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My son is transferring.  I won't go into long details as the details don't matter for this post.

They are not accepting nearly as many credits as they thought they would.  He is fine with them not accepting some things, but the one thing that is bothering him/us is that they are saying he needs four to five electives, and that they can be in anything.   I don't get why they can't accept some of those courses he took (the ones that weren't accepted for transfer) as electives?????

My GUESS is that they don't accept classes they don't have an equivalent class for......but he is going to ask.

Ideas on how to successfully petition this?   He is going to email and ask but I am wondering if there is any particular wording or specific questions we can ask.  

And the classes are mostly science and math classes as he was a pre-Engineering major, but has realized Engineering is not his thing.   

Thanks

 

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Are they not accepting the credits?  Or, is it that the credits are not applying to his degree requirements?

There are many reasons why this might happen; DS is in the situations where he will graduate with many extra hours but still has a number of electives he must take.  He must take 3000 and 4000 electives, so the sophomore-level extra hours do not help him.  He needs to meet certain requirements such as "global awareness" and "writing emphasis" which can be done in any elective designated that way, but must be taken at his school.  Anything that he too as dual credit will not count as a 3000 or 4000 level elective.  

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This is a web page from Carolina about Transfers and Credits.

https://admissions.unc.edu/credit/credit/

And here's the first paragraph: "If you’ve studied at another institution, you’ll naturally want to know how your credits will transfer here. As a general rule, classes that align with our general college curriculum – Math, English, Natural Science, Social Science and Foreign Language – typically transfer to Carolina."

Looking on that page, it looks like one can estimate, but one may estimate incorrectly.

Are the courses he would like transfer credit for applicable to his new major in the new school? 

Every university will do this differently, so it's a real crap shoot on how many courses transfer in, especially I think when changing Major and when changing from one school/college within a university to another one that is unrelated to the first major.

Great that he realized Engineering wasn't his thing. He is not alone in that...   

I think a polite message, asking them to reconsider giving credit for the courses he is  wondering about, or, if they can't give credit for those courses if they can explain why, would be fine. He doesn't need fancy language in his message to the new school about this.  

Good luck to him in his new school!

ETA: When they say electives, I wonder if they are referring to courses that are not as serious as the courses he would like transfer credit for.  Things like Basket Weaving (exaggeration intended) that are not taken by every student would be considered Electives?

Edited by Lanny
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Is he transferring college to college or community college to college/university?

As I understand the community college situation here in VA, only certain classes can transfer to the state schools (VA is a state with an transfer agreement between community colleges and state schools) as not all courses are deemed to be at the college/university level.

College to college is not automatically a 1:1 transfer of credit. I would feel free to challenge any decisions and would come prepared to discuss what courses at the new school you think are the equivalent to what you are asking transfer credit for. They might not accept those courses as elective because the do not meet the definition of elective at the new institution (ie courses at a specific level, outside you major, inside the major but not required, or...) First, try to learn what exactly their objection is and then proceed from there. 

While it may be too late or may not have changed your son's mind about transferring, it is important to note that students should be having serious conversations with the gaining college about what courses will transfer for credit and not make any assumptions; whether you are dealing with DE credits from high school, switching from community college, or changing four year institutions.

 

Edited by JumpedIntoTheDeepEndFirst
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This is a lot more complicated than, for example, getting credit for AP Courses. The NC legislature changed the law about AP courses and now all of the UNC schools have the same rules about acceptance of AP courses.

In this case, he was a "Pre Engineering" major, which sounds like he might have been in a CC, but possibly he was in a university.  Whether or not courses will transfer, from one university to another, is a crap shoot.

Even if both schools are in the UNC System, getting the courses to transfer is a crap shoot.

He should send a short and simple message asking about this. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

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What I would suggest is that he find a full 4 year plan for his major that includes any university graduation requirements (sometimes called diversity, distribution, humanities, or liberal arts requirements).

Put the courses that were accepted for transfer into the plan (some colleges have a nice active spreadsheet, if not make something of his own).

Then look at the remaining previous courses carefully to see what would logically fill a remaining requirement. 

It is possible that the courses have never been used as transfer credit before, so they are not in the new school's transfer database. They might need more info such as course descriptions or a syllabus. 

