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Pima County Community College District Standard Practice Guide

SPG Title: Secondary School Occupational Course Articulation
SPG Number: SPG-3101/BA
Effective Date:10/5/99
Approval Date:10/5/99
Review Date(s):
Revision Date(s):
Sponsoring Unit/Department:AVC Educational Services
Regulation Title & No.:Secondary School Occupational Course, RG-3101/B
Board Policy Title & No.:Assessment of Credit for Prior Learning, BP-3101
Legal Reference:ARS 15-789 (Contractual agreements between School districts and colleges for articulation); ARS 15-432 (Authority for Arizona public School districts and community colleges to enter into intergovernmental agreements)
Cross Reference:Transfer Students and Credit, BP-3111; Admissions, BP-3501; Official Student Records, BP-3502; Data and Information Sharing, BP-5602


I. Purpose

This guide sets forth the standards and practices upon which the College will implement its regulation (RG-3101/B) for articulation agreements with Pima County school districts and some school districts outside of Pima County, to encourage secondary school students to continue certification or degree programs of study in the occupational programs offered by Pima Community College.

The intent and expectations of secondary school articulations include: (1) awarded credit may expedite the completion of a Pima Community College credential, and (2) the high schools will be able to better prepare students for success in Pima Community College programs.

II. Institutional Commitment

Institutional commitment to Pima Community College applicants who have completed articulated coursework is evidenced by the College staff dedicated to ensuring appropriate processing and implementation of secondary school articulation requests. Further, the College will not charge tuition for credit awarded to an individual under these articulation agreements.

III. School District Request for Participation

Twice annually the College will provide the opportunity for School Districts to enter into a formal request for articulation process. On February 1st and October 1st of each year, the Office of Occupational Education will accept formal requests for agreements. To assist in this process, the Office of Occupational Education will develop and distribute a Secondary School Articulation Procedure Manual which will outline the steps to be taken and the forms required for a School District to enter into the formal request and approval process. Further, the Office of Occupational Education will maintain a file of all current Intergovernmental Agreements, and will review these agreements once annually.

IV. Pima Community College Process for Review and Approval

The Office of Occupational Education will receive and coordinate all formal requests for articulation from secondary schools.

  1. Once a formal request is received from a high school and reviewed for completeness, the Director of Occupational Education will send a notice of the request to the Dean of Instruction or Chief Academic Officer (CAO) and the Division Dean of the lead campus where the particular or specialized program or course of study is housed. If the requested course is multi-campus, a notice of request will be sent to each affected campus Dean of Instruction or CAO and the Chair of the relevant College Discipline Area Committee (CDAC).
  2. The notice of request, including the Memorandum of Understanding, will be reviewed by the Dean of Instruction or CAO, Department Chair, Lead Faculty for the program, and Chair of the CDAC for a period not to exceed three weeks from the date of notification. During this review process, the Dean of Instruction or CAO, the Division Dean and/or the CDAC Chair will determine if the competencies for the Pima Community College course in question have been reviewed to ensure the curriculum is up-to-date. (PCC course competencies and related information are on file in the District Curriculum Office.) By the end of the three-week period, the Dean of Instruction or CAO, the Division Dean, and/or the CDAC Chair will return documentation to the Director of Occupational Education indicating whether the articulation is recommended for approval or if there are further comments or questions. Department Chairs and faculty may be invited by the Dean of Instruction or CAO, Division Dean or Chair of the CDAC to participate in joint School District and College negotiation meetings, established by the Office of Occupational Education, after the review process and contribute feedback during this process.
  3. Once the Director of Occupational Education receives the review documentation from PCC personnel, and the articulation is recommended for approval by the parties involved in the review process, the Director of Occupational Education will notify the AVC for Educational Services of the recommendation.
  4. If the articulation agreement is not recommended for approval, the Director of Occupational Education may elect to provide comments to the school district representative for review and further negotiation, or the Director may elect to notify the school district of the failure to have the request approved, depending upon the severity of the issues presented during the PCC review process. The Director of Occupational Education will invite the appropriate Dean of Instruction or CAO, Division Dean, Department Chair and/or CDAC Chair and/or appropriate faculty to participate in the negotiation process, if one is initiated, to discuss issues and concerns with the school district and will facilitate the negotiation process. If recommended for approval after negotiation, the Director of Occupational Education will forward the recommendation to the AVC for Educational Services.
  5. The Senior Vice Chancellor for Educational Planning and Development delegates to the AVC for Educational Services final approval authority for secondary school articulation agreements. If approved and signed by the AVC, all affected parties (the authorized high school representative, Dean of Instruction or CAO, Division Deans, CDAC Chair(s), the Pima-Santa Cruz Tech-Prep Consortium, and the Registrar) will be so notified by the Director of Occupational Education, and final Articulation Forms and Memoranda of Understanding will be distributed accordingly.
  6. A file of all approved articulation agreements will be maintained in the Office of Occupational Education and reviewed annually to ensure competencies and courses are current. However, an articulation agreement will be subject to formal review biannually, and will be retired if the high school elects to let the agreement lapse.

