system, said a chart was published in the spring of 2011, which lists these courses.
“It’s a collection of courses,” said Bermudez, “that are accepted toward general education requirements across three or more CSU system universities.”
According to the CSUS website, this is the first set of common courses equivalents and includes 84 courses in 21 disciplines.

“Transfer of courses has happened since the system started, students move from one place to another and they request that courses they’ve taken in one institution are validated in another institution,” said Bermudez. “In some cases they are, in some cases they are not.”
None of the courses on the chart are new, Bermudez said, but instead, existing courses were identified by department
chairs as equivalent to one another. Dr. Elena Schmitt, of the World Language Department at Southern, was involved and
said equivalencies were decided based on a number of items.
“The classes had to have the same objectives, the same learning outcomes and the same or similar content,” said Schmitt. “They also had to have similar prerequisites and had to span the same number of hours.”
In the past, Schmitt said students would need to seek out department chairs and fill out paperwork to transfer credits. This is eliminating that process because with the list, the Registrar’s Office knows which classes are equivalent.
“Some of our students start on one campus and then move to another campus and it used to be cumbersome,” said Schmitt. “You come to a different university and one department considers it fine and the other department says, well it doesn’t meet our requirement. So, this way the student knows ahead of time.”
Shmitt said she thinks in the future the process can be taken even further and extend from basic courses to more advanced courses.
“That becomes a little more complicated because advanced courses are more specialized and depending on the subject area, you would have classes that would focus on different aspects of an issue,” said Schmitt, “and then they wouldn’t be transferable so we need to negotiate this between universities.”
Christine Broadbridge, Physics Department chair at Southern, was involved as a department chair and said she also sees room for growth.
“Right now I’m working on this grad certificate program in nanotechnology, so, now we know about this so as we develop this program we can build it in,” said Broadbridge. ”So, think about as we develop our program what courses already exist at other institutions.”
Broadbridge said she believes this is an important way to help students.
“I think for students if they want to go to another institution to take a course that maybe isn’t at their CSU they could do that,” said Broadbridge. “That’s something that maybe I would even encourage in some ways.”
Broadbridge said she also thinks growth with this in the future should include benefits to the faculty as well.
“I think the other nice thing for us to be able to do is to maybe offer opportunities for other faculty,” said Broadbridge. “So, maybe I could have a course that I teach here that’s offered here, that maybe one of the faculty at another CSU wants to come here and teach it.”
Bermudez said the whole process will be reviewed regularly.
“It is meant to be reviewed or revised,” said Bermudez, “We’re gonna start work pretty soon. So, these charts will be updated.”

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