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Does Accreditation Really Matter When I’m Transferring to Colleges & Universities?

Have you or your family considered accreditation when choosing which undergraduate institution you will attend after community college? If not, have you ever pondered on whether your bachelor’s degree has any value? Then it’s time to start thinking about how accreditation plays a major role in the transferring process.

Does Accreditation Really Matter When I’m Transferring to Colleges & Universities?

Brief Description: Have you or your family considered accreditation when choosing which undergraduate institution you will attend after community college? If not, have you ever pondered on whether your bachelor’s degree has any value? Then it’s time to start thinking about how accreditation plays a major role in the transferring process.

Accreditation is “the process of external quality review created and used by higher education to scrutinize colleges, universities, and programs for quality assurance and quality improvement” (Eaton, 2015, p. 1). In California, most colleges and universities are accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), while other regional accreditation associations recognize out-of-state institutions. College students should care about accreditation because it can affect their credits and their undergraduate degrees.

Source: https://www.chea.org/regional-accrediting-organizations

Source: https://thebestschools.org/online-colleges/accreditation-regional-vs-national/
Accreditation ensures that the college or university you plan to attend has established a set standard for academic quality. Accreditation can have an impact on the college admissions process in one of two ways. First, it can affect a student’s ability to receive financial aid (FAFSA), which is a critical decision factor for many students as to what school they will attend. Another factor is whether a student will receive course credit towards their new college or university. Therefore, students must ensure that their previous institution, such as community college, has some form of agreement with other institutions and is regionally accredited.
After a transfer student gets admitted to the university of their choice, the registrar’s office will process the student’s transcripts and application, which will take approximately two weeks. During this process, institutions check to see that the student has completed a certain number of units to grant them credit for lower-division courses. For instance, if you are a college student enrolled in one of the many California Community Colleges (CCC’s) and plan to transfer to a public university, you are granted up to 70 semester/105 quarter units of credit. Contrarily, if you are moving to a private institution, then you are granted up to 30 semester/ 45 quarter units of credit. A recent example is when most Cal State universities went through the quarter to semester transition, which affected many college students, lost credits, affecting their time to degree completion.
Furthermore, the institution you intend to transfer will also take into account your letter grades. Most colleges and universities will accept transfer credit courses as long as it is a “C” or better. Another general transfer policy that many postsecondary institutions must adhere to is evaluating the student’s transfer GPA. The GPA includes repeated courses, grades of “F,” and non-transferable classes. Unfortunately, transfer credit is sometimes not awarded for independent study, practicums, and remedial/developmental education courses.
Educational consultants help college students understand degree requirements, prerequisites and facilitate the transition to a 4-year college or university. Pathway2Career Consulting prepares students to excel in the college application process by ensuring that students are taking transferable and accredited courses. We also consider that special programs and majors have different admissions requirements that must be met before applying to transfer institutions. At Pathway2Career Consulting, we understand the different transfer policies of various higher education institutions and our goal is to make college students’ transition easier and seamless.

References:

Eaton, J.S. (2015). An overview of U.S. accreditation. Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

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