New Gen. Ed. policy aids transfers

Cameron Koch

Students deciding to continue their education after attending community and technical college this fall may find the process easier thanks to new transfer policies.

The new General Education Core, approved by the Council on Postsecondary Education last summer, allows students who receive a degree or complete certain general education requirements at a Kentucky Community and Technical College System school to count as also fulfilling the general education requirements of public four-year universities.

KCTCS is made up of 16 two-year colleges throughout the state, including Bowling Green Technical College.

Melissa Bell, student success director with the CPE, said the previous general education core categories were more specific and required 33 hours. This caused complications for students attempting to transfer, as classes taken from the KCTCS school didn’t always match up with general education requirements at the four-year universities.

Three levels for the certification exist — general education category certified, core certified and full certified.

The category certification means a student has completed at least one general education category and must complete the remaining ones at the four-year institution they transfer to. Core certified means a student has fulfilled all requirements, while the full certification means a student has fulfilled those same requirements and earned additional credits.

“You don’t have to do course-to-course equivalences,” Bell said. “If a KCTCS institution certifies you as full certification, then the receiving institution takes all of that, and it eases the process of transfer.”

Rep. Jim DeCesare, R-Bowling Green, a member of the post-secondary education committee, said the intent of the legislation is to encourage more students to pursue further education after community or technical college.

“That’s the whole hope, is that more people pursue their four-year degree,” DeCesare said. “A lot of people can’t get into a four-year university right after high school.”

Brian Meredith, associate vice president for Enrollment Management, said that transfer students benefit WKU.

The university hopes to continue increasing transfer numbers by building a strong relationship with KCTCS, he said.

“We have a good many transfers thanks to KCTCS, and that’s a good thing,” Meredith said. “I believe over time we will increase our transfers even more.”

Bell said she hopes the new system will make the process of transferring easier for all involved.

“This is a big step in basing learning on competencies,” Bell said. “When you base things off competencies, what the student is supposed to know and be able to demonstrate, it makes it easier to evaluate.”