TAP Handbook

For questions concerning the documents below, please contact Ken Klucznik at tap@ct.edu

Download the Handbook

The Basics

1. What is the difference between TAP and Transfer Tickets?
The acronym TAP refers to “Transfer and Articulation Policy,” the 2012 BOR policy that established and defined transfer expectations within the Connecticut State College and Universities (CSCU) system. TAP refers to the overall program. Transfer Tickets refer to the specific TAP associate degrees at the community colleges. Every Transfer Ticket has been developed by discipline faculty within specific guidelines and through a specific process. Students who complete a Transfer Ticket associate degree are guaranteed how courses will transfer within their major and other specified options and that only 60 credits in the baccalaureate degree in their major will remain after transfer. Only degrees that have gone through that process and meet specific guidelines as defined by the BOR TAP policy document and implementation plan can be labeled Transfer Tickets.
2. What is the difference between a Transfer Ticket major and any other major?
Students declare, pursue, and complete a Transfer Ticket major as they would any other major, so on the associate degree level, there is no difference. If the student wishes to obtain a bachelor’s degree in the same major, the Transfer Ticket major guarantees that she will only need 60 additional credits beyond the associate degree to obtain the bachelor’s in the same major. Non-Transfer Ticket majors may require more than 60 additional credits to obtain the bachelor’s.
3. Does a student have to complete a Transfer Ticket to receive its guarantees?
Yes. General education courses transfer differently for Transfer Ticket students than they do for other students. For instance, the 30 credits of general education categories common to all Transfer Tickets transfer as a block rather than as course-by-course. There are also other specific agreements for how program courses transfer in some Transfer Tickets.
4. To whom should I address questions and concerns about Transfer Tickets and TAP in general?
Each campus has a TAP point person, in most cases the same person who serves as a representative to the TAP Framework and Implementation Review Committee (FIRC). This person will serve as your best resource for all things TAP. You can find your TAP point person and contact information here. The system TAP Manager also serves as a source for questions and concerns.
5. How can I be involved with TAP on my campus?
Each campus has a cross-functional, or cross-divisional team. TAP depends upon the coordinated work of many functions, from faculty, administration, and advising to enrollment management, admissions, IT, IR, and registration. The TAP team on your campus is essential to coordinating the many moving parts of the TAP program. You may also serve as the campus contact for your program.

CSCU and Other Transfer Articulation Agreements

The goal of TAP is to simplify the number of options for students. Proliferating the number of transfer articulations in a discipline or program, especially when those articulations do not align, puts students in the position of having to choose early, and then potentially pay in lost credits should they change their minds about destination or not be granted admission to their selected institution. Students who begin at baccalaureate institutions do have choices about majors and even concentrations among majors, but they do not have to adjust their choices for general education and prerequisite courses if they do not change majors. To the extent possible, we should provide the same scenario for community college students who will transfer to baccalaureate institutions. With Transfer Tickets, students can pursue a single course of study and be assured that all of their required credits for the associate degree will transfer to any one of the system’s baccalaureate institutions.

6. Can my program create a separate transfer agreement with a CSU or COSC?
In most cases, for programs that have a Transfer Ticket, you cannot create a separate agreement within the CSCU system: the Transfer Ticket will be the designated transfer degree. The question becomes a challenge for Transfer Ticket programs where a related associate degree or certificate serves a work force need. Many students will understandably seek to complete a work force credential so they can begin working in their field even while they plan to transfer. We ask that you work with the TAP Manager to develop effective options for these students. We have worked and will continue to work with programs to develop best options for students.
7. Can my program create articulation agreements with non-CSCU schools?
Yes, but as per BOR policy, “Every effort should be made for articulation agreements to match to CSCU TAP transfer degrees.”  If your program has a Transfer Ticket, we recommend that as you develop or revisit transfer articulation agreements with non-CSCU schools, you begin by proposing the Transfer Ticket as the agreement.   We often hear that many of the private schools our students transfer to “will take anything.”  For schools where that is the case, it seems in our students’ best interest that the Transfer Ticket serve as a more universal transfer degree, lessening the confusion students might face with multiple options to complete a baccalaureate in a given major.

Program Modifications, Course Substitutions, and Open Elective Credit:

8. Do college catalogues, degree audit sheets and advising guides have to match the programs as documented on the Transfer Navigator and TAP websites?

