Online System to Help Pennsylvania Students Transfer College Credits to Participating Schools

Pennsylvania’s massive pool of potential college transfer students now have a system that makes the transfer process easier, less time-consuming, and more affordable.

The state’s Department of Education unveiled Tuesday the Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Center (PA TRAC) Web site – www.patrac.org – that provides students with instructions and resources to easily and successfully transfer themselves and their credits to participating colleges and universities in Pennsylvania.

“It will make the transfer process easier and save the transfer students money,” says Pennsylvania Education Department spokesman Michael Race. “They won’t have to do redo courses at one school that they already took at another because the credits don’t transfer. It will encourage them to go on and get a degree, as opposed to giving up in frustration because they can’t get credits to transfer.”

In 2006, Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell signed a law mandating the state’s 14 community colleges and 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education to adopt equivalency standards across the state, creating at least 30 hours of foundational courses with the credits that would be easily transferable among those institutions. The law also called for the establishment of an electronic portal that provides public access to transfer information.

As a result of this law, the state not only created the electronic portal, PA TRAC, but it also finalized the transfer course equivalencies and the Transfer Credit Framework that are made available through PA TRAC. The framework — which lists those courses that are easily transferring among participating colleges and universities — goes into effect for students who will matriculate in the fall.

Not only are the 28 colleges in the state’s higher education system going to guarantee certain credit transfers through PA TRAC, but four other institutions not part of the Pennsylvania state system, including Lincoln University and St. Francis University, are participating in the transfer and articulation effort.

Through PA TRAC, Pennsylvania educators are also seeking to provide new resources that assist an increasingly nomadic college student population.

“Pursuit of a college degree has grown more common in recent decades, but also more complicated because of the nature of our increasingly mobile and multitasking society,” says Pennsylvania Education Secretary Gerald L. Zahorchak. “Many students move from region to region and often earn college credits at multiple institutions over many years as they work toward a degree.”

Since they’ve launched the new portal, the next step for the state’s Department of Education is making sure students take notice of the new system.

“We plan to undertake a public awareness campaign through colleges and universities and promote this on the campuses,” Race says. “We are hoping through word of mouth and through establishing a presence on college campuses that we can make people aware of it.”

The 32 schools participating in the transfer and articulation effort are listed below:

State System of Higher Education

Bloomsburg University
California University
Cheyney University
Clarion University
East Stroudsburg University
Edinboro University
Indiana University
Kutztown University
Lock Haven University
Mansfield University
Millersville University
Shippensburg University
Slippery Rock University
West Chester University

Community Colleges

Bucks County Community College
Butler County Community College
Community College of Allegheny County
Community College of Beaver County
Community College of Philadelphia
Delaware County Community College
Harrisburg Area Community College
Lehigh Carbon Community College
Luzerne County Community College
Montgomery County Community College
Northampton County Area Community College
Pennsylvania Highlands Community College
Reading Area Community College
Westmoreland County Community College

Other Participating Institutions

Lincoln University
Lackawanna College
Seton Hill University
St. Francis University

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