It could also be that they don't consider the courses to be equivalent to any offered at the new school. For example locally AS Engineering students are required to take Engineering Drafting for the associate's degree. If they transfer to the public 4 year, there isn't an equivalent course in the BS Engineering program. 

One thing that might help is to look for the transfer database at the college he attended search for the courses he took and see if you can show they have been transferred to similar colleges to the one he's transferring to.  That might be compelling evidence to present at the new school. 

Eta- You might have to check the database at a comparable college to see if they have transferred the courses in.  

It occurs to me that one issue might be that there are many of one type of course and the new college wants a range of courses from different disciplines. 

Edited by Sebastian (a lady)
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Posted (edited)

He is transferring from a UNC four year college TO a community college, which is also a public college.

He has a plan for a 4 year school, but that is irrelevant to the conversation.  He has to go to the CC first and finish up.  He has about 40 credits but they are only allowing 28.  Their cap is 45, so the number isn't the issue.

I *think* he will get a few more once he gets grades for this semester, but it won't be the total amount.  

Edited by DawnM
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In the OP it says: "And the classes are mostly science and math classes as he was a pre-Engineering major, but has realized Engineering is not his thing."

Depending upon the destination school, that might be a very hard sell if he is trying to get into a school like UNC CH. They like to teach their own Math and Science, but if he isn't going to be a STEM major,  possibly they would accept some of the courses he is trying to get transfer credit for as Electives?

The thing is they are specifying Electives and Science and Math  courses are not courses I would normally think of as Electives...

I believe what Sebastian suggested is the path he should follow and possibly he will receive Transfer credit for some of those courses if the destination school has similar courses.

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DawnM   Thank you for the additional information about what he is doing. From a UNC System school to a Community College.

It may be that some of his courses at UNC don' t have equivalents in the Community College, so that would be one reason they won't give transfer credit.  Also, the Community College is looking for Electives, so he needs to see what kind of Electives the Community College has to offer their students.

Good luck to him!

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24 minutes ago, DawnM said:

He is transferring from a UNC four year college TO a community college, which is also a public college.

He has a plan for a 4 year school, but that is irrelevant to the conversation.  He has to go to the CC first and finish up.  He has about 40 credits but they are only allowing 28.  Their cap is 45, so the number isn't the issue.

I *think* he will get a few more once he gets grades for this semester, but it won't be the total amount.  

Does he need the credits at the CC?  Meaning, if he takes the classes he needs there (to transfer out again to a different major, or to get an AA/AS degree) - will not having those extra credits mean he has to retake a class he already has, or to take a fluff or GenEd class just for credits?  If neither of those are the case, I wouldn't worry.  If he's getting an Associate's, the extra credits won't matter.  If he's transferring back to a 4-year in a different major, it's really that institution you want the credits applied to.

If he has to retake something darned similar to meet his goals, talk to them.  My dd did DE at a CC, then went to a 4-year as a freshman with a ton of credits, then transferred to a 2nd 4-year.  The 2nd 4-year wanted her to take Freshman Comp with them, as she'd CLEP'd out of the first semester requirement at the CC, but this 4-year had a higher CLEP cut-off to get out of their course.  But she'd taken Honors Freshman Comp 2 at the CC.  They wanted to apply that credit to a generic Lit credit - which she did not need.  I had her call and convince them to accept CC Comp 2 in lieu of their Comp 1 requirement (they only required one semester of Comp, so then she didn't have to retake), even though that was not normally the 'equivalent'.

Anyway, I'd figure out what the goal is, and either ignore or press forward as appropriate.  

Edited by Matryoshka
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Are they looking for generic electives or  a specific type of GenEd? Others have mentioned this already, but I wanted to clarify. Many colleges require specific types of classes no matter what your major is -- like a core requirement. If those are the credits he still needs, you would want to compare their different requirements to the classes he took but which aren't transferring cleanly. It might be that a couple will fulfill those requirements but doesn't seem to on first glance. So, check specifically what "electives" they are looking for. His petition will be more likely to be successful if it contains relevant info.

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41 minutes ago, Matryoshka said:

<snip>  If he's transferring back to a 4-year in a different major, it's really that institution you want the credits applied to.

<snip>

Anyway, I'd figure out what the goal is, and either ignore or press forward as appropriate.  

