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Board hopes growing library of college courses will simplify student transfers

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The Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education wants to make it easier for students to transfer between the state’s two-year and four-year colleges and universities.

Last Thursday, the Board added 16 courses to a new statewide “transfer course library,” which guarantees equivalent credit at any of the state’s 26 public two- and four-year institutions.

“There are thousands of students that transfer each year,” said Missouri Department of Higher Education Director of Communications and Marketing Liz Coleman. “In 2011, almost 10,000 undergraduates in Missouri transferred from one college to another .… This ultimately will help them achieve their degree that they’re working toward because if a course doesn’t transfer the student may have to retake that course.”

The library started in September with four courses, with the goal of simplifying the transfer process as well as saving students time and money.

“Every course a student takes in excess of the number required for graduation can amount to hundreds of dollars in cost,” said Assistant Commissioner for Academic Affairs Rusty Monhollon. “There is evidence that suggests that students, in many cases, are having to take six to nine additional credit hours to earn their degree.”

Monhollon said that part of the reason for those additional credit hours is from students that must retake courses that don’t transfer.

The 20 courses that have been added to the library so far are lower-division courses that students commonly try to transfer with.

“The courses that are being included have been reviewed by faculty and department chairs and folks in academic offices across the various campuses,” Monhollon said.

The board will continue working with state universities and colleges to add an additional five courses to the library by mid-summer.

Legislation approved in 2012 requires that the department create a transfer library with 25 courses by July 1, 2014.

Monhollon said that many other states, including Oklahoma, have created similar libraries and served as models for the legislation.

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