Transfer of credit is a complex matter that is dependent on the decisions by a receiving institution. It involves transfer of credit between dissimilar institutions and curricula and recognition of extra-institutional learning, as well as transfer between institutions and curricula with similar characteristics. As their personal circumstances and educational objectives change, students seek to have their learning, wherever and however attained, recognized by institutions where they enroll for further study. It is important for reasons of social equity and educational effectiveness for all institutions to develop reasonable and definitive policies and procedures for acceptance of such learning experiences, as well as for the transfer of credits earned at another institution. Such policies and procedures should provide maximum consideration for the individual student who has changed institutions or objectives. It is the receiving institution's responsibility to provide reasonable and definitive policies and procedures for determining a student's knowledge in required subject areas. All sending institutions have a responsibility to furnish transcripts and other documents necessary for a receiving institution to judge the quality and quantity of the student's work. Institutions also have a responsibility to advise the student that the work reflected on the transcript may or may not be accepted by a receiving institution as bearing the same (or any) credits as those awarded by the provider institution, or that the credits awarded will be applicable to the academic credential the student is pursuing.
DEAC standards require institutions to disclose in their catalogs, websites and enrollment agreements that the acceptance of earned credits is determined by the receiving institution. (Part 3, Section VIII(A)(3), DEAC Accreditation Handbook). Furthermore, DEAC-accredited institutions must implement a fair and equitable transfer credit policy that is published in the catalog. The steps for requesting transfer credit are clear and disclose the documentation required for review. Students are able to appeal transfer credit decisions using published procedures. Transfer credit requests are not denied based solely on the source of accreditation of the credit-granting institution. (Part 3, Section VIII(F), DEAC Accreditation Handbook).
More guidance on transfer of credit evaluation is available in a Joint Statement on Transfer and Award of Credit. Published in December 2021, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers and the American Council on Education released this statement addressing important considerations for institutions to take into account when developing and implementing credit transfer policies.