V. Review of Approved Articulation Agreements

An approved secondary school articulation agreement has a maximum life of two years. Upon reaching the third year, the agreement will be formally reviewed in the same manner as newly requested articulation agreements, outlined in Section V of this Standard Practice Guide. However, prior to the review process, the School District will be notified of the upcoming review cycle and will have the opportunity to update or revise the Articulation Form, which outlines course competencies. As with newly requested articulation agreements, revisions are due in the Office of Occupational Education by February 1st and October 1st of each year.

VI. Standards for Occupational Course Articulation Approvals

The intent of secondary school articulation agreements is to provide college credit to students for prior learning of competencies that are equivalent to those offered in College courses. If the competencies are deemed equivalent, and an articulation agreement is approved, then a secondary school student who enrolls in a specific occupational program at PCC will have the opportunity to enroll in advanced skills coursework without repeating competencies already achieved. With this being the intent, the following standards will guide PCC personnel in the review and negotiation process.

  1. The high school representative requesting the articulation agreement has the responsibility for identifying and matching the PCC course that encompasses the competencies offered within the equivalent high school course(s) and that will be included on the Memorandum of Understanding. It is the responsibility of the high school representative to identify the course(s) by name and course code as listed in the PCC catalog. In some cases, this may involve two or more semesters of a high school course being equivalent to one PCC course.
  2. High school personnel must utilize the official curriculum documents on file in the PCC District Curriculum Office (also available online) to determine appropriate corresponding PCC courses. The following documents can provide additional information: 1) PCC course catalog (also available online), 2) current PCC course syllabi provided to PCC students by instructional personnel, and/or 3) through discussions with the appropriate PCC Lead Faculty Member or CDAC Chair.
  3. Performance measures for competencies will be required at the high school level and must match the performance measures at PCC. For example, for some programs, measures of performance outcomes might include a specific number of repetitions without error, appropriate and error-free sequencing of multiple actions or tasks, a final course project that utilizes multiple competencies, or a written or oral examination. Both the high school representative(s) and the PCC representative(s) must be able to indicate how the specific course competencies will be measured for equivalency.
  4. Course competencies, and measures of performance of those competencies, will be the primary indicators of course equivalency. Issues such as textbooks used in the high school course(s), and/or numbers of examinations administered during the high school course will receive secondary consideration in the articulation review process.

VII. Eligible Students for Course Credit

Those students who attend or attended a secondary school in Pima County or some secondary schools outside of Pima County, who have completed course competencies for course equivalency under an approved articulation agreement, and who are enrolling in Pima Community College, may make known their desire to articulate course credits at the time of enrollment.

  1. In order to be eligible, the applicant must be at least 16 years old at the time of enrollment and have a signed Student Articulation Agreement Form which includes an embossed seal of the sending institution, the name of the student and the student's social security number, the name and course number under which the competencies are being articulated into credit, the signature of the high school instructor who verified the competency level of the student, and the date that the high school instructor signed the Student Articulation Agreement Form.
  2. The date on the Articulation Agreement Form indicates the approximate date that the competencies were completed. To receive articulated credit, enrollment at PCC must occur within two years of the course completion date or the high school graduation date.
  3. The student will present this Articulation Agreement Form to any campus admissions office, at the time of his/her initial registration with Pima Community College.
  4. The Registrar's Office will post credits for the course specified on the Articulation Agreement Form.

VIII. Recording of Course Credit

At the end of each school year, high schools will submit to the PCC Registrar's Office, designated copies of student articulation agreement forms for those students who have completed equivalent high school course work and who are eligible for articulation credits at Pima Community College. Each articulation agreement form will be maintained for a period of five years by the Pima County Community College District's Registrar's office.

