Operating Instruction Transfer Pathways

Chapter 3 - Educational Policies

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for Board Policy 3.21

Part 1. Purpose
To provide instructions for implementing transfer pathways.

Part 2. Definitions

Approved transfer pathway associate degrees
Associate of arts (AA), associate of science (AS), and associate of fine arts (AFA) degrees that were approved by the Transfer Pathways Coordinating Team and the senior vice chancellor for academic and student affairs that transfer to designated baccalaureate degree programs at Minnesota State universities.

Degree audit reporting system (DARS)
An electronic database tool that produces a report available to students reflecting his or her progress toward completion of an academic program.

Designated baccalaureate degrees
Baccalaureate degree programs identified by a university that will accept completed transfer pathway associate degrees.

Transfer Pathways
A degree (AA, AFA, or AS) that includes specialized coursework designed to transfer to a related designated major at any of the seven Minnesota State universities.

Part 3. Transfer of Approved Transfer Pathway Associate Degrees
Transfer Pathways must replace current associate in arts with emphasis, associate of fine arts, and associate of science degrees in a discipline where a Transfer Pathway exists.

Approved associate of arts (AA), associate of science (AS), and associate of fine arts (AFA) transfer pathway degrees must be accepted in their entirety to the designated baccalaureate degree programs.

If additional information is needed, refer to Board Policy 3.21, System Procedure 3.21.1, Board Policy 3.36, and System Procedure 3.36.1. Legislation requires a college program to be no more than 60 credits (unless there is an approved waiver) and a baccalaureate degree to require no more than 60 additional credits (unless there is an approved waiver).

The entire Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC) must be completed by the time the student completes the baccalaureate degree.

Part 4. Admission to Designated Baccalaureate Degrees
Students who complete a transfer pathway associate degree must also meet the requirements for admission to the university and major as referenced in Board Policy 3.4 Undergraduate Admissions and university policy and procedure. University majors with limited capacity, restricted admission, or other factors that could impact student admission must be communicated to students participating in an approved transfer pathway. See Board Policy 3.4 and System Procedure 3.4.1 Undergraduate Admissions.

Part 5. Transfer Pathway Map for DARS Encoding
After a transfer pathway college degree has been approved, the college courses will be entered into a transfer pathways map using the current course relationships in Transferology. Any courses that may not have been previously evaluated will be indicated by “university evaluates” so that universities can evaluate and enter them in DARS.

DARS will be updated regularly to ensure Transfer Pathways degrees transfer as intended.

Part 6. Transfer Pathways Catalog/Program/Planner Description
The approved transfer pathways catalog/program/planner description must state:

The [Discipline] Transfer Pathway [AA, AS, or AFA] offers students a powerful option: the opportunity to complete an [Associate of _______] degree with course credits that directly transfer to designated [Discipline] bachelor degree programs at Minnesota State universities.* The curriculum has been specifically designed so that students completing this pathway degree and transferring to one of the seven Minnesota State universities* enter the university with junior-year status. All courses in the Transfer Pathway associate degree will directly transfer and apply to the designated bachelor degree program in a related field.

*Universities within the Minnesota State system include Bemidji State University; Metropolitan State University; Minnesota State University, Mankato; Minnesota State University Moorhead; Southwest Minnesota State University; St. Cloud State University, and Winona State University”

All seven state universities must be specifically listed in the description. The program description must be used in program information, on websites, and in all communications related to Transfer Pathways.

In addition to the required description, the following information is optional.

  • 1-2 opening sentences that highlight the distinct focus of the program (if applicable).
  • Any other significant fact(s) that sets the program apart (such as specialized accreditation).

Part 7. Review of Transfer Pathways
Colleges, universities, and the system office may initiate a review of a transfer pathway through existing governance structures.

Agreed-upon changes to a transfer pathway and the date of the revision will be documented and reflected in updated Transfer Pathways Maps. The most current version of an approved Transfer Pathway template supersedes all prior versions.

Part 8. Transfer Pathways Learning Outcomes
College discipline-specific courses must meet 100% of the learning outcomes identified for that discipline in the approved transfer pathway.

Part 9. University Responsibility
Universities shall provide the third and fourth years of the designated baccalaureate degree for each Transfer Pathway by the established deadline.

Universities shall display the designated degrees that accept Transfer Pathways and their admissions requirements on their campus website. Transfer students and direct-entry students shall meet the same admissions and program/major requirements. Universities will review student transcripts and/or student degree audits to identify students in a Transfer Pathway program prior to admissions decisions.

Universities shall review the student’s degree audit to determine which program requirements were met. Universities shall develop a process that identifies students in a transfer pathway program and the major they are planning to pursue.

Part 10. Student Responsibility
Students shall notify the university that they are in a Transfer Pathway and the major they are planning to pursue.

Part 11. College/University/System Responsibility
Information about Transfer Pathways will be available on college, university, and system transfer websites.

Related Documents:


Operating Instruction History:

Date of Adoption: 09/17/18
Date of Implementation: 09/17/18
Date of Last Review:

Date & Subject of Amendments:

No additional HISTORY.