IRVING, Texas. February 5, 2001- North Lake College
President David England has been asked to join the
Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board's (Coordinating
Board) Transfer Task Force as an advisor and liaison
to the Community and Technical College Division's
primary policy committee. England has chaired the
Coordinating Board's statewide policy committee, the
Standing Advisory Committee on Program Quality and
Standards, for the last three years.
Under a law passed by the Texas Legislature in 1997,
if a student at an accredited community college completes
a 48-hour core curriculum and transfers to any public
state university, the university must accept the core
as a whole, substituting for the university core curriculum.
In the past, universities had more freedom in choosing
which courses to transfer and many required students
to complete additional university courses to meet
the requirements of the university's core curriculum.
The 1997 legislation was a giant step forward in
creating a seamless system of higher education in
the state of Texas," England said. "Under the old
system, transfer students often had to repeat courses
at the university or take courses that duplicated
what they had learned at the community college, resulting
in a loss of time and money for the student. In most
cases today, the transfer process is working well,
but the task force will take a close look at what
is happening and make recommendations to perfect the
Members of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating
Board discussed the credit transfer issue at their
regular meeting in Austin on January 25. Some universities
have questioned the level of rigor of some community
college courses. However, during the meeting, Coordinating
Board member Dolores Hutto Carruth of Irving said,
"To think that a freshman course taught in a university
with 500 students in one class is higher quality than
a class of 20 at a community college is ridiculous."
England was part of a community college contingent
that met with the presidents of all the University
of Texas system schools. North Lake College will be
participating in one of the model transfer studies
in partnership with the University of Texas at Arlington.
Another resource to facilitate transfer from Texas
community colleges to four-year universities is the
Texas Common Course Numbering System (TCCNS). Under
the system, lower division courses at community colleges
and four-year universities have the same course name
and number. Many private Texas universities, including
SMU and Baylor, are also part of the system. "TCCNS
eliminates much of the confusion experienced by transfer
students in the past," England said.
The task force will complete its work and make a
formal presentation to the Texas Higher Education
Coordinating Board in July.
North Lake College is a member of the Dallas County
Community College District.