B.C. transfer system brings flexibility to students - InfoNews

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B.C. transfer system brings flexibility to students

September 05, 2013 - 4:25 PM

VICTORIA - Post-secondary students in British Columbia can move between institutions, programs and regions as they pursue their education and training, thanks to the most comprehensive credit transfer system in Canada.

"A student's journey through the post-secondary system can take many twists and turns," notes Advanced Education Minister Amrik Virk. "Our credit transfer system recognizes that, and offers students the flexibility they need to chart their own unique path toward the successful completion of their studies and a rewarding career."

The B.C. Transfer System involves a network of 38 public and private universities, colleges and institutes. It enables students to move from
one institution to another and receive credit for previous applicable course work, giving them a high level of flexibility to complete their studies.

The system is based on transfer agreements between the institutions through which one institution recognizes education successfully completed at another.

Credit Transfer offers many benefits to students:

* Students can begin their studies at an institution close to home and save money while they plan their educational path with the option of moving to another institution to complete their program.
* A student who does not meet the admission requirements for a B.C. university directly based on their high school grades may be eligible to apply for admission later as a transfer student. Students can complete up to two years (60 credits) and transfer to finish their baccalaureate degree.
* Credit Transfer provides flexibility for students who change their education or career goals, take time away from their studies, move, or who face other planned or unplanned events that may impact their education.
* Credit Transfer reduces the need for students to repeat comparable courses they have already successfully completed at another institution, saving money, time, and effort and allowing for earlier graduation.

For example:

* A student in Prince George interested in working in the resource sector may take a natural resources and environmental technology diploma at College of New Caledonia and transfer credits to the bachelor of science natural resources management program at the University of Northern British Columbia.
* A student at Capilano University in North Vancouver who is interested in becoming an engineer may complete the first-year engineering program and then transfer credits toward further study at the second-year level in an engineering degree program at the University of British Columbia or the University of Victoria.
* A student in Comox who is interested in completing a bachelor of science in biology at Vancouver Island University may stay in their home community and complete up to 60 credits through the associate degree or university studies program at North Island College before completing their studies in Nanaimo.
* A student at Columbia College (private institution) in Vancouver who is completing an associate of arts degree with a focus on business administration may pursue further studies in the bachelor of commerce program in entrepreneurial management at Royal Roads University in Victoria and complete the degree within two additional years.

Each year thousands of B.C. students take advantage of transfer options to continue their studies and graduate from their programs. In 2010-11 alone, approximately 36,000 students moved between public post- secondary institutions in pursuing their education goals.

Stacy Smith of Squamish completed the two-year human kinetics diploma program at Capilano University and transferred into the bachelor of kinesiology degree program at the University of British Columbia, where she is entering her final year.

"All my credits transferred exactly and the process was extremely easy," said Smith. "I suggest students do their research, take advantage of available resources, and get guidance from their instructors to determine all their options."

Students can find out how courses and programs transfer in B.C. and explore all their transfer options at BCTransferGuide.ca www.bctransferguide.ca/. The site is updated daily as new transfer agreements are created between institutions.

"The BC Transfer Guide enables advisors and students to work together to find the best path for each student, removing some of the planning stress while empowering students with the guidance they need to make informed choices about their courses," says student advisor Amelia Kaiser of the University of Northern British Columbia.

The B.C. Transfer System is co-ordinated by the B.C. Council on Admissions and Transfers, a non-profit, public agency funded by the B.C. government which facilitates transfer arrangements among autonomous post-secondary institutions.

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