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Kentucky College Transfer Students - Transfer Basics: Learn the Lingo

Before you visit your adviser, it’s a good idea to get an understanding of what will be discussed. Below are some phrases you might hear, and what they mean.

“Official copy of your transcript”

An official transcript is one signed and date-stamped by the registrar's office to verify it is current and hasn't been altered. This transcript serves as the official record of your dates of attending the school, the type of degree and your major (if available), your cumulative grade point average (G.P.A.), and the listing of all course enrollments. You’ll be asked to provide this when your transfer school begins reviewing and granting credit for your courses.

Before you request your transcript, find out how your transfer school prefers to receive it (electronically, via postal mail, or fax). Once you have that information, you'll need to contact the registrar’s office at the school you attended (or are currently attending). Note: you’ll be required to provide your social security number. You may also be required to provide credit card information, since some colleges and universities charge a processing fee for transcript requests.

“General education certification”

Once your transfer school receives your transcript, your transfer adviser will review it for general education certifications, which can be one of three levels:

  • Category certified – completed at least one, but not all of the categories of the general education core requirements.
  • Core certified (30 hours) – completed all of the categories of the general education core requirements.
  • Full general education certified (48 hours) – completed all categories of the general education core requirements, plus any additional general education requirements of your current school.

These general education certifications guarantee that your transfer school will accept the corresponding general education credits as meeting lower division (freshman and sophomore) general education requirements when you transfer.

If you qualify for one of these certifications and it is not indicated on your transcript, contact the registrar’s office at the school and ask that it be added.

“Developmental education courses”

If you scored low in certain areas on your ACT, SAT, COMPASS, or KYOTE, or did not make the grade requirements needed for some general education course credits, you may be required to take developmental education courses. (These are also known as remedial, supplemental or transitional courses.)

Offered at both KCTCS and universities, the courses are designed to help you master skills needed for required general education coursework. Some developmental education courses must be taken consecutively to obtain full credit; make sure to check with your transfer school as to their policies regarding these types of courses.

“Advanced placement and CLEP scores”

Advanced placement tests are usually taken in high school after completion of an advanced placement (or honors) course. Obtaining certain scores on these tests can earn you college credit. If you’ve taken an AP test and scored well, you’ll want to bring your score with you to discuss course credit opportunities with your transfer adviser.

CLEP (College Level Examination Program) tests can earn you college credit, too, based on your knowledge of certain subjects. These are tests taken prior to admission to a university, and scoring well can earn you multiple credits. Check with the CollegeBoard website for more information.

“Other types of credit”

In addition to credit for college courses, some schools may award credit for military training or professional experience in the workplace. Be sure to ask the transfer contact or your advisor at your transfer school if this is an option.

If it is, you can get a transcript that reflects your military experience or professional work experience and training from the American Council on Education. These transcripts will recommend how this experience could count as college credit and should be included when you apply for admission.

“Grade requirements for a major”

Grades are a very important part of the transfer process. Poor grades may prohibit credits from being accepted toward your degree at your transfer school. Each college has a minimum GPA policy for accepting general education course credit, as well as additional requirements for pre-major and major coursework. Be sure to ask your advisor or transfer contact about these policies.

“Degree audit”

A degree audit is conducted by the adviser at your transfer school once you’ve chosen a major. The audit consists of comparing the courses you’ve taken to those needed by your intended major, and mapping out what you need to take in order to complete your degree.