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Fair, Consistent, and Transparent: A Short Guide on Assessing Transfer Credits in Ontario

August 2021

Authors: ONCAT

Available in: English, French

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Executive Summary

In a well-functioning transfer environment, students who transfer should not face barriers. For most postsecondary students in Ontario, however, there are significant challenges related to transfer. Transfer students may spend more time than direct-entry students completing their studies, and a significant number of these students do not graduate (Walters, Brown, Perekh, Reynolds, and Einmann, 2021). Faculty and academic departments play a vital role in this process when they assess transfer credit and make determinations about course equivalencies between two or more postsecondary institutions. And yet, despite this important role, many faculty members have shared that they do not receive guidance on how to make these decisions (Missaghian, 2021).

In response, ONCAT consulted transfer advisors, faculty members, and other key personnel to create guidelines for assessing credit. This resource provides a starting point for faculty members, department chairs, and others who wish to ensure that their decision-making process is fair, consistent, and transparent. We provide common elements to consider that can be adapted to fit the needs of a particular department or discipline. The guide includes principles of credit assessment, guidelines for making credit-assessment decisions, and other information relevant to this important process.


  • Transfer assessment, application, and administration