ARUCC AND PCCAT – ENSURING RESEARCH AND EVIDENCE GUIDE STANDARDS DEVELOPMENT
The Guide results from extensive national and provincial consultation. Its contents are deeply informed by the primary and secondary research conducted as part of the ARUCC PCCAT Transcript Standards and Transfer Credit Nomenclature Study. The research spanned two time periods: January through to April 2014 (Phase 1) and February to June 2015 (Phase 2).
Phase 1 research identified current transcript and transfer credit nomenclature practices in Canada and in four select international jurisdictions – United Kingdom, United States, Europe, and Australia. Phase 2 extended the consultation and tested potential new standards and definitions with regional associations and stakeholders across Canada.
Core principles guided the research
- Supporting student mobility
- Respecting institutional autonomy and provincial authority
- Encouraging clarity, consistency, and transparency
- Building enduring standards from research and evidence
- Encouraging broad and deep consultation and engagement of individual, institutional, and organizational stakeholders
Specific research objectives resulted in the published Transcript and Transfer Credit Guide
- Articulating the enhancement requirements for the 2003 ARUCC Transcript Guide and testing its core principles and definitions
- Identifying at a specific, operational level the current transcript and transfer credit terminology practices in use across Canada within postsecondary institutions and by associated organizations
- Highlighting gaps and opportunities in current transcript and transfer credit nomenclature practices
- Identifying emergent thinking surrounding transcript and transfer credit terminology standards
- Identifying promising practices in various jurisdictions (with a particular focus on Europe, the United Kingdom, United States, and Australia)
- Creating the transcript and transfer credit terminology standards Guide
The research employed a variety of methods to ensure breadth and depth
The research methods in Phase 1 included an initial online poll and a national survey which saw an institutional response rate of 57%. In spring 2015, the Phase 2 national survey saw participation from more than 200 people from across the country. Both phases utilized workshops, in-person stakeholder interviews, and reviews of foundational documents and websites available provincially, nationally, and internationally. In total, more than 200 registrarial and pathway professionals participated in regional workshops conducted in the 2014 and 2015 spring time periods. These efforts supplemented over 50 stakeholder interviews and included a review of more than 100+ sample transcripts and transfer credit policies from 40+ institutions. XML data standards for electronic data exchange were also reviewed.
The research findings are published online.
“[M]uch of what we know about student success focuses on the efforts of individual institutions. …to improve student persistence and graduation at the institution of original enrollment. We know far less about the factors associated with student success for mobile students …. [A] new view may prove useful, in which students are the unit of analysis and institutions are viewed as stepping stones along a diverse set of educational paths.”
(Hossler, D. et al, February, 2012, p. 8).