History of MassTransfer

1971: Florida becomes the first state to mandate legislatively a statewide articulation policy.

1974: The first Commonwealth Transfer Compact (CTC) is established. The CTC is for students who complete an associate degree at a community college with a 2.0 grade point average and who complete a minimum 35-credit general education core. The CTC guarantees the transfer of community college credits and gives eligible students full junior standing at the receiving institution.

Early 1990s: Joint Admissions agreements (individual program-to-program agreements for students who complete an associate degree at a community college) are created at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and then adopted by the Commonwealth as a state system of transfer. Students who are enrolled in an approved joint admissions program and have earned at least a 2.5 grade point average will automatically be admitted into the state university or UMass campus with which there is an agreement. There are more than 2,300 joint admissions agreements between the community colleges and the University of Massachusetts campuses and the state universities.

1997: Tuition Advantage Program is established. Joint Admissions students who earn a 3.0 grade point average are entitled to a tuition waiver equal to 33% of the resident tuition rate at the UMass campus or state university for two years. (Revised to 100% waiver by Board of Higher Education vote in June 2016).

2004: The Early Childhood Education Transfer Compact and the Elementary Education Transfer Compact are the Commonwealth’s first efforts at establishing statewide transfer agreements for specific majors. Students who complete the associate degree with the required coursework, earn a 2.75 grade point average, and achieve a passing score on the Communication and Literacy Skills Test of the Massachusetts Test for Education Licensure are guaranteed admission with all credits applied to the baccalaureate degree.

April 2007: The Board of Higher Education creates the Commonwealth Transfer Advisory Group (CTAG) and charges it with evaluating the Commonwealth’s current policies and practices, diagnosing barriers associated with transfer, comparing and assessing policies and practices enacted in other states, recommending policies and practices to remedy transfer barriers, and identifying costs associated with proposed solutions.

June 2008: The Board accepts the final report from CTAG, including the recommendation to implement its proposed MassTransfer policy effective AY2010, and to expand alignment of statewide program-to-program and course-to-course transfer.

July 2009: DHE launches the MassTransfer website guiding students on the MassTransfer policy’s new General Education Block and the Associate-to-Bachelor’s Linked Programs.

2012: Community colleges begin work to develop a segment-wide course-to-course equivalency database. The Legislature includes funding in the Vision Project Performance Incentive Fund (VP-PIF) dedicated to promoting adoption of common courses across public higher ed, leading to the expansion of the community colleges’ project to include state universities and UMass. Also: DHE receives a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to increase the percentage of the RN workforce who hold a BS/N or above, and as part of this initiative establishes the Nursing Education Transfer Compact (NETC) Working Group.

January 2014: The BHE endorses the Nursing Education Transfer Compact. Modeled on the Early Childhood Education Compact, and incorporating elements of the MassTransfer policy, the NETC creates pathways from the community college ADN to the BSN degree at a state university or the University of Massachusetts.

Spring 2014: DHE releases the white paper, Creating a Unified System of Transfer for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Fall 2014: DHE begins collaborating with the campuses in developing MassTransfer agreements featuring fully aligned, course-by-course transfer maps (A2B Mapped) in six high-transfer disciplines: Biology, Chemistry, Economics, History, Political Science, and Psychology.

Fall 2015: DHE begins collaborating with the campuses in developing A2B Mapped agreements in ten more high-transfer disciplines: Business, Communication and Media Studies, Computer Science, Criminal Justice, Early Childhood Education, English, Liberal Arts, Mathematics, Sociology, and STEM with a focus on Natural and Physical Sciences.

January 2016: The Board of Higher Education calls upon the Commissioner to 1) implement the A2B Mapped agreements; and 2) report to the Board by Spring 2017 on progress towards implementation.