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Transferring College Credits

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Q&A with Lou Pagano, Chief Operating Officer at Westwood College

The following conversation focuses on the process for seeking credit transfers to other universities and learning institutions:

What are some common questions that students have about transferring credits?

Are articulation agreements the only way to get credits transferred?

What about students who want to change schools before they complete their degree at Westwood?  Is the process the same?

What percentage of credit transfer requests are accepted?

If students have questions about transferring credits or want to get additional guidance about the process of reaching out to other schools, to whom can they go?

Lou Pagano - Transferrable College Credit l Westwood CollegeWhat are some common questions that students have about transferring credits?

Lou: The most common question is, "If I get a degree at Westwood, can I transfer the credits to another school for further degrees?" It's a smart question to ask if you are planning to continue your education, whether it is obtaining a graduate degree like a master's degree, or going to nursing school, or pursuing another form of additional education. The short answer is that it depends on the educational institution to which you are seeking to transfer your credits, and that is true whether you are a student seeking to transfer credits from Westwood, a liberal arts college, a state university or a community college.

Students need to understand that. except in limited circumstances, your Westwood credits will not be transferable to other schools. Westwood makes no promise that Westwood credits will transfer to another institution unless we have a written articulation agreement with that institution.

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Are articulation agreements the only way to get credits transferred?

Lou: The key is for students to be proactive. If you think that you might want to go to College X or Graduate School Y or Professional Training Program Z, contact the institution you are interested in attending as early as possible with two things in hand: a description of the program from the Westwood catalog and a syllabus from each class in order to allow the school in question to compare them against its own course offerings. Most schools will walk you through their processes for requesting pre-approval of the credit transfer, and that will give you a roadmap for next steps.

If you plan to attend graduate school, talk to your program chair at Westwood. He or she can provide guidance and insight into ways you can improve your chances of being accepted, as well as point you to graduate programs that may have accepted Westwood students from your program in the past.

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What about students who want to change schools before they complete their degree at Westwood? Is the process the same?

Lou: Yes. When a student begins thinking about transferring to another school, the student should obtain as much information as she or he can about whether his or her academic credits will transfer to the new institution. It is unlikely, however, that credits earned at Westwood College will transfer to other institutions, regardless of accreditation.

Students who are interested in changing college midstream will need to begin by doing some research. Contact the registrar or dean’s office at the college where you may wish to transfer and talk with them about what credits will transfer. These folks will provide important information to help with your decision and provide an understanding of what your standing will be if you make that move. For example, if you entered our school as a freshman, you may still be a freshman if you transfer to another college or university, even though you earned units here at Westwood College.

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What percentage of credit transfer requests are accepted?

Lou: It's difficult to say because the decision resides with the receiving institution and varies so much from school to school and student to student. I don't want to give students unrealistic expectations for credit transfers, and it is important to take the time to understand how the transfer process works. It is unlikely that credits earned at Westwood College will transfer to other institutions, regardless of accreditation.

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If students have questions about transferring credits or want to get additional guidance about the process of reaching out to other schools, to whom can they go?

Lou: Students need to know that we are here to help. I would suggest that the first person a student talk with is his or her campus president, dean or program chair. They have additional information about transferring credits that will be helpful and have a familiarity with the academic work that can make their advice specific to each student's situation and goals.

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