A-11: ARTICULATION AGREEMENTS (DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS)
Articulations are formal signed agreements that establish expectations and procedures between Penn State University and another university, college or educational institution to enable students to complete their academic work at Penn State and to earn a Penn State degree. The implementing document is referred to as a Memorandum of Agreement Regarding Articulation. Articulation agreements, both global and domestic, are established by University Faculty Senate Policy 06-20 and implemented through AAPP A-11. The executive vice president and provost maintains authority for administratively authorizing, extending, and terminating articulation agreements. The Office of the Vice President for Undergraduate Education serves as the provost's signatory agent.
Articulation agreements among Penn State University and international partner institutions generate important educational and cultural opportunities. Senate Policy 06-20 and each of the AAPP A-11 steps apply to the development and approval of international articulation agreements. There are additional considerations. To assure timely, coordinated and sound articulations, all Penn State colleges must work directly with the University Office of Global Programs (UOGP) throughout the development process.
All requests to establish, renew, or terminate articulation prospectuses, proposals and agreements must be initiated by the appropriate office of a degree-granting unit.
- From Penn State academic colleges and campus colleges, the associate dean;
- From University College campuses, the associate dean for academic programs;
- From programs encompassing World Campus delivery of an articulation-based Penn State degree, the associate dean of the Penn State degree-granting college and the associate dean of the World Campus.
The articulation process involves several components, including:
- An ACUE Articulation Prospectus;
- Appropriate Consultation;
- A University Articulation Proposal;
- A signed Memorandum of Agreement.
International articulations are subject to procedures and sign-offs in addition to those required for domestic agreements and require close collaboration with Penn State University Office of Global Programs (UOGP) throughout the process. Colleges interested in developing an accreditation agreement with an international partner must initiate consultation with the UGOP prior to submitting an ACUE prospectus. International articulation prospectuses require the signature of UOGP as well as the signature of the associate dean of the submitting college. International agreement proposals also will be copied to the University Office of Global Programs.
UOGP will assist the submitting college in identifying issues inherent in international agreements. A key element, for example, involves the evaluation of potential international partners to determine institutional quality, local standing, and academic compatibility with Penn State. Toward this end, UOGP works with the Undergraduate Admissions Office to provide a reliable assessment. Evidence, such as written email consultation between the college and UOGP of this assessment, must be included as part of the University Articulation Proposal. A proposal also should include other evidence and or narrative that establishes a partner institution's compatibility with Penn State, such as prior working relationships and standing in the relevant disciplinary field.
Additionally, UOGP works closely with the Office of Risk Management on issues of safety and security. Evidence of consultation with Risk Management also must be included as part of the University Articulation Proposal.
UOGP maintains a collection of Memorandum of Agreement Regarding Articulation templates appropriate for use with international partners. Colleges should work closely with UOGP in developing each articulation agreement memorandum.
Change of Major:
Students admitted to Penn State through the International Articulation process are expected to work toward the degree identified in the articulation agreement. On occasion, students discover after arrival that a different major, either within the same college or in another college, would be more appropriate for their interest. These students may change majors, but must first obtain approval from the associate dean of the college or colleges involved and must alert the UOGP.
New Undergraduate Articulation Agreements:
ACUE Articulation Agreement Prospectus
University Articulation Proposal and Memorandum of Agreement Regarding Articulation
- The rationale for the proposed articulation agreement;
- Course equivalency evidence. This must be specific and must show approval from the disciplinary unit authorized to deliver the Penn State course or reference to the Undergraduate Admissions Office course equivalency tables. Newly approved equivalencies must be added to the university course equivalency tables maintained by the Undergraduate Admissions Office;
- The suitability of the partnering institution as a comparable college or university;
- A description of how the agreement may be renewed or terminated;
- An estimate of the number of students transferring to Penn State annually;
- Admission requirements and transfer of academic credits;
- Advising and special services;
- Impact of the agreement on other programs, colleges, and campuses;
- A plan for future program review and renewal;
- An exit strategy and accommodation of enrolled students, if the parties to the agreement decide to terminate;
- Evidence of consultation, responses to issues generated by consultation, and response(s) to the ACUE Prospectus Memo.
As early in the process as is feasible a Penn State degree-granting college must submit a brief ACUE Articulation Agreement Prospectus utilizing the on-line submission form. Prospectuses initiate effective preliminary consultation within disciplines and across the breadth of the University utilizing the ACUE membership.
Prospectuses should be submitted by ACUE deans a minimum of one week before the next ACUE meeting and will be distributed electronically by the Office of Undergraduate Education to the ACUE membership. The prospectus process provides an early opportunity for formative consultation with appropriate colleagues. Each prospectus is placed on the ACUE agenda.
