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Frequently Asked Questions about Course Articulation
1. What is articulation?
Articulation is the process of developing a formal, written agreement that identifies courses on a "sending" campus (school requesting articulation) that is comparable to, or acceptable in lieu of, specific course requirements at a "receiving" campus (school receiving articulation request). The development of course articulation agreements facilitates transfer for students from one campus to another (i.e. transfer from Foothill College to UC Berkeley).
2. What is the role of the Articulation Officer (AO)?
The process of faculty review leading to the articulation of courses between institutions is coordinated and facilitated by the articulation officer on each campus.  Specifically, the articulation officer:
  • Initiates faculty-approved articulation agreements between institutions of higher education
  • Serves as a consultant to faculty and academic units, providing needed materials and information about course articulation proposals and acceptances.
  • Serves as an advocate for Foothill College faculty and campus academic programs to other institutions.
  • Is responsible for accurately communicating and conveying articulation information and concerns of other institutions to Foothill College faculty.
  • Monitors each stage of the articulation process.
  • Manages and updates campus articulation data and information
  • Facilitates campus participation in intersegmental programs.
  • Disseminates current and accurate articulation data to appropriate departments, staff, and students
3. What is the role of faculty in the articulation process?
The process of developing and reviewing curriculum and coursework to determine course comparability between institutions rests with the faculty at the respective institutions. Faculty members in each discipline are responsible for the review of course content, the identification of comparable courses, and the authorization of a specific course for transferring students. Once this review, identification and formal written acceptance process has been completed, a course (or courses) is said to have been “articulated”. Implicit in the articulation process is involvement, communication and cooperation between the respective faculties of each institution. It is important to note that articulated courses are not to be construed as “equivalent” but rather as comparable or in lieu of each other. The process of course articulation between and among campuses is the foundation of the vital transfer function in California. Course articulation is the road map by which students navigate the transfer process. It creates a curriculum that allows a relatively smooth academic transition and progression between the segments of higher education in California Faculty in each discipline are responsible for . . .
  • the review of course content,
  • the identification of comparable courses, and
  • the authorization of acceptance of course articulation.
Once this review, identification, and formal written authorization process has occurred, the AO is responsible for submitting the proposed articulation to the receiving campus. The AO notifies all counselors on campus, as well as the division deans and curriculum representatives, about newly articulated course(s).
4. What is the process for transferability of a course? How long does it take?
Requests for articulation should be made to the Articulation Officer for each course in which articulation is requested. Presuming the course is appropriate . . . A. For CSU transferability
  • The course is accepted as transferable to the CSU system.
  • The AO inputs the course in ASSIST as CSU transferable.
  • Courses are only submitted to ASSIST for CSU transferability 1 time per semester.
B. For CSU GE/Breadth certification purposes
  • The AO submits the course(s) to the CSU Office of the Chancellor for approval. Note: A course must be listed as CSU transferable on ASSIST prior to submission for CSU GE Certification. Courses can only be submitted to the CSU GE-Cert. 1 time per year.
C. For UC transferability
  • The AO submits the course(s) to the UC Office of the President for approval. Note: Courses can only be submitted to UC 1 time per year.
D. For IGETC certification purposes
  • The AO submits the course(s) to the UC Office of the President for approval on IGETC. Note: A course must be listed on the UC transferable list on ASSIST prior to submission for IGETC. Courses can only be submitted to IGETC 1 time per year.
5. How long does the process for obtaining transferability take?
It takes several months to a year, or sometimes longer, to get a new course or a revised course approved for all the appropriate transfer articulation lists. The process begins with the approval of a course first by our Curriculum Committee. If it was approved prior to the deadline for the catalog (usually in mid spring), it will be listed in the newly published catalog or catalog supplement for the upcoming academic year. Courses approved by our Curriculum Committee in time to be published in our college catalog or catalog supplement may be submitted for approval for inclusion on the UC Transfer Course Agreements (TCA) list and the CSU Baccalaureate (Bacc) list. These are the two primary level lists of courses. Our courses must be approved for these lists first before any secondary agreements (i.e. Course to Course, IGETC, CSU- GE, or Pre-Major courses) may be initiated.
6. What happens to an articulation agreement when courses are revised?
When courses are revised, the articulation may have to be reviewed to ensure course comparability is maintained. California State University and the University of California consider a change substantial when content and/or prerequisite changes are made. Name and course number (only if number does not remove transferability) changes are not deemed substantial; therefore the articulation is not generally affected. The Articulation officer distributes a list of all substantive Foothill curriculum changes to each of the universities with which we articulate one time annually.
7. What are the different types of articulation agreements?
A. Course-to-Course Agreements
The purpose of a Course-to-Course agreement is to determine if a specific course taken at one college will satisfy a requirement at another college.
B. General Education
General Education Breadth agreements indicate those courses that a student can complete at SBCC to satisfy the general education requirements at the transfer campus.
Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) is a general education program that community college students in California can use to satisfy lower-division general education requirements at any CSU or UC campus.
D. CSU General Education
The CSU General education agreement is a general education program that community college students in California can use to satisfy the lower division GE requirements for the CSU campuses.
E. Major Preparation
The Major Preparation agreements specify the lower division courses required for a specific major at a specific 4-year institution.
F. Transferable Course Agreements
University of California Office of the President Transfer Course Agreement is a listing of courses offered at Foothill College that are transferable to the University of California.
G. Transfer Admission Agreements (T.A.A.)
T.A.A. is a formal, written agreement that guarantees admission to selected 4-year institutions by satisfying specific criteria. These criteria include courses that must be completed before transfer, grade point average required, and specific requirements for impacted majors.
H. California Articulation Number System
The California Articulation Number (CAN) System is a cross-reference course identification system for many lower-division, transferable major preparation courses commonly taught on college campuses.
8. How can I see articulation agreements online?
The Assist repository contains the statewide student transfer information for California. ASSIST (Articulation System Stimulating Interinstitutional Student Transfer) is a computerized student-transfer information system that can be accessed over the World Wide Web. It displays reports of how course credits earned at one California College or university can be applied when transferred to another. ASSIST is the official repository of articulation for California's colleges and universities and therefore provides the most accurate and up-to-date information available about student transfer in California." University of California, California State University, and California Community College courses are covered.
For more information about articulation agreements with independent and out-of-state institutions, access
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