Yes, all descriptions of the Transfer Ticket programs must match the documents on the Transfer Navigator and TAP websites.  Modifications made at the campus level may jeopardize how the Transfer Ticket can be received at the CSU or COSC and will result in programs that have not been approved by the BOR.  Courses cannot be designated for open electives.  Designating courses for general education categories can only be determined by the program faculty work groups that developed the Transfer Ticket pathway. 

There is a process in place for modifying programs that have Transfer Tickets.  Each year faculty work groups are asked to review their programs and submit any changes.  All changes need to be reported to the TAP Manager.

For some changes, a report to the TAP Manager is sufficient.  These types of changes should be submitted to the Manager by the end of February for the upcoming catalog year when the changes become active for students:

  1. Changes to the list of vetted courses that meet Framework30 or additional general education (Creativity and Global Knowledge) requirements.
  2. Changes by a CSU or COSC that affect only the second 60 credits of the 120 credit major and affect native and Transfer Ticket students equally. These changes do not affect the total number of required credits in the program.

Some changes, in addition to being reported to the TAP Manager, must go back through the workgroup and to BOR for re-approval: 

  1. Any modifications that affect the first 60 credits or associate degree portion of the pathway.
  2. Any modifications that affect how credit from the first 60 credits of the pathway are applied to the entire 120 credits of the major that also affect the total number of credits for the baccalaureate.
9. At my college, program requirements are based on number of courses, not on number of credits. Are Transfer Tickets based on number of courses or on number of credits to completion, and how does that affect the number of open elective credits students have to take to meet degree requirements?
Transfer Tickets are based on credits, not number of courses. Many Transfer Tickets include open electives, in most cases indicated on program sheets as 3-credit courses. However, it might be best to think of open electives in Transfer Tickets in terms of credits, not simply in terms of courses. For instance, if a student takes three 4-credit courses (in, for instance, Lab Science, Computer Science, Math, Foreign Language at some colleges), the student will earn 12 total credits instead of the 9 credits she would have earned with three 3-credit courses. As long as the 4-credit courses were not already calculated in total credits to degree, the 3 additional credits for the student who took three 4-credit courses should be counted as meeting 3 credits – or one course – of open electives. Total degree credits should be kept as close to 60 credits as possible. This approach should also be helpful when programs technically have only one or two credits of open electives required to bring the degree to 60 credits. In some programs, students will take fewer than 20 courses to complete a degree.
10. Are courses substitutions allowed?

Course substitutions are allowed in a limited number of cases, with different parameters for general education and program courses.  See the policy here for details.  If there seems to be a need for a substitution outside of the guidelines described in the policy, please contact the TAP Manager.  There are cases where a substitution can be made to work in the best interests of a student, but such cases require effective communication between institutions.  Also see question 11 below.

11. What if a student places above the required math in the Transfer Ticket?
It depends upon whether the required course falls in the algebra sequence. If that placement is within the sequence of a required math course within the Framework30, the student should take another math course to meet the Quantitative Reasoning requirement. In some cases, the required course will not be in the placement sequence. Such is the case with statistics. Even though many math courses are numbered higher than statistics (which is typically numbered at 165, 166 or 167), statistics falls out of the algebra sequence and the student must complete a statistics course even if placement is into a higher numbered course. If, within the algebra sequence, the requirement is in addition to the general education requirement and is a program requirement, then the student will gain the number of open elective credits equivalent to the required course the student has already taken. These open elective credits can be fulfilled by credits from any college-level course.

For example, for a program that requires Pre-calculus to fulfill the Framework30 Quantitative Reasoning and also requires Calculus as a graduation requirement, a student who places into Calculus II will be exempt from a specific math course. That student will still have to take a math course to fulfill the Quantitative Reasoning requirement.

General Education Requirements

12. Aren’t there only 30 credits of general education requirements in Transfer Tickets? Why do some Transfer Tickets have as many as 36 credits of required general education courses? How are these additional general education courses determined?