When a student presents an Articulation Form to a campus admissions office, the Articulation Form will be reviewed and evaluated by admissions personnel, and if eligible, the documentation will be forwarded to the Registrar's office.

The Registrar, or his/her designee, will search copies of the high school Student Articulation Forms, forwarded by high schools, to verify the inclusion of the student in the articulation process and post awarded credits accordingly.

At the end of each semester, the PCC Registrar's Office will provide the Office of Occupational Education a report that includes: a listing of high school students who are eligible for articulation credits, students who enrolled in PCC courses with these agreements, the name of the sending high school for each student, as well as the number of credit hours awarded during the semester through this process.

IX. Rights and Responsibilities

Student Responsibilities

In addition to those student responsibilities listed in the Pima Community College catalog, student handbook, and Student Rights and Responsibilities, a student seeking course credit under a secondary school articulation agreement must further ensure that:

  1. enrollment is completed in a timely manner, preferably in a time frame that is sufficient to properly process the student's articulation request, preferably but not necessarily at the start of his/her initial semester;
  2. the original Articulation Form is complete, and the student copy is hand-carried to any individual in a Pima Community College admissions office at the time of initial enrollment;
  3. the awarded credit appears on the student PCC record/transcript, and if the awarded credit does not appear on the PCC transcript, it is the student's responsibility to notify the College Registrar's Office and/or the Office of Occupational Education of this discrepancy;
  4. and, that a copy of any forms or documents related to the award of credits is maintained by the student in the event there is a discrepancy in the process of awarding or recording credit.

Student Rights

  1. An eligible applicant, who is timely in his/her enrollment and who has followed the procedures outlined in this Standard Practice Guide, has the right to be awarded credit for an approved course for up to two years from the date the Articulation Agreement Form was signed by the high school instructor or two years from the applicant's high school graduation date, whichever is later.

Pima Community College Responsibilities

  1. It is the responsibility of Pima Community College to ensure that any secondary school occupational articulation agreements that are approved and implemented are honored by Pima Community College personnel. This includes appropriate and timely training of advisors, counselors and admissions personnel who may interface with students who are seeking credit under secondary school articulation agreements.
  2. It is the responsibility of Pima Community College to ensure that each request for approval of occupational course articulation is reviewed objectively and fairly, and that negotiations are carried forward in an unbiased manner by College personnel.
  3. It is the responsibility of Pima Community College personnel to post the appropriate credit hours for each eligible student.
  4. It is the responsibility of Pima Community College to notify a School District, in writing, at least 30 days prior to retiring an articulation agreement that has met its two-year limitation.

Pima Community College Rights

  1. Pima Community College has the right to review an articulation agreement, regardless of approval date, when the College implements course changes that may affect the contents of that particular articulation agreement.
  2. If the student is unable to perform the majority of competencies stated on the approved Articulation Form, College faculty and/or advisors have the right to advise the student to enroll in the course for which credit was initially granted under the articulation agreement, although the College does not have the right to rescind or encumber any credits already awarded to the student through an articulation agreement.
  3. Pima Community College has the right to deny approval of any request for secondary school articulation if it is found in the review process that the competencies are not sufficient to meet the standards or rigor of the Pima Community College course in question.

X. Other Considerations

  1. The high school teacher will be deemed qualified to determine completion of student competencies.
  2. Division Deans, Department Chairs, CDAC Chairs, Lead Faculty and occupational/vocational faculty are encouraged to communicate with secondary school vocational instructors throughout the academic year to identify potential articulation agreements and/or revise or update existing agreements when appropriate.
  3. Although faculty and instructional staff may discuss the possibilities of articulation, and the similarity of specific course competencies with high school personnel, students cannot receive PCC credit for high school learning until an articulation agreement has been approved and implemented by the College.
  4. The Office of Occupational Education maintains a file of the Arizona Department of Education validated competencies for most high school vocational programs. The relevant competencies may be requested by the Dean of Instruction or CAO, the Division Dean, the Department Chair and/or the CDAC Chair during the three-week review process for approval of competencies and occupational course articulation.
  5. Secondary schools outside of Pima County will be included under certain circumstances or special conditions. The Director of Occupational Education will determine the appropriateness of each secondary school articulation request.

Hyperlinks to Associated Documents

BP-3111, BP-3501, BP-3502, BP-5602