Washington State

House of Representatives

Office of Program Research



College & Workforce Development Committee

HB 1704

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

Brief Description: Concerning transfer of credit policies when there are revisions to lower-division course requirements.

Sponsors: Representatives Caldier and Appleton.

Brief Summary of Bill

  • Requires the statewide transfer of credit policy and agreement to allow a five year grace period for transfer students when baccalaureate institutions change lower-division course requirements, and requires the receiving institution to grant students the same number and type of credits as originally assigned to the course.

Hearing Date: 2/6/19

Staff: Trudes Tango (786-7384).


Transfer is the movement of students and their earned credits from one institution to another. The Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC) adopts statewide transfer and articulation policies intended to create a statewide system of articulation between two and four-year institutions of higher education by addressing the creation of transfer associate degrees, applicability of technical courses toward baccalaureate degrees, and other issues. The institutions of higher education and the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) cooperate in developing the statewide policies.

The statewide policies do not require the standardization of course content or prescribe course content or the credit value assigned by any institution to the course. Instead, each college and university has the responsibility and authority to determine the requirements and course offerings of its programs in accordance with its institutional mission.

The statewide policies require the four-year baccalaureate institutions to notify community and technical colleges of changes in lower division course requirements for baccalaureate degrees two years prior to their implementation for transfer students. The institutions must also consult with community college academic officers when significant changes are being considered.

Once changes in lower division baccalaureate degree course requirements are adopted and published, four-year baccalaureate institutions must allow a grace period of two years before the changes become effective for transfer students. At the end of the two-year grace period, all transfer students are expected to meet the new requirements of receiving institutions.

Summary of Bill:

The statewide transfer of credit policy and agreement must provide a process for revisions and changes to lower-division course requirements that: (1) allows for a grace period of five years for transfer students, once changes have been adopted and published; and (2) requires the receiving institution to grant the same number and type of credits as originally assigned to the course. If credits would have been transferable towards general education requirements, the receiving institution must grant the student general education credits.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Requested on January 28, 2019.

Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.