 

Yes. That is the ultimate target 4 year school. The Community College is a method for him to get from where he is now (a UNC System school) to another 4 year school, but in a very different major. A stepping stone...

This is a good plan for him to follow. He needs to know what his target school is and get what he needs to transfer in there.

The CC is an interim step in the transition process for him. Hopefully he can transfer in there without a lot of issues and get what he needs to be able to transfer into the 4 year school of his choice, with the courses they require.

IMO getting an AA/AS diploma isn't a  goal he needs to work for, but getting the correct courses for the destination school is what he needs to do.

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3 minutes ago, Lanny said:

 

Yes. That is the ultimate target 4 year school. The Community College is a method for him to get from where he is now (a UNC System school) to another 4 year school, but in a very different major. A stepping stone...

This is a good plan for him to follow. He needs to know what his target school is and get what he needs to transfer in there.

The CC is an interim step in the transition process for him. Hopefully he can transfer in there without a lot of issues and get what he needs to be able to transfer into the 4 year school of his choice, with the courses they require.

IMO getting an AA/AS diploma isn't a  goal he needs to work for, but getting the correct courses for the destination school is what he needs to do.

 

He already knows what he needs to get there.  But they are telling him he needs 5 electives and I don't get why some of those classes they aren't accepting can't be counted as electives.  They aren't far fetched classes, they are things like Calc 2 and Physics.

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13 minutes ago, RootAnn said:

Are they looking for generic electives or  a specific type of GenEd? Others have mentioned this already, but I wanted to clarify. Many colleges require specific types of classes no matter what your major is -- like a core requirement. If those are the credits he still needs, you would want to compare their different requirements to the classes he took but which aren't transferring cleanly. It might be that a couple will fulfill those requirements but doesn't seem to on first glance. So, check specifically what "electives" they are looking for. His petition will be more likely to be successful if it contains relevant info.

 

He is getting a very generic AA degree.   It says "electives"  but nothing specific.

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Just now, DawnM said:

 

He already knows what he needs to get there.  But they are telling him he needs 5 electives and I don't get why some of those classes they aren't accepting can't be counted as electives.  They aren't far fetched classes, they are things like Calc 2 and Physics.

Just saw your update that he is getting an AA. Are the electives assigned to particular areas? (Humaities, Arts, etc?)  

Does he need the full AA, or could he just take the pre-req courses he needs if his plan is to transfer back to a 4-year anyway?

 

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3 minutes ago, DawnM said:

He already knows what he needs to get there.  But they are telling him he needs 5 electives and I don't get why some of those classes they aren't accepting can't be counted as electives.  They aren't far fetched classes, they are things like Calc 2 and Physics.

 

Those are STEM courses and they are looking for Electives. If he can convince them to accept those courses as Electives he has won the battle.

Keep an eye at what the final destination (4 year school) requires. That's the final target for him and if they do not accept his courses, he still has a problem, so he needs to always be on top of their Transfer requirements so that he complies with them. 

Good luck to him!

OT: How's the Toddler?

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1 minute ago, Lanny said:

 

Those are STEM courses and they are looking for Electives. If he can convince them to accept those courses as Electives he has won the battle.

Keep an eye at what the final destination (4 year school) requires. That's the final target for him and if they do not accept his courses, he still has a problem, so he needs to always be on top of their Transfer requirements so that he complies with them. 

Good luck to him!

OT: How's the Toddler?

 

That won't matter too much.  His target school/program isn't really offered at the CC.  He will have a min of 2 years once he gets there, probably closer to 3.

Toddler is great.

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Match the course descriptions and take it to the department head of each section. Bring the highlighted course description from the old school and the new schools course description with his transcript. You may get some put in as (subject)1999 elective. This may count for anything from 1-3 credits.

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1 hour ago, Miguelsmom said:

Match the course descriptions and take it to the department head of each section. Bring the highlighted course description from the old school and the new schools course description with his transcript. You may get some put in as (subject)1999 elective. This may count for anything from 1-3 credits.

 

It is the same system, that is what I don't understand.  

He has gone ahead and sent an email to his advisor tonight, so we will just wait and see what he says.  My son says spending an extra semester isn't a deal breaker, so I should just let it go, but it bugs me.

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3 hours ago, DawnM said:

 

It is the same system, that is what I don't understand.  

