06-20 Articulation Agreements

Articulation agreements may be created between one or more academic units of Penn State (program, department, college) and one or more units of at least one other regionally accredited institution or officially recognized degree-granting institution in the country in which it operates.

All articulation agreements must adhere to the following provisions.

  1. The Executive Vice President and Provost is the University officer responsible for administratively authorizing, extending, or terminating articulation agreements with other academic institutions relating to the admission, curricular offerings, enrollments, or awarding of degrees for academic programs and students at all college and campus locations.
  2. Academic deans or campus chancellors may propose to enter into, extend, or terminate articulation agreements with external institutions and agencies or with graduate and professional units within the University. Articulation agreement proposals are to be developed after consultation with appropriate academic and administrative officers within the University, including other deans or campus chancellors. Whenever appropriate, articulation agreements shall include the provision for multiple campuses and colleges of the University to participate in the agreement. An articulation agreement should not have a negative impact on any Penn State program or campus in terms of academic quality.
  3. An articulation agreement should not have a negative impact on any Penn State program or campus in terms of enrollment. When an agreement is proposed with an institution that is located within the geographic service area of a Penn State campus, the dean/chancellor of that campus must be consulted before an agreement is finalized.
  4. All academic and administrative policies of the University will be honored in the proposed articulation agreement. Exceptions to any University academic or administrative policy must be addressed in the agreement and include appropriate consultation.
  5. When a student is admitted to the University through an articulation agreement, admission requirements for enrollment in a college and entrance to a major will be no less than those in effect at the time for Penn State matriculated students. The Undergraduate Admissions Office will evaluate the application and scholastic credentials for undergraduate students seeking entry to the University through an articulation agreement. For articulation agreements involving graduate programs, the admission evaluation will be done by Graduate Enrollment Services and the graduate program involved in the articulation agreement.
  6. Articulation agreements involving undergraduate programs will be reviewed by the Senate Committee on Admissions, Records, Scheduling, and Student Aid (ARSSA) before being authorized by the provost. Articulation agreements involving graduate programs will be reviewed by the Graduate Council before being authorized by the provost. Evidence of consultation with affected academic units must be included as supporting documentation.
  7. The review process for agreements with agencies or institutions outside the United States must ensure that appropriate legal, language proficiency, and safety factors are addressed. At the very least, this process requires written consultation with the Office of Global Programs and a review by the Senate Committee on Global Programs.
  8. Whenever possible, units are encouraged to create templates for articulation agreements that have been reviewed by the Office of Risk Management and the Office of General Counsel.
  9. All articulation agreements must have a renewal date (no later than five years beyond the initial date of the agreement) at which time the agreement is to be reviewed and either continued or terminated. If it is to be continued, a new renewal date should be established at that time. This five-year review is to be done internally by the sponsoring academic unit and reported to the Senate Committee on Admissions, Records, Scheduling, and Student Aid (ARSSA) or the Graduate Council, as appropriate.
  10. All articulation agreements must contain a process by which the agreement may be terminated at the request of either institution.
  11. A record of authorized undergraduate articulation agreements will be maintained by the Vice President and Dean for Undergraduate Education. A record of authorized graduate articulation agreements will be maintained by The Graduate School.

Standing Subcommittee on Articulation

The ARSSA Articulation Review Subcommittee membership shall include two faculty from ARSSA, including the Vice Chair of ARSSA, who serves as chair, in addition to four other representatives: one from the Undergraduate Admissions Office, one from the Office of Student Aid, one from the Office of the University Registrar, and one from the Office of Global Programs. The University Faculty Senate Office (Senate Office) shall facilitate composition by requesting those offices to identify representatives.

The subcommittee shall review articulation agreements to ensure they adhere to the current University policies and provide final recommendations to the entire ARSSA committee for approval. Recommendations are forwarded to the Office of Undergraduate Education for final University approval and implementation.

Articulation Agreement submissions will include:

For New Submissions:

  1. A cover memo
  2. The new proposal/agreement which includes:
  • information about the partner institution(s),
  • rationale for the agreement,
  • statistics on the number of students to be impacted by the agreement,
  • the processes for admission, advising, and orientation,
  • guidelines for renewal or termination; and information about the transfer and evaluation of courses.

The proposal should also include:

  • the ACUE prospectus memo,
  • evidence of consultation with relevant units at Penn State, and
  • a draft Memorandum of Agreement that will be signed after final approvals are secured.

For Renewal:

  1. A cover memo
  2.  The Current agreement
  3. Statistics on the number of students involved per year and the number of students completing their degree through the agreement
  4. Justification as to why the agreement is still applicable (e.g., the curriculum is still relevant)
  5. A draft Memorandum of Agreement if an update and new signatures are required

Revision/Termination of Agreement:

  1. A cover memo
  2. The former proposal/agreement with addendum noting changes to the proposal/agreement
  3. Statistics on the number of students participating since initial approval or last review
  4. A draft Memorandum of Agreement if an update and new signatures are required
  5. For termination, an explanation of the reason for discontinuation and plan for phase out

Each year the Office of Undergraduate Education will provide to the Senate Office, a list of agreements that require five-year review. The Senate Office will forward all new or revised articulation agreements as well as agreements that are being renewed or subject to five-year review to ARSSA. Upon completion of each review, ARSSA will forward its review and recommendation to the Office of Undergraduate Education for approval, if warranted. The Senate Office will provide an annual overview to subcommittee members on policies and workflow procedures on the articulation process.

A-11 Articulation Agreements (Domestic and International Partners)

Initial Legislation: 4/28/11
Revision: 4/25/17