Higher Education Articulation Agreements Toolkit

The Council is committed to supporting early childhood professionals, including those who are working to further their education in child development and early childhood education.   The Council has two projects focusing on higher education, the higher education capacity survey and a toolkit for higher education articulation agreements. We are excited to release the Texas Early Childhood Education Degree Articulation Toolkit to the state!  The toolkit is a resource for higher education institutions to create or improve articulation agreements. A good articulation agreement can improve the quality of the education experience for students, as well as reduce the time and cost of completing a degree.

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This toolkit is an important resource for higher education institutions in Texas. In higher education, an articulation agreement is an agreement between institutions of higher education that matches courses between institutions.  Often, these are agreements between two-year institutions (such as community colleges) and four-year institutions (universities).  Without an articulation agreement, students could be required to repeat coursework when transferring to another institution, increasing the time it takes to complete a degree and the cost of the degree.  The toolkit is a resource for higher education institutions to coordinate with other institutions and create better articulation agreements for their students.

After extensive research and input from stakeholders across Texas, most importantly from many higher education institutions, the Council's consultant submitted the first two phases of this project.  These reports were posted to our website in early 2013 - click to view the first deliverable (a review of higher education articulation agreements and stakeholder survey data) and the second deliverable (an analysis of articulation agreements in higher education early childhood programs in Texas.)  Check back soon for the final deliverable, the higher education articulation agreements toolkit. We hope to share this resource by mid-April 2013.

The Request for Proposals was released for this initiative in Summer 2012. Our consultant on this initiative is MCCM Associates.  Work began in September 2012. After completing the first two phases of research on this project, the consultant is currently developing the higher education articulation agreements toolkit.

Components of the Project

The Higher Education Articulation Agreement Toolkit project consists of three main components.  The final product, the articulation agreement toolkit, will be completed in Spring 2013 and released to the public.

Objective 1: Collect and review data on articulation agreements

The first step for this project was to review current literature on articulation agreements, including current knowledge and best practices.  Our consultant also collected many examples of articulation agreements from Texas and other states, including at least 20 articulation agreements from Texas colleges and universities.  In addition, the contractor conducted multiple focus groups and implemented a stakeholder survey on articulation.  The focus groups were conducted with college and university professors, instructors, and students, while the stakeholder survey was released to higher education contacts, practitioners, and trainers registered with the Texas Trainer Registry, part of the Texas Early Childhood Professional Development System (TECPDS).  Working with other stakeholder groups, we received a great response to the surveys and focus groups.  If you attended the Texas AEYC Conference in Galveston in October 2012, you may have seen our consultant conducting surveys.

The first deliverable is a review of higher education articulation agreements and stakeholder survey data.

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Objective 2: Analyze data and develop recommendations on articulation agreements

The next step for this project was to analyze all the data collected through the literature review, examples of articulation agreements, and information from stakeholders through the focus groups and surveys.  Our consultant used this information to identify exemplary articulation agreements, and then compared the exemplary model to current articulation agreements in Texas.  An analysis report includes best practices for articulation agreements and recommendations for Texas colleges and universities to improve articulation agreements among child development and early childhood education programs.  This report was used to create the toolkit (objective 3).

The second deliverable is an analysis of articulation agreements in higher education early childhood programs in Texas.

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Objective 3: Create a higher education articulation agreement toolkit for communities

The final step was to create a toolkit for higher education institutions and communities.  The toolkit summarizes the best practices for exemplary articulation agreements, provides examples of exemplary articulation agreements, and showcases opportunities to create or improve articulation agreements.  To ensure the toolkit will be useful for higher education institutions, the contractor solicited feedback from stakeholders at statewide meetings and conferences in early 2013.  An exciting element of this project was to solicit position papers from early childhood leaders about the importance of exemplary articulation agreements.  These position papers are incorporated into the final toolkit.

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