By Angela Walcott
Imagine dedicating yourself to a life of study to secure a better future—sacrificing and denying yourself because you know it will all be worth it in the end. You pride yourself on maintaining good grades throughout your years of study and with one final semester remaining, you decide to switch universities. Your pride quickly turns to panic when you receive a letter from the admissions office stating that the last three years are worthless because the university grading systems don’t match. Your hard work and determination were in vain and you are left hanging on a limb.
The prospect of sitting in on classes that repeating the same concepts you learned years before is less than appealing, particularly if you are an adult learner. The additional costs for tuition that you will have to shell out are an added setback for any student, regardless of age. Apart from asking yourself ‘what was it all for’, it appears as though there is little you can do but start from the beginning.
This scenario was a common experience before representatives from the colleges and universities stepped in to alleviate the problems and issues arising from transfer credits.
ONCAT, the Ontario Council on Articulation and Transfer began as the College University Consortium Council (CUCC) which was established in 1996 to facilitate, promote and coordinate joint education and training ventures by Ontario’s colleges and universities. In 2011 after collaboration with the Council of Ontario Universities and student advocacy organizations, the Minister of Training Colleges and Universities announced a new provincial transfer framework and the establishment of a new coordinating body to replace the CUCC, and it was called ONTCAT.
ONTransfer, a comprehensive website, operates in collaboration with the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. Developed and maintained by ONCAT, ONTransfer is interactive and easy-to-use and provides students in Ontario with information on how they can transfer credits among postsecondary programs of study in publicly funded colleges and universities. ONTransfer is designed to help make the transition, from one post-secondary institution to another less daunting, for example, by listing advisors who can discuss your particular academic status.
Difficulties surrounding transferring credits can arise due to divergent course evaluation systems between two institutions. They can also occur due to a lack of communication between parties, loss and/ or destruction of student records or even insufficient documentation. Thanks to ONTransfer and other agencies, it is now possible to receive advanced standing if attending a new university. In general, the burden and hassle of trying to figure out where to begin are reduced.
Students also have the option of following up with personal enquiries with institution contacts. The resources available through ONTransfer are valuable, particularly when knowledge gained from years of study and hard work is priceless.
Visit http://www.ocutg.on.ca for further information.