He has gone ahead and sent an email to his advisor tonight, so we will just wait and see what he says.  My son says spending an extra semester isn't a deal breaker, so I should just let it go, but it bugs me.

 

Do you have their course catalog? Ours lists specifically what does and doesn’t count. I wonder if more would count if he did an AS instead of AA—Does he need the degree to be AA? If not, maybe check it the other way.

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4 hours ago, MerryAtHope said:

 

Do you have their course catalog? Ours lists specifically what does and doesn’t count. I wonder if more would count if he did an AS instead of AA—Does he need the degree to be AA? If not, maybe check it the other way.

 

Thanks.  A friend mentioned that last night.  I will check it out.  This particular CC has a harder-to-navigate website.  But I can find it, it will just take some digging.

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DawnM  Does your DS need an AS or an AA from the CC to get into the UNC System university as a transfer student or would it be sufficient for him to get the courses he needs to do that transfer? I suspect it might be faster and easier for him, not to go for an AS or AA,  but am not sure about the requirements the destination UNC System university (there are 16) will have in place. The other part of this is that those things are subject to change and I hope that will not happen to your son in this transition process.

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23 minutes ago, Lanny said:

DawnM  Does your DS need an AS or an AA from the CC to get into the UNC System university as a transfer student or would it be sufficient for him to get the courses he needs to do that transfer? I suspect it might be faster and easier for him, not to go for an AS or AA,  but am not sure about the requirements the destination UNC System university (there are 16) will have in place. The other part of this is that those things are subject to change and I hope that will not happen to your son in this transition process.

 

Yes, he needs the AA.  He isn't going back to a UNC school.  He is going to a private college that has an agreement with our local CC.  If you get an AA there, you get over 90% off private college tuition ($33K vs. 2,500 per year.).

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Quoting the course catalog and comparing syllabi is how my kids were able to get their credits accepted.  I would work through them one at a time.  

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No advice but good luck!  If the credits will count at the 4yr, I'd just let him explore a bit and take interesting courses.  Regardless of his extra classes, it's great that he found out Engineering wasn't for him at this point rather than a year from now, or after he finished the degree.

I'm currently discussing DD taking Calc 1 at our local CC- it transfers to two of the three 4-yr universities shes looking at.  The one it doesnt- they use a textbook by the same author- as far as we can tell the only difference is the order the topics are covered in.  If they dont take it, shes still better off not taking a year off math and the second class should be easier.  I've got my fingers crossed that they do decide to accept it.

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Posted (edited)

Ok, so the advisor told him that his current semester doesn't count yet, and to resubmit his transcript when it is ready.  He also said that some classes aren't transferring because they have no equivalency, which some of you said.  

So, he will most likely have to go the entire year next year, but he is ok with that, so I will let it go.  Summer and Fall will be 100% online and we will see about Spring.  He is going to try for a lighter load per semester so he can get his grades up.  He will probably need 27 credits, but we will see what transfers and what doesn't.

And I should clarify, he can't get a full load over the summer, they don't offer enough classes, so he can't feasibly finish in 2 semesters if he only goes Summer and Fall.

Edited by DawnM
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It sounds mostly sorted, but y'all know I'm still gonna comment 😄

 

On 5/10/2020 at 4:13 PM, Lanny said:

 The thing is they are specifying Electives and Science and Math  courses are not courses I would normally think of as Electives...

Yet they are still electives. Many students may choose to take only the science and math required by their major, but certainly you can use elective classes to take more.  

On 5/10/2020 at 5:15 PM, RootAnn said:

Are they looking for generic electives or  a specific type of GenEd? 

By definition, electives are not gen ed. Sometimes you do have to take electives within a certain content area, usually within your major or your major's college, but this will be specified. For example, my dd's degree requirements for accounting include electives (completely her choice) and business electives (her choice from within the college of business). Sometimes you will have to take electives at a certain level, but again this should be specified: six hours of 3000+ electives. 

On 5/10/2020 at 5:35 PM, Lanny said:

Those are STEM courses and they are looking for Electives.  

STEM courses aren't excluded from being electives. I have yet to see the university that excludes entire areas of study from being electives. Electives are courses that aren't specific to your degree and aren't required by gen ed, you have choice. You elect to take a certain course without being required to do so (quarantine is bringing out my punny side). 

Filling elective slots with solid academic courses is how students manage to double major. 

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