To support Fanshawe's mission and the Multi-Year Pathways Plan indicated in strategic outcome 2.4, the College has developed and implemented a set of best practices rooted in research on the principles which guide academic mobility in the sector, province, and country. These best practices align with the vision and guiding principles outlined in the Policy Statement for Ontario's Credit Transfer System released by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (newly renamed Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development, MAESD) (2011, pp. 1; 4) and seek to promote academic integrity, applicant and student success and mobility and fairness and equity within the system (p. 2).
Fanshawe makes a commitment to:
1. Act in the best interest of applicants and students.
a. Establish pathways to provide applicants and students with options for pursuing the path most appropriate to their goals.
b. Seek maximization of student transfer by conducting curriculum mapping and ensuring that applicants and students have the appropriate knowledge and experience for success without being required to duplicate prior learning, and that they are awarded a credential reflective of their academic achievement.
2. Research, collect, and share data to ensure the demand for, and the viability and potential risks of, proposed pathways and to evaluate the pathways following implementation.
a. Conduct due diligence to assess any potential risks, e.g.: financial, logistical, reputational, etc. associated with the pathway, and balance potential risks against anticipated gains/benefits.
b. Determine how pathways will be evaluated, e.g.: the number of students who use the pathway; the academic and/or professional success of students; student perception; etc.
c. Provide applicants and students with the opportunity to give feedback about the pathway both pre- and post-implementation.
3. Communicate the opportunities, terms, and expectations of pathways clearly, consistently, and transparently to applicants and students and other internal and external stakeholders.
a. Communicate new pathways and changes to existing pathways to all relevant stakeholders, e.g.: Academic area(s), Student Success Advisors, the Registrar's Office, the Centre for Academic Excellence, Reputation and Brand Management, the International Office, partner institution(s).
b. Promote all pathways among applicants and students.
c. Provide resources for advising and support as needed.
4. Align the terms of the pathways to the policies, practices, and regulations of relevant governmental, institutional, and accrediting bodies including, but not limited to, Fanshawe institutional policies, Fanshawe institutional partners, the MAESD, PEQAB, OCQAS and ONCAT.
a. Ensure the terms of the pathways align with Fanshawe strategic priorities and institutional policies.
b. Consider whether the terms of the pathways will result in a student's academic compliance with all relevant regulatory and accrediting bodies.
c. Promote pathways through relevant governmental, accrediting and or credentialing bodies where appropriate.
5. Agree upon methods for developing and terminating formal pathway agreements.
a. Subject formal agreements to rigorous academic review by consulting with relevant stakeholders such as subject matter experts, the Registrar's Office, Pathways coordinators, quality assurance and curriculum development professionals, and higher education administrators in decisions regarding the proposed pathways.
b. Identify the basis on which credit transfer decisions concerning formal agreements are made by the receiving institution, e.g.: minimum acceptable grade or achievement level, requirements for bridging studies, language requirements, procedures that students will follow when requesting credit and appealing credit transfer decisions.
c. Ensure consistency in the development and application of pathways so that candidates to whom the pathways do not apply will understand and recognize why.
d. Determine a mechanism for ensuring the pathways remain up-to-date, and assign roles and responsibilities among the participating institutions, and among relevant internal stakeholders for this maintenance procedure.
e. Provide a rationale to the partner when proposing changes to the pathways.
f. Prioritize transparency and consistency by ensuring that in the event that the partners or functions of a formal agreement change, the parties agree to work together to protect the interests of any students currently deriving benefit from the agreement.
6. Build relationships within and among partnering institutions and internal and external stakeholders with the intention to facilitate student mobility through a spirit of cooperation, parity, and respect, while recognizing individual institutions' right to autonomy in their own decision-making processes.