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Agreement Seeks to Smooth Interstate Transfers Using Learning Outcomes

Sixteen higher-education institutions in four states have signed an agreement that seeks to make it easier for students to transfer their general-education work across state lines, based on blocks of learning outcomes rather than courses and credits.

The Interstate Passport Agreement, introduced on Monday by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, stemmed from a pilot project supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. The commission said that the project was designed to extend transfer agreements that have emerged within states across state lines and regions.

The commission said that faculty members at the pilot institutions had worked together to develop a set of outcomes around what “passport” students had learned in three academic areas: oral communication, written communication, and quantitative literacy. They then created a list of criteria so that students could demonstrate their proficiency in those areas.

Colleges and universities in Hawaii, North Dakota, Oregon, and Utah are participating in the passport project, and the commission said that other states and institutions in its region could also apply.

Correction (1/7/2014, 1:56 p.m.): This post originally misnamed the organization that supported the pilot project. It is the Carnegie Corporation of New York, not “New Work.” The post has been updated to reflect this correction.

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