Transfer Credit Treasure – It’s Worth Digging For, Part I

The experience of searching for information on a website is sometimes like wading through seaweed: the way is murky and there is a danger of getting bogged down with every step. University websites are saturated with important information and finding what you need can turn into an arduous adventure. AU’s website can be a bit tricky to navigate, but It’s much better than some other university sites.

If You’re searching for information on transfer credits, expect to visit at least four different areas of the AU website, only two of which are listed on the A-Z Index. Although most of these areas have links to each other, It’s easy to forget which page contains what information. If you don’t want to spend fruitless time searching around for that vital piece of information that you just read a few minutes ago, keep careful notes on what you found where.

Transfer Credit Services
A good place to start. Located in the Office of the Registrar area of AU’s website, the Transfer Credit Services page is a plain-language outline of transfer credits. This page mainly consists of FAQs, the answers to which are generally links to other areas of AU’s site or to external sites.

Course and Program Search.
A subpage of Transfer Credit Services, this page allows you to search for courses and programs that AU has already evaluated for transfer credit. You can look up your previous courses and programs from other institutions to see if AU has already identified them as worthy of credit. Check the “Status” field to see if the course has been approved. If you don’t see the course You’re looking for, don’t despair?it just means that nobody has requested an evaluation of that course yet.

Undergraduate Calendar
The Evaluations and Transfer Credit section of the Undergraduate Calendar has the most information under one roof. There are nine subsections to read through. The Procedure subsection describes how and where to send transcripts and outlines to support your application for transfer credits, and the Timeline for Evaluation Completion subsection lets you know how long you’ll wait for results. In Transfer Credit Time Limits you’ll find important information regarding certain types of courses. In general, it doesn’t matter how long ago you took a course but there are important exceptions for nursing and computer-science courses, among others. If your previous education was from outside Canada or the US, you’ll need to read Foreign Transcript Evaluations. And, if You’re taking your degree at another institution and you want to use your AU credits towards that degree, you’ll want to read Transferring AU Courses to Another Institution.

Undergraduate Transfer Credit Policy
Found in the Policy and Procedures Manual section, this page outlines AU’s policy on transfer credits. This section contains valuable information on the methods used during the evaluation procedure. You don’t need to read this policy in order to apply for transfer credits, but I recommend it if you’d like a clear understanding of the evaluation process.

If you think you have even one course from another educational institution that may qualify for a transfer credit at AU, It’s worth the time to apply. With undergraduate courses running around $700 (or more, if you reside outside Alberta,) the current fee of $100 for a transfer credit evaluation makes the effort worthwhile. (Note that the $100 is for evaluation of all your courses and programs, not per course.)

Apply for transfer credit early, so you can evaluate how those credits might fit in to your AU undergraduate program. If you haven’t firmly decided on a program yet, just select one for now?you can easily change your program later without incurring any charges. (Be aware that you cannot enrol in an AU undergraduate program if you are already enrolled in a program at another institution. If you want to use your AU courses for credit at another educational institution, you need to refer to that institution’s transfer credit policy.)

Ready to dig for transcript credit treasure? A summary of the steps to apply for transfer credit at AU follows next week.

Barbara Lehtiniemi is a writer, photographer, and AU student. She lives on a windswept rural road in Eastern Ontario

(Editor’s Note: While AU Program students can change their program without charges, be careful about doing so. Whenever you change your program, the current program requirements apply. So if you were a Business student, then decided you wanted to try the English program, but after a few courses realized you were better off with Business, if the program has changed since you first registered in it, you’ll have to fulfill the new requirements instead of the ones you had initially to graduate.)

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