Post-Secondary FAQs

What is a post-secondary articulation agreement?

A defined transfer credit partnership between an academic program at OCC and an academic program at another college or university.

What is the difference between an articulation agreement and a transfer guide?

An articulation agreement is a formal, written document agreed upon by two or more institutions that provides "value-added" by allowing additional transfer credits or providing unique student centered options.

A transfer guide is an informal document that is developed by the "transferring to" institution and maybe reviewed by the "transferring from" institution outlining courses and requirements that may be taken prior to transfer, the equivalency of the transfer coursework and it may also list the remaining courses and requirements to be taken once transferred.

Unlike an articulation agreement, most often with transfer guides there are "no guarantees" associated with a specified time frame of transfer course equivalency, utilization of transfer credit and the remaining program and degree requirements. Additionally, unlike an articulation agreement there is/are "no value-added" benefit(s).

What are the "value added" benefits of using a post-secondary articulation agreement?

  • Assures junior standing;
  • Guarantees that courses transfer;
  • Increases the probability of admission;
  • Increases the probability of degree attainment;
  • Satisfies lower division academic requirements;
  • Reduces educational expenses with lower tuition;
  • Eliminates the possibility of unnecessary and repeating coursework;
  • Assist with course planning to ensure appropriate classes are taken; and
  • They allow students to finish their degrees as efficiently as possible – saving time and money.

Additional "value added" benefits that may be associated with using a post-secondary articulation agreement.

  • Course waiver(s);Course substitution(s);
  • Waived application fee;
  • Waived admission essay;
  • Reserved program space;
  • Streamline the application process;
  • Advanced standing &/or entry into a specific program;
  • Additional credit hours beyond the 60 credit hours norm; and
  • Potentially satisfy more than one-half of a bachelor degree with transfer credits.

When should a student decide to use an articulation agreement?

Deciding to use an articulation agreement early on in a student's college career will provide OCC counselors with the best opportunity to assist students on course selection and planning.

How does a student know what 4-year institutions have agreements with OCC?

OCC has post-secondary articulation agreements with public and private institutions located throughout Michigan and beyond. View the current agreements by using the "Post-Secondary Agreements" link in the Related Links menu on the right.

Can a student change their mind about using a particular articulation agreement?

Yes, but meeting with an OCC counselor is strongly advised so that students can make an alternate college plan.

Why is completing an associate’s degree important?

Many students leave OCC before they earn an associate’s degree and studies have shown that students who transfer to a four-year institution with an associate’s degree complete their bachelor’s degree faster than those who transfer without.

An associate degree demonstrates a level of proficiency and persistence recognized by employers.
An associate degree provides additional employment credentials.
An associate degree often reflects the half-way point of a student obtaining their baccalaureate degree and provides a sense of accomplishment and inspiration for the students to continue their studies.

Would you like assistance with articulation agreements or transfer oriented questions?

The Counseling Office at each campus assists students with up-to-date information on articulation agreements, course transferability, the applicability and utilization of transfer credits and much more.