An online guide that allows potential transfer students to see which universities and colleges will accept their transfer credits launched Monday.
It’s part of the $73-million investment the Ontario government is making towards improving the credit transfer system between 2011 and 2016. The guide, set up by the Ontario Council on Articulation and Transfer, provides transfer information for 35 out of 44 post-secondary schools in the province, including Ryerson.
“It’s important for students to have information to make informed decisions as they go through the transfer process,” said Glenn Craney, executive director of the council.
Every year, about 21,500 students transfer post-secondary institutions within Ontario. Ryerson gets more than 18,500 requests for transfer credits every year.
Alastair Woods, chairman of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario, said he thinks the guide is a step in the right direction.
“The guide will make it easier to transfer to institutions, and save students and the government money,” Woods said.
According to Woods, the different transfer policies among institutions complicate the transferring process.
“Schools should sit down and agree on a transfer policy that works throughout institutions,” he said. “Ideally, I would like to see a transfer policy that is clear and concise.”
The current process of finding out transfer credit eligibility is a slow one, and many students don’t find out whether the courses from their previous schools are accepted until after they accept admission into the new program.
Repeating similar courses cost students $40 million in 2010, Woods said.
Alex Lappano, a third-year radio and television arts student, transferred to Ryerson three years ago from Seneca College’s media fundamentals program.
About a month after applying for credit transfers for the various courses he took at Seneca, he found out only one psychology course was accepted for transfer. What frustrated Lappano was being required to retake courses that were very similar to courses he had previously taken.
“It sucks because people at Seneca had the same knowledge as people here,” he said. “We did similar projects as here.”
Only after accepting admission at Ryerson was he told his courses would not be accepted for transfer. He was not given any explanation. Lappano said he thinks the online guide will be useful for students because it lets them focus on taking courses they’re interested in instead of retaking courses.
“If students don’t have to take the full course load, then it’s better for them,” he said.
According to Craney, the guide is a great tool for students who are “looking for clarity and transparency when transferring.”
The guide will offer more than 35,000 potential credit transfers for students.
Students can access the guide by going to ONTransfer.ca.