Originally appeared on the Huffington Post in December 2014.
One of the priorities in Ontario in recent years has been measures to help post-secondary students get proper recognition for their completed credits when they transfer to another college or university.
Improving the system for recognizing completed credits means that students who transfer won't have to repeat courses they have already completed. This makes it easier for students to pursue further studies and allows more students to pursue combinations of both college and university education.
Recently, the colleges announced an historic agreement that represents a major breakthrough in this area.
Ontario's public colleges announced a provincewide agreement among all 24 colleges that allows students in diploma business programs at an Ontario college to get recognition for their full years' credits at any other Ontario college.
The agreement, announced by Colleges Ontario and the Ontario Council on Articulation and Transfer (ONCAT), applies to students in accounting, business administration, human resources and marketing programs.
The agreement means that a student who transfers at the end of the student's first year of study will start the second year at the new college with all of that student's first-year credits fully recognized. In other words, the student won't have to repeat any of those first-year courses.
Similarly, a student who transfers at the end of the second year will have the student's first two years of credits fully recognized.
This will eliminate duplication and cut costs for business students who transfer to another college within Ontario.
It's the first-ever provincewide agreement of its kind in Ontario. And there's a reason we started with business. Business is Ontario's top transfer program.
Ontario's colleges are now working to develop similar agreements in other areas. In this competitive economy, we know how important it is to provide students with a broad range of options to pursue further studies.
The provincial government also understands the importance of improving the credit-transfer system in the province.
As Training, Colleges and Universities Minister Reza Moridi said in a news release about the agreement, the Ontario government "knows a strong credit transfer system will lead to a more effective and cost-effective post-secondary education for students across the province. That's why we continue to work with our sector partners to make Ontario's post-secondary education system more seamless, flexible and affordable."
Being creative, nimble and open to new ideas is the way forward for post-secondary education. Ontario colleges will continue working to help more students get access to programs that will help them find meaningful and rewarding careers.
For more information about transferring credits, visit www.ONTransfer.ca.