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3.4.4 Acceptance of academic credit

The institution has a defined and published policy for evaluating, awarding, and accepting credit for transfer, experiential learning, advanced placement, and professional certificates that is consistent with its mission and ensures that course work and learning outcomes are at the collegiate level and comparable to the institution’s own degree programs. The institution assumes responsibility for the academic quality of any course work or credit recorded on the institution’s transcript. (See Commission policy “The Transfer or Transcripting of Academic Credit.”) (Acceptance of academic credit)

Judgment of Compliance

Sam Houston State University complies with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Rule for accepting credit for transfer hours [1]. General guidelines for transferring credit are found in the Undergraduate Catalog and Graduate Catalog [2] [3]. At the undergraduate level, “a maximum of 66 academic hours plus four hours of activity based physical education can be accepted from accredited community colleges.” Undergraduate Admissions reviews all academic courses attempted at a four-year regionally accredited college or university in the United States for transferability. The Undergraduate Catalog includes information on transferring in lower division course credit, upper division course credit, and WECM courses. In addition, three Academic Policy Statements govern how credit is awarded at the University: Academic Credit for Work Experience, Courses and Grades Transferred from Other Colleges and Universities, and Acceptance of Foreign Language Courses [4] [5] [6]. These policies conform to Section 51.968 of the Texas Education Code requiring universities to “establish the institution’s conditions for granting course credit” [7].

Sam Houston State University uses the Texas Common Course Numbers to assist in identifying transfer credits [8]. These common course numbers are also provided in the course descriptions provided in each departmental section of the Undergraduate Catalog [9]. For students transferring from a number of community colleges that serve as feeder programs to Sam Houston State University, the Transfer Course Equivalency Guide online on SamWeb can identify for students if a class taken at a different institution has a direct substitute at SHSU [10]. To assist students who are transferring from a community college in Texas, SHSU has established articulation agreements with community colleges [11] [12]. These allow students to easily transfer credits to Sam Houston State University and to access academic advising at Sam Houston State University while still a community college student, ensuring efficient and effective transfer of credit. Transfer students may use the Transfer Course Equivalency Guide online to ensure that the courses they take at another college or university will transfer to Sam Houston State University.

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) Rule 4.28 requires that core curriculum courses be transferrable among all Texas state institutions. Students who complete the core requirements at one Texas institutions are considered “core complete” when they transfer to another Texas institution [13].

Since occasional disputes over the transferability of credits are inevitable, the State of Texas has established a process for handling such disputes when a lower-division course is not accepted for credit by a Texas institution of higher education. “To qualify as a dispute the course(s) in question must be offered by the institution denying the credit (receiving institution), or in the case of upper-level institutions, must be published as a lower-division course accepted for fulfilling lower-level requirements. For community colleges, the course(s) must be listed in the Lower Division Academic Course Guide Manual, and be offered at the receiving institution. Additionally, the sending institution may challenge the receiving institution’s denial of credit."

"The University reserves the right to refuse to accept transfer credit when the instructor of record does not meet the requisite academic credentials. In addition, courses taken at community colleges do not satisfy the advanced hours required at Sam Houston State University” [14].

Sam Houston State University accepts up to 30 semester hours of credit for Advanced Placement. The Undergraduate Catalog gives detailed information about Advanced Placement in the section on Testing. Sam Houston State University also accepts credit for CLEP exams, DANTES exams, and SAT II exams [15]. The Undergraduate Catalog gives detailed information about these options.

Sam Houston State University recognizes the International Baccalaureate program for those students who earn the IB degree [16]. Although Sam Houston typically accepts a maximum of thirty (30) semester hours of credit through a combination of nationally standardized examinations and/or locally designed and administered departmental tests, students earning the IB degree are capable of earning in excess of those 30 hours. The policy governing acceptance of International Baccalaureate credit is outlined in the Undergraduate Catalog [17].

All policies concerning the transfer of credit are periodically examined and revised by the Academic Policy Council [18].

Supporting Documentation
Documentation Reference
Document Title
[1] Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Rules and Regulations, Chapter 4, Subchapter B
[2] Transfer Credit, Undergraduate Catalog, 2006-2008
[3] Transfer Credit, Graduate Catalog, 2007-2009
[4] Academic Policy Statement 860904 - Academic Credit for Work
[5] Academic Policy Statement 801007 - Courses and Grades Transferred from Other Colleges and Universities
[6] Academic Policy Statement 030502 - Acceptance of Foreign Language Courses
[7] Texas Statutes Education Code, Chapter 51, Section 51.968
[8] Texas Common Course Numbers, Undergraduate Catalog, 2006-2008
[9] Common Course Number Catalog Example - Biology
[10] Transfer Course Equivalency Guide, Online
[11] Community College Partners
[12] Articulation Agreement Sample, Blinn College
[13] Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Rules and Regulations, Chapter 4, Subchapter B, Section 4.28 (c) (e)
[14] Transfer Disputes, Undergraduate Catalog, 2006-2008
[15] Testing for AP, CLEP, DANTES, and SATII, Undergraduate Catalog, 2006-2008
[16] International Baccalaureate, Testing Center
[17] International Baccalaureate, Undergraduate Catalog, 2006-2008
[18] Academic Policy Council - Meeting Minutes, December 7, 2005

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Sam Houston State University
Huntsville, TX 77341
(936) 294-1111