Policy Will Pave Way for Students to Transfer Easily Throughout 64-campus System Beginning with Fall 2010 Semester

New York City – Transferring courses, credits and even campuses will be much easier for students throughout the 64-campus State University of New York system, thanks to a groundbreaking transfer policy endorsed today by the Board of Trustees.

Beginning in the fall of 2010, students at all SUNY two- and four-year colleges will be able to transfer seamlessly to any SUNY campus without having to re-take courses or deal with burdensome administrative issues. Under this new policy, first- and second-year undergraduate courses that have been successfully completed at one SUNY institution will transfer with full credit to another.

In short, the new process will save SUNY students time and money, allowing them to focus on obtaining their degree. In addition, it may shorten a students’ time to complete their degree, enabling them to more swiftly advance their careers in the pubic, private, or academic sectors, which will in turn strengthen New York State’s workforce.

“This policy represents a watershed for SUNY,” said Board Chairman Carl T. Hayden. “Chancellor Zimpher and the members of the Joint Committee on Transfer and Articulation should be praised for this quantum improvement in helping students earn a SUNY degree. I am grateful for the successful efforts of Interim Provost David Lavallee, Vice Chancellor Dennis Golladay and faculty leaders Ken O’Brien and Tina Good.”

“SUNY is removing barriers in order to allow students to thrive and move, without walls, through the educational pipeline in a shorter period of time,” said Chancellor Zimpher. “This policy will allow SUNY students to thrive and continue their academic careers, or start businesses, fill jobs, buy homes, pay taxes and ensure the economic vitality of New York and enhance the quality of life in their communities. I congratulate the members of the Joint Committee and applaud the Board for improving student mobility throughout the SUNY System.”

“This resolution is the result of a great deal of hard work and system-wide cooperation among SUNY faculty, staff and students," said Lavallee. "The resulting enhanced student mobility allows our students to more easily plan their educational programs and to benefit from the many resources available to them across the entire SUNY system.”

To view Lavallee’s presentation to the Board of Trustees, click here.

“Students have too often suffered when simply trying to take advantage of the array of resources our schools offer during the transferring process,” said SUNY Student Assembly President and Student Trustee Melody Mercedes. “This resolution has been long awaited and will be received with much excitement on behalf of students. It is a major step towards providing students with the support they need for attaining their degrees which will benefit all of New York State.”

“We have come a long way toward creating a faculty-defined transfer system that will best serve the needs of our students,” said SUNY University Faculty Senate President and Trustee Kenneth P. O’Brien, associate professor of history at SUNY Brockport. “This has been a successful, cooperative process involving all constituencies within the University, each bringing a distinct perspective. While there is yet some way to go to put in place all the tools we need, we now have a road map and a shared commitment to get there.”

“Facilitating transfer for our students has long been a concern for SUNY's community college,” said Dr. Tina Good, president of the Faculty Council of Community Colleges and associate professor of English at Suffolk County Community College. “The Faculty Council of Community Colleges believes this resolution marks a turning point for SUNY because it acknowledges the power of shared governance in resolving significant issues facing the system while protecting academic freedom and promoting academic excellence. Because of significant collaboration with SUNY's System Administration, faculty and administrators from both community colleges and baccalaureate institutions, and, of course, our students, the Board has endorsed work that will enable transfer students to value their educational experiences at all SUNY institutions.”

Approval by the Board comes as applications and enrollments surge to record levels, and the University attracts $95M in stimulus research funding. These announcements come on the heels of Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher engaging SUNY and the public in a statewide strategic planning effort that is the largest public conversation about public higher education in the country.

The key features approved by the Board today include:

  • Transfer of credit for general education and first- and second-year courses in the major for students with or without an A.A. or A.S.
  • Transfer of upper-level course credit in the major subject to evaluation
  • Institution of an intra-University student transfer credit appeal process
  • Institution of a State University inter-institutional transfer credit appeal process.

As part of SUNY’s efforts, a new Student Mobility Web site is being created to assist student with the transfer process and will provide:

  • How to plan a course of study and an explanation of common terms
  • General education courses by category for all SUNY campuses
  • Typical courses required for common majors of transfer students
  • Upper division course transfer agreements by campus
  • The student appeal process for a rejected course
  • All other relevant information currently on the SUNY website (how to apply to transfer, etc.).

Improving student mobility is consistent with SUNY’s mission as well as with the June 2008 Final Report of the New York State Commission on Higher Education, which recommended strengthening access and alignment between P-12 and higher education and strengthening student transfer among the campuses of City University of New York and SUNY systems.

During Chancellor Zimpher’s 2009 tour of all 64 campuses, student mobility was also identified as a core infrastructure issue that SUNY needed to address. Core infrastructure issues affect current day-to-day operations of SUNY and are separate and distinct from the emerging themes which concern the formulation of a strategic plan that will guide SUNY through the next decade.

The overarching theme in SUNY’s strategic planning process is Ensuring Economic Vitality and Quality of Life for New York.

Implementation guidelines will now be developed by the Office of the Provost of the University in consultation with the Joint Committee and promulgated to campuses for implementation in fall 2010.


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Mike Albright
Communications Officer
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940