A requirement for 30 credits of general education (Framework30), with some variation in the specific courses required, is common to all Transfer Tickets.  Work groups have the option of adding up to six additional credits of general education.  When faculty work groups developed their specific Transfer Tickets, some programs that have a substantial number of open elective credits decided to use up to six of those open elective credits to fulfill more of the general education requirements in the overall baccalaureate degree at the CSU or COSC.  In other cases, work groups discovered that students could not complete the designated baccalaureate program unless students had completed more than the required 30 credits of general education in the Transfer Ticket.  In these programs, there is limited or no open elective room for students to transfer courses that do not meet specified requirements.  These work groups added up to six additional credits of general education.

These additional general education courses have to apply to requirements at all of the CSUs and COSC, so there is a process to follow at each campus to vet courses for one of the additional general education categories.  See the process here.  Please also see the next two sections for exceptions to which courses can fulfill the additional general education requirements.

13. Can these additional general education courses also meet requirements in the Framework30?
No. Although there may be courses that have been vetted as meeting both an additional general education category – Creativity or Global Knowledge – and a category in the Framework30, a course can only fulfill one of the requirements. If a Transfer Ticket requires one or both of the additional education categories, then courses chosen to meet those requirements must apply only to those categories. Any “double-counting” would result in the student needing to complete the extra category after transfer.
14. For the near future, there will be cases where students took courses before a college developed its list of courses that fulfill additional general education requirements. Can any of these courses be used to fulfill additional general education requirements?

If the course was subsequently vetted to meet the requirement, then it can be used.  In some cases, colleges can grant a variance if the course was never vetted for an additional general education requirement.  See the guidelines for such variances here.  These guidelines will become less necessary in the future since, at this point, lists of courses have been developed by all of the colleges.  Contact the TAP Manager for these cases; they will help ensure students do not accumulate excess credits.

Program Options, Campus Management and Best Resources for Questions about TAP

15. How many Transfer Tickets will be available in the future and what if a Transfer Ticket is not available to a major at a CSU or COSC that a student wishes to transfer into?

There are likely to be several more specific Transfer Tickets, but Transfer Tickets will not be developed for every major at the CSUs and COSC.  Students who wish to transfer into a major that does not have a dedicated Transfer Ticket will have the option of choosing an existing Transfer Ticket that maps onto that major.  For instance, the Physics Transfer Ticket maps onto the Meteorology major at WCSU.  We are in the process of mapping to these options.  See this document for context.

16. Does each Transfer Ticket require a program coordinator and program review on each campus?

No, colleges can link Transfer Tickets to existing programs or combine any number of Transfer Tickets into one for purposes of management and program review.  See the policy here for details.

Transferring to the CSU and COSC

17. Students must complete the Transfer Ticket degree in order for their credits to transfer as promised. Yet many students will transfer before the associate degree is conferred, either because they seek to complete the associate degree through reverse transfer or simply because they apply for transfer at the best time, early in their final semester at the community college before graduation. How should these students be advised at the CSU or COSC?

These students will need to be treated as “provisional” Transfer Ticket transfers and advised accordingly.  Once the Transfer Ticket associate degree is conferred, the student must send a completed transcript indicating the degree has been completed to the receiving institution.   See here for general guidelines and expectations for advising provisional Transfer Ticket students.

18. Students often transfer courses from outside the CSCU system, or meet requirements in other ways, such as through CLEP, AP or credit for prior learning, to complete their associate degree. When such students transfer to a CSU or COSC with a Transfer Ticket, how will transcripts from other institutions be audited at the receiving CSU or COSC? Can the CSU or COSC change how courses from other institutions from other forms of credit are counted toward the baccalaureate degree?

Although the receiving institution needs to receive all transcripts from the student, the CSU or COSC can only make changes to how courses outside the system were counted in the Transfer Ticket if such a change would benefit the student and lead to more timely or efficient completion.  Any such changes should not add credits to the total degree or require students to retake courses.  See the protocol here.

19. Does the student have to submit a Degree Works graduation audit to the receiving school? How does a Degree Works audit get to the receiving school?

A Degree Works audit must be submitted to the receiving school.  Unlike a transcript, a Degree Works audit contains information necessary for correctly transferring the courses in a Transfer Ticket.  If a Degree Works audit is sent while the associate degree is still in progress, the student must send another audit as well as a transcript once the Transfer Ticket associate degree has been conferred.  Follow this link for instructions on how to obtain a Degree Works audit as well as how to attach an audit to an official transcript that can be sent directly to the receiving school.