• Articulation Agreement Guidelines Manual

  • Articulation Agreements Maual


    In alignment with our Vision and Mission, Mt. Hood Community College (MHCC) recognizes the need for efficient and thoughtfully constructed pathways with four-year colleges and universities. We are committed to working with stakeholders to ensure students are able to transfer as many academic credits as possible. MHCC President Debra Derr actively seeks expansion with university partners and opportunities for students to advance in their education through these cooperative partnerships.

    These strategic pathways allow MHCC students to:

    • Ensure curricular alignment with key partners
    • Design articulation degree maps to their transfer college
    • Maximize the transfer of academic credit

    What is an articulation agreement?

    An articulation agreement is a binding contract between two educational entities, in which students will transfer earned academic credit. These agreements formalize the transfer process for prospective transfer students who intend on earning a bachelor’s degree. Successful agreements will allow the MHCC graduate to enter a university as junior standing within their major. There are occasions where students may need to complete one or two additional 200-level courses (outside their AAS requirement) to meet a university requisite. Early and proactive advising are encouraged to help mitigate these types of situations.

    Researchers strongly support the collaborative effort of articulation agreements and structured pathways (Monaghan and Attewell, 2015). Two of the largest dropout factors include: 1) credits do not transfer as the student intended, 2) their transfer path is unclear. If students are able to transfer 90%+ of their undergraduate credit to a university they are 2.5X more likely to graduate with a bachelor’s degree (Xu, Jaggars, & Fletcher, 2016). These two issues can be solved simultaneously by properly constructed articulation agreements.

    It’s important to note, often, agreements do not guarantee admission into the university. Colleges may also require a certain GPA prior to admission.

    Benefits of an articulation agreement for students:

    Upon meeting all of the requirements as stated in the articulation agreement, students will have met the lower division academic requirements within their discipline. This allows students to transfer to the agreed upon college as a junior within their major. Additional benefits include,

    • Ease of transition from MHCC to transfer institution
    • Proper distribution of academic credit
    • Safeguards against taking unnecessary or duplicative courses, which positively impact the students’ time, money, and effort. 
    • Many universities allow pre-transfer students access to advising, career counseling, and other services if an articulation agreement exists.
    • Early and consistent motivation to continue with school
    • Improved job readiness and placement
    • Fast-tracks the students’ progress

    Benefits of an articulation agreement for MHCC:

    The benefits to the educational institution include:

    • Improved student success – for both institutions
    • Promotes academic alignment, analysis of learning outcomes, and collaboration
    • Encourages communication between institutions and cross-campus
    • Enhanced public relations, marketing and recruiting efforts

    What principles should guide our articulation agreements?

    MHCC will enter into agreements that:

    • Align with MHCC’s Mission, Vision and Values
    • Support the educational needs of students and community
    • Support the educational and career attainment for current and future students
    • Can be mapped to university partners and aligns with their curriculum
    • Provide effective and cooperative systems to strengthen partnerships and initiatives that benefit students
    • Will reduce costs to students
    • Are mutually beneficial to all parties

    Articulation Agreement Work Flow

    Internal Communication and Initiation

    • Prior to reaching out to the college or university, MHCC’s academic department should make contact with Instructional Services about their intent to partner. Specifically, email or call the Articulation and Transfer Coordinator, Christy Weigel, 503-491-7298.
    • After letting Instructional Services know about the intent to partner, MHCC department faculty can contact the partnering institution. Include the Articulation and Transfer Coordinator in this email. If you aren’t sure who to contact or are not getting a response back from the university inquire with Instructional Services.

    Development of the Agreement

    • Each university has their own way of establishing an articulation agreement. Typically, however, the majority of the paperwork and contract is drafted through the bachelor’s degree granting institution. Details that must be included on the agreement is as follows:
      • Catalog year
      • Exact degree titles
      • Term and Termination date (start date and end date of contract – though we encourage the agreements to be ongoing unless/until curriculum changes require a review and signing of a new/altered agreement)
      • Notice of a change to curriculum deadline – typically June 30
      • Admission and financial aid statement (not guaranteed)
      • A 2+2 degree map (2-year associate degree + 2-years of upper-division core)
      • Additional courses that must be completed prior to transfer (100-math is often a class students must complete prior to transferring)
    • Course equivalencies, degree maps and contracts are developed and completed by the Instructional Services office. It is typical to go through several iterations of editing before a finalized agreement is reached. During this time, faculty may be relied on heavily for their content expertise.
    • Curricular maps and contracts are to be made ADA accessible.

    Approval Process

    • Once the final version of the contract, course equivalencies, and degree map have been establish, the contract will be routed for signatures. For Career Technical Education (CTE) programs, Dr. Derr, Jarrod Hogue, the department Dean, and Program Director need to sign it. For non-CTE programs, Dr. Derr, the department Dean, and Program Director will need to sign it. After all signatures are gathered a copy will be emailed or mail to the university. Once their signatures are gathered we will get a final copy.
    • The College president has the final approval on all articulation agreements.
    • Once the university receives the signed copy, notice of the articulation agreement will be sent out to the college community (via email) and posted online. Instructional Services will let the District Communications office know of the new agreement for marketing efforts. It’s also advised to visit an Academic Advising staff meeting to discuss the new agreement.

    Articulation Upkeep

    • Articulation agreements are typically approved on a yearly basis (but not always) – which means they need to be updated often. The specific renewal needs of the agreement must to be within the contact. Faculty should take note of when their articulation ends, if course credits change, course titles change, etc…. Anything that alters the agreement needs to be changed in the following year’s agreement. Instructional Services will be proactive in keeping articulations up-to-date and will make the necessary contact to renew the agreement.
    • Current articulation agreements will be placed onto the Articulation Agreements webpage.