General Education Transfer Credit Agreement_Passport and UCGS
VIRGINIA PASSPORT AND UNIFORM CERTIFICATE OF GENERAL STUDIES GENERAL EDUCATION TRANSFER CREDIT AGREEMENT
This document establishes a multi-institutional agreement to secure institutions’ commitment to the application of the 16 Passport and 30-32 Uniform Certificate of General Studies (UCGS) credits to general education requirements for transfer students who have earned the Passport or UCGS and transfer prior to completing a transfer associate degree.
The institutions of higher education in Virginia recognize the importance of facilitating the transfer of students from one institution to the other in the most efficient and productive way possible. Senior institutions, Richard Bland College (RBC), and the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) enter into this agreement to provide all students an opportunity for transferability and applicability of course work completed at Virginia’s two-year institutions to satisfy general education requirements.
Section 1: Definition of Passport and Uniform Certificate of General Studies
The Passport and UCGS are 16 and 30-32 credit hour programs in which all courses are transferable and shall satisfy lower-division general education requirements at any public institution of higher education. The Passport shall be a component of the UCGS.
Students transfer through many different pathways; the Passport and UCGS are two mechanisms according to which transfer opportunities are maximized for students. The goal of both the Passport and UCGS is to maximize credit acceptance and application toward general education requirements for students transferring prior to earning a transfer associate degree. The Passport and UCGS offer a large number of courses to optimize the student’s educational experience and increase the opportunity for students to earn the Passport or UCGS while also preparing for their program of study.
The Passport and UCGS do not guarantee students admission into an institution.
Section 2: Requirements for Passport and UCGS
- Course Completion
Students earn the Passport or UCGS by completing the required credit hours as prescribed in section 2B. When a general education program exceeds 16 or 30-32 credits, completion of the Passport or UCGS guarantees satisfaction of the most applicable 16 or 30-32 credits of lower-division general education requirements or individual program requirements.
No distinction will be made by senior institutions regarding college courses applicable to the Passport and UCGS that are completed through dual enrollment arrangements with high schools. The courses completed through enrollment at multiple two-year public institutions in Virginia collectively apply to meeting Passport and UCGS requirements. A student’s transcript from a two-year institution will designate completion of the Passport or UCGS.
- Passport/UCGS Curricular Requirements
Students complete the Passport and UCGS by satisfying the credit requirements within each general education block at the two-year institution, as described in the table below. Descriptions of blocks represent community college general education categories and do not designate which general education requirement is met at the senior institution.
 Due to the inclusion of courses bearing more than 3 credits in the requirements of the Passport and UCGS, the credit hours in practice exceed the statutory requirements of 15 and 30 credit hours.
- Grade Requirements
All benefits that accrue to students as a result of this agreement are based on all Passport and UCGS courses being completed with a grade of C or above.
- Course Rosters
Courses included in the VCCS and RBC Passport and UCGS course rosters have been developed under the guidance of TransferVA and identified as meeting general education learning outcomes at institutions in Virginia. UCGS and Passport course roster modifications are subject to the provisions of the Virginia Public Higher Education Policy on Passport and Uniform Certificate of General Studies Programs.
SCHEV shall document the removal or addition of courses and maintain historical records of courses on the roster. SCHEV and the Transfer Virginia portal will also provide the current Passport and UCGS rosters. (Link to SCHEV site.)
SCHEV shall administer ongoing updates to the Passport/UCGS course roster via annual notifications to institutions through the State Committee on Transfer.
- Application to Receiving Institution General Education Requirements
Determination of specific general education requirements met by Passport and UCGS coursework is at the discretion of the receiving institution as long as the practice is in accordance with the following policy: Virginia Public Higher Education Policy on Passport and Uniform Certificate of General Studies Programs.
Institutions requiring credits beyond the Passport or UCGS must determine which requirements are satisfied by the Passport or UCGS and which need to be completed. This practice of applying the Passport or UCGS courses to the most appropriate general education requirement aligns with the current practice of senior institutions waiving lower-division general education requirements for the completion of a transfer associate degree. Because the Passport and UCGS directly align with the core general education requirements of all two-year colleges in Virginia, this practice also supports and encourages students to align their general education with associate degree completion and more specifically with program-specific requirements.
Block VII, Specialized General Education Requirement, provides students the opportunity to meet general education requirements that are unique to the senior institution (e.g., public speaking, foreign language, skills-based classes, program specific requirements, etc.) The courses taken in this block will satisfy either general education or major requirements as part of the total credit hours needed to earn a bachelor’s degree at all institutions participating in this agreement.
Section 3: Acceptance of Courses Without Equivalencies
UCGS courses may satisfy a general education requirement at the senior institution without having a specific course equivalent at the receiving institution. All courses included on the roster shall be applied to a student’s general education requirements as required by policy. Senior institutions will communicate to students how their course work has been applied as part of their degree audit. These courses may also meet program requirements.
As outlined in the Passport policy:
MTH 161/162 and 167 should only be taken by students preparing for calculus or for four-year degree programs that specifically require study in College Algebra/PreCalc.
Receiving institutions will determine the applicability of pre-calculus courses to the general education or major programs requirements and award appropriate credit. Additional math courses may be required to meet these requirements.