• August 31, 2015

One Math Course, Variously Valued Within a Single University System

A student who completed Technical Mathematics I at Bronx Community College and tried to transfer its credits would get markedly different results at the City University of New York system’s 11 senior colleges. And an attempt to transfer one “equivalent” course would reflect even more discrepancies.


1. panacea - October 17, 2010 at 06:55 pm

I've never understood how they decide how much a college credit is worth. Nursing courses can run anywhere from 5 to 10 credit hours, requirements vary widely, and it's hard to know exactly why they are worth what they're worth.

When I transferred to a BSN program, they refused to take some of my nursing credits and told me I'd have to retake some rotations because they did the rotations as full semester courses. I had to pay close to 100 bucks a pop to test out of those rotations (4 altogether).

Here in North Carolina, my CC is participating in the CIP program that is conceptual based nursing as opposed to content based. One of the benefits is courses are supposed to be the same at every participating CC: a student who wants to transfer to another CC is supposed to be able to transfer their credits intact, no questions asked.

We'll see if that happens in practice.

2. cfabrams - October 18, 2010 at 06:30 am

The old "standard" for a semester hour credit was 1 "hour " of lecturing each week for 15 weeks was represented as 1 credit.
That, of course, was based on a very simplistic notion of how teaching and learning could be quantified.
This topic is a snuggly bed pal with the issue of grades. Our failure to address the issue of how learning is measured in assigning grades has brought upon us the busywork of "assessment." We will deserve whatever the issue of quantifying learning opportunity exposure (credits) brings to us.

Or can we rise to the occasion and take on the issues with the scholarly fervor that we apply in our other professional work and "fix" the problems before we have an unhappy fix imposed?

3. dbarron - October 18, 2010 at 09:13 am

So now the Government, Department of Ed.,is going to take away the authority of the accrediting bodies, made up of our peers, and tell private and state institutions what their academic model should be by regulating a credit hour standard.
I think we may have already slipped off the slope.

4. labjack - October 18, 2010 at 01:47 pm

We should be happy that the folks who brought us the resounding success of no child left behind are now taking on higher education. Is higher education so broken in the US that the governement needs to 'fix' it?

5. drjeff - October 20, 2010 at 05:08 pm

Although Higher Ed is pretty obviously "broken," asking the government to "fix" it is a little like asking a child to fix a modern car that runs poorly. After the government's "fix" we will wish it were only the mess we have now.

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