Guidelines for Creating Matches for Transfer Assurance Guides

Professor speaks to his class in language lab, CAS
Professor Scott Hartley, wearing protective glasses, talks with students in the lab, CAS

Mandated by the Ohio Department of Higher Education, Transfer Assurance Guides (TAGs) guarantee the course equivalency and applicability of degree pathways. TAGs are also an advising tool for students and advisors to plan out students’ degree pathways from two-year to four-year degree programs in specific disciplines. Within each TAG pathway guarantee, pre-major-/beginning major courses or course sequences called TAG courses that are identified as being a part of the TAG may be offered at any public higher education institution in Ohio.

TAGs have been developed to assist students in over 40 different degree pathways. Students have the opportunity to complete TAG courses found within each TAG and be guaranteed that the courses will transfer and apply to degree/program requirements.

Each TAG pathway also includes recommended courses from within the Ohio Transfer Module and foreign language requirement when applicable.

About TAG Courses

TAGs apply across, at least, all public higher education institutions and embody commonly accepted pathways to majors within the associate and baccalaureate degrees. This does not alter the mission or degree authority of any institution; it does provide guaranteed pathways that enable students to reach their highest level of academic attainment in the most efficient manner.

The TAG courses are composed of learning outcomes. TAG course development and revision process is faculty driven, student focused. Faculty content experts help develop statewide TAG course learning outcomes, provide feedback through a statewide survey, and implement the endorsed learning outcomes by reviewing institutional courses. Consensus on courses and their learning outcomes commonly included in particular degree discipline pathways is based on the evaluation of the content and performance expectations on a course-by-course basis within each TAG course. When consensus is established, students are assured not only of the equivalency of the courses through common learning outcomes, but of their application to the degree objective.

All public institutions of higher education in Ohio are expected to comply with the Articulation and Transfer Policy and guarantee the transfer of courses in the TAG for application to degree/program requirements.

Degree Pathways with Transfer Assurance Guides

Numerous degree pathways, spanning from the arts & humanities to education and engineering have Transfer Assurance Guides. Within each degree pathway are multiple courses. Each course has a set of learning outcomes. See list of degree pathways on the Ohio Department of Higher Education website.

In creating a match, the faculty member proposing the match must ensure that the course being proposed for a match advances the required learning outcomes.

Miami Submission Process

Approximately one time each year, the associate provost in communication with representatives from the Ohio Department of Higher Education/Ohio Articulation and Transfer Network audit the existing course matches for Transfer Assurance Guides. If a match needs to be revised or added, the following steps are taken:

  1. The associate provost contacts the chair of the appropriate department or program to inquire about a possible course that might be an appropriate match.
  2. Once the course is identified, the chair selects a faculty member who has taught and has in-depth knowledge of the course.
  3. The associate provost provides the faculty member with the appropriate templates and guidelines for creating the needed materials to create a match (see list below) in the ODHE’s electronic system.

State-Level Submission Process

There are two submission deadlines per academic year--the first in early October and the second in early March.

However, Miami typically submits materials to the Ohio Department of Higher Education/Ohio Articulation and Transfer Network for a preliminary review approximately one month prior to the formal submission deadline so that the liaison can quickly skim the materials and offer suggestions, and the faculty proposer has time to make changes before the formal submission occurs.

Faculty proposers are encouraged to submit their materials to the associate provost by one of the following dates:

  • September 1
  • February 15

Materials Needed to Propose a Match

To propose a match, each faculty member will need to assemble the following:

  • Detailed and current syllabus with week-by-week or day-by-day schedule, student learning outcomes, assessments, and grading distributions from summative assessments included as a minimum;
  • Course Inventory Template which includes course number and title, term when course was first offered, credit hours (including contact hours for lectures, labs, and others), pre- or co-requisites, catalog description, textbook ISBN, outside readings and materials, instructional goals or objectives, description of assessment or evaluation of learning;
  • Learning Outcomes Template which includes a list of the statewide learning outcomes for the course within the Transfer Assurance Guide, a detailed description for students’ learning process (activities/exercises) that clearly articulates how the students in that course will meet each outcome, the assessments used to validate student learning outcomes (formative and/or summative), and a percentage of the course time devoted to each outcome.

The associate provost will provide the proposer with a copy of the two templates which need to be completed.

Tips on Submitting a Successful Match

  • When submitting a syllabus, be sure that it is current and includes a week-by-week or day-by-day schedule and a list of summative assessments (e.g., projects, exams, quizzes, etc.). If your calendar references textbook chapter numbers, please also include chapter titles. The statewide TAG Review Panel members might not be familiar with the particular textbook.
  • On the Course Inventory Template is a request to list when the course was first offered. If you do not know the semester or term when it was first offered, you may leave it blank or simply list the current term or semester. .
  • On the Course Inventory Template is a request to list credit hours.  Please provide the course credit hours and contact hours per week for lectures, labs, and others (e.g., recitation, practicum, etc.).
  • The Learning Outcomes Template is typically the component that is most difficult for faculty to complete. Here are some guidelines for this template:
    • Rather than phrase the descriptions in terms of what the faculty member does, focus on what the student does; and include specific language. For example, rather than writing, “Faculty member assigns a marketing plan,” a possible sentence might be: “As part of their marketing plan project, students must conduct a target market assessment in which they identify two market segments and their specific demographic and geographic characteristics and describe what each market wants, how their money is spent and how each segment can best be reached."
    • When describing students’ learning process, references to the verbiages from the Bloom’s Taxonomy can help articulate the expected rigor when meeting the TAG learning outcome.
  • Do not copy and paste the same TAG language for describing how students meet each outcome.
  • Make sure that in your description for how students meet each outcome, you reference any reading or lecture materials that relate to the outcome. In addition, it is critical to include a brief 1-2 sentence summary of a particular activity or assignment that the student will complete that is directly tied to that outcome. For example, imagine that the outcome you are describing is: “Understanding of marketing functions within the organization and external environments and marketing contributions organizational attainment of goals and objectives.” A possible description might be:

“Content knowledge is gained throughout the course with assigned text readings (chapters 7 and 8) and instructor presentations. Demonstrated competency is done through graded homework assignments, multiple content exams and a graded marketing plan. For example, in week 6 of the semester, students must submit a Marketing Plan Assignment in which they focus on identifying a target market (consumer or business) whose needs are not currently being met, not being met satisfactorily or even recognized. Students must think about competitive offerings, and how their offering will be communicated and delivered. Emphasis in this assignment is on the solution being actionable and realistic.”

  • For each outcome, estimate the percentage of the course time that is devoted to that outcome. When you add up all of the percentages for the total number of outcomes, the total should be 100%.

More information

Miami University

Carolyn Haynes
Associate Provost
208B Roudebush Hall

(513) 529-6717

Ohio Department of Higher Education/Ohio Articulation and Transfer Network

Mark Cortez
Director, Articulation & Transfer Policy
Ohio Articulation and Transfer Network
25. S. Front St. 2nd Fl.
Columbus, OH 43215

(614) 644-0642