Thursday, August 30, 2012

Douglas College is now a "receiving institution": why this is important


You know the saying that it’s better to give than to receive?

Well, for Douglas College, and for the students of BC, it’s better to give and receive.

We recently learned that Douglas College has been designated a “receiving institution” in the BC transfer credit system.

As the announcement from British Columbia Council on Admissions and Transfer (BCCAT) indicates, this is a pretty big deal!

For students, the change means that it will be easier to move to Douglas College from other universities and colleges in BC. They’ll be able to use the BC Transfer Guide to determine how courses they take at a university or at another college transfer to Douglas. Up until now, figuring out which courses transfer in to Douglas has often been much more difficult and laborious.

The fact that many students transfer to Douglas may come as surprise to people who still picture BC’s transfer credit system as a one-way street, where students transfer from smaller regional institutions to major universities.

Today, the student mobility situation is quite a bit more fluid than that, as BC’s excellent Student Transitions Project [PDF summary] makes clear.

According to that research, plenty of students still move from BC Colleges to major research universities, such as UBC, SFU and UVic. About 4,000 made that move between the 2007/08 and 2008/09 academic years.

But, during that same time frame, almost as many students moved in the opposite direction: from major universities to colleges and institutes: about 3,300. And, a further 3,800 students switched between institutions within the college/institute sector.

One more interesting fact about the BC post-secondary system: traditional "transfer students" entering major research universities represent fewer than 20 percent of all student movers, a number that is showing a declining trend.

So the change in Douglas College’s status, from sending institution, to sending and receiving institution, is great news for the students of BC. It’s a reflection of what they want, and what they are in fact already doing. They want the flexibility to craft the educational pathway that reflects their individual circumstances, and to move between institutions if that’s where their pathways take them.

Read more about Douglas being designated a receiving institution on our community blog, doug.

Scott

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