Seventeen classes isn’t very many, but it’s a start.
Last week, the Kansas Board of Regents approved a list of 17 general education courses that it will guarantee will transfer among all of the state’s 32 institutions of higher education. The move means that students at any community college or public university in the state could take as many as 59 credit hours and be assured that those credits would transfer to any other school in the Board of Regents system.
The list includes many of the basics such as English composition, biology, psychology, sociology, chemistry and history. Although there has been concern about the quality or rigor of courses varying from one school to the next, the regents’ Transfer and Articulation Advisory Council has reviewed all of the 17 courses and apparently determined that students taking those courses at any of the state’s community colleges and public universities are learning what they need to know when they transfer to another school.
As we noted, 17 classes isn’t very many — and hopefully that number will grow — but it supplements a much larger database that state universities have compiled and posted on the Board of Regents website. There, students who plan to transfer to a state university can look at hundreds of classes at community colleges and other universities in the state and see exactly how the credits will transfer.
The effort to guarantee the transfer of credits among schools is essential to establishing the state’s desired “seamless” system of higher education in the state. Higher admission standards at Kansas University and rising tuition at all of the state universities are prompting more Kansas students to start their higher education careers at community colleges. That system only works, however, if students can be assured not only that their credits will transfer but that the community college courses they are taking adequately prepare them for course work they will face at the university level.
A certain number of naysayers across the country are questioning the value of higher education, but we still believe it is a good investment for the state and its residents. It’s good to see the Board of Regents taking steps to make a university education more affordable and accessible to a greater number of Kansas students.