The ACUE prospectus review committee provides a brief recommendation to the submitting college, taking into consideration the ACUE discussion and strategic and curricular university resources and needs. Copies of the memo are provided to the vice president and dean for undergraduate education, and others as appropriate. A college may begin its articulation proposal and memo of agreement once the ACUE Prospectus Memo has been received and reviewed. That memo will become part of the articulation process record maintained by the Office of Undergraduate Education. Issues raised in the ACUE Articulation Memo must be addressed within the Articulation Proposal.
Consultation is expected during the Articulation Proposal writing stage between the proposing college and those likely to have a shared interest, and those who may be impacted by the articulation. Consultation should include all ACUE deans, academic units within the college from which the proposal is generated, and other colleges in which the proposed program is or may be offered.
ACUE deans are the primary academic conduit among Penn State schools and colleges for purposes of consultation. As such, consultation should be conducted via electronic media. A current ACUE roster is maintained by the Office of Undergraduate Education and is available for purposes of consultation as a LISTSERVE.
It is during the consultation process that the office of the dean/chancellor of a proposing college (including University College) has responsibility for securing evidence, normally through consultation, of course equivalence for courses that are program requirements, prerequisites to those requirements, and other courses required by Penn State, such as General Education requirements in writing and speaking and in quantification.
The determinacy of course equivalence or course substitutions must be conducted by faculty in the discipline. For example, a math equivalency or substitution must be recommended by math faculty, chemistry equivalency by chemistry faculty, etc. The Undergraduate Admissions Office will maintain a record of course equivalency between institutions and Penn State to enable continuity. Once a specific course from a specific institution has been found equivalent, the admissions office will assume that equivalency for future articulations and equivalency determination will be binding across Penn State colleges.
Following receipt of ACUE prospectus recommendations, the ACUE dean(s) of the college(s) seeking to enter the articulation agreement must submit a draft Memorandum of Agreement Regarding Articulation to the University Faculty Senate where the Senate Committee on Admissions, Records, Scheduling, and Student Aid (ARSSA) will conduct an expedited review. The Senate will then forward its suggestions directly to the proposing academic unit with a copy to the Office of Undergraduate Education.
International agreements should be submitted to the Senate, which will secure, in addition to an expedited review and recommendations from the Senate Committee on Admissions, Records, Scheduling and Student Aid (ARSSA), an expedited review and recommendations from the Senate Committee on Global Programs. The Senate will forward its recommendations to the proposing unit. The Office of Undergraduate Education will not begin a review of the proposal and draft Memorandum of Agreement Regarding Articulation prior to receiving the Senate's expedited review recommendations from the Senate Committee on Global Programs.
Articulation proposals are reviewed on a variety of criteria as appropriate. The proposal must include supporting documentation, and the following:
An Articulation Agreement Memorandum draft should not carry the signatures that will be required on the final document. The proposal must carry the signature of the appropriate associate dean (see Preface above). The draft provides an opportunity for the proposing college and the Office of Undergraduate Education to ensure the development of an accurate and complete document in alignment with all Penn State policies before the document is signed by the participating parties. The Office of Undergraduate Education will not begin a review of the proposal and draft Memorandum of Agreement Regarding Articulation prior to receiving the Senate's expedited review recommendations.
Following agreement by the Office of Undergraduate Education and the proposing college on a final draft of the Memorandum of Agreement Regarding Articulation, the submitting college must:
- prepare an Articulation Agreement Memorandum (final);
- secure necessary signatures;
- submit Articulation Agreement Memorandum to the vice president and dean for undergraduate education for final review and signature.
Each Memorandum of Agreement Regarding Articulation requires, in addition to an appropriate authorized signature from the partner institution,
- A signature from the dean of the submitting University Park College; or
- A signature from the chancellor of the partnering Penn State Campus College or colleges; or,
- A signature from the chancellor of the participating University College campus or campuses; and
- In every case involving a Penn State Campus College or University College campus, the signature of the vice president for commonwealth campuses; and,
- In all cases, the signature of the vice president and dean for undergraduate education. The vice president and dean for undergraduate education cannot provide that signature until the above signature or signatures have been obtained.
- In addition, each Memorandum of Agreement with an international partner must include the signature of the vice provost for global programs.
A copy of the final agreement will be maintained by the Office of Undergraduate Education. The vice president and dean for undergraduate education also maintains a register of University Approved Articulation Agreements.
Approved: ACUE (3-4-99)
Approved: ACUE (2-4-10)
Revised: ACUE (10-6-11)
Revised: ACUE (3-6-14)