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Articulation Agreements and Transfer Memoranda of Understanding

Academics and Research

PDF Version: AA Articulation Agreement Policy


  1. Introduction
  2. Roles and Responsibilities
  3. Policy Statement
  4. Procedures
  5. Definitions
  6. History
  7. Approval

I. Introduction

  1. Authority: Colorado Revised Statutes (C.R.S.) § 23-54-102, et seq. (2020) authorizes the Trustees of Metropolitan State University of Denver (“MSU Denver” or “University”) to establish rules and regulations to govern and operate the University and its programs. The MSU Denver Trustees authorize the MSU Denver President, who subsequently authorizes the MSU Denver Provost, to approve, administer, and interpret policies pertaining to the academic functions of the University.

  2. Purpose: The University is committed to ensuring successful transfers from other institutions to Metropolitan State University of Denver for all its constituencies. This policy establishes standards for the creation of an articulation agreement or a memorandum of understanding in order to meet this goal and to ensure compliance with applicable state and federal regulations and accrediting bodies.

  3. Scope: This policy applies to all academic units within the University.

II. Roles and Responsibilities

  1. Responsible Executive: Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs

  2. Responsible Administrator: Associate Vice President for Curriculum and Policy Development

  3. Responsible Office: Office of Academic Affairs

  4. Policy Contact: Associate Vice President for Curriculum and Policy Development

  5. Roles and Responsibilities: The Office of Academic Affairs, through the Associate Vice President for Curriculum and Policy Development, is responsible for the oversight, compliance and maintenance of this policy. Questions or concerns regarding this policy may be directed to the Associate Vice President for Curriculum and Policy Development.

III. Policy Statement

  1. Articulation Agreements and/or Memoranda of Understanding are designed to aid transfer students in moving between institutions. Units within the University and the University itself are encouraged to develop such agreements where it would benefit students entering from other institutions or continuing at other institutions. The intention in all such agreements is to ensure students that their appropriate completed course work will count toward a student’s final degree.

  2. Agreements may not include any financial obligations to any party. All such agreements will include a sunsetting date that is not more than five years after the enacting date. The Responsible Administrator is charged with informing signing parties of the pending expiration date one year before the sunsetting date. Any party may begin negotiating on a renewal at any point during the lifespan of the agreement. The Responsible Administrator is to notify areas of the University that may see effects from an agreement, such as the Registrar, Admissions, etc.

  3. This policy ensures uniformity in such agreements, establishes a process for storage of completed agreements, sets guidelines for the renewal or sunsetting of such agreements, and provides transparency to all parties relative to what agreements are in place between the University and other educational entities. Each individual or unit responsible for negotiating or entering into such agreements must adhere to this policy and coordinate such agreements with the Office of Academic Affairs.

  4. Articulation agreements or memoranda of understanding, whether entered into by the University as a whole or by individual academic units, must include the following:

    1. All parties to the agreement, listed by name (MSU Denver, specific academic units, other institutions, etc.).
    2. An enacting date at which time it will become effective.
    3. Details on how the agreement will ensure appropriate credit for a student.
    4. An obligation for all parties to inform other parties of unilateral or multilateral changes (curriculum, accreditation, etc.) that may affect students covered by the agreement.
    5. A process for the notification of all parties in the event of the aforementioned changes or renewal efforts.
    6. A sunsetting date that is not more than five years after the enacting date.
    7. Dated signatures by all parties. All agreements must include the signature of the MSU Denver Provost or designee, the dean of any college or school covered by the agreement, and the chair or director of any and all other academic units included in the agreement.

  5. Templates for creating these agreements will be available from the Office of Academic Affairs. The templates will be maintained and updated by the Associate Vice President for Curriculum and Policy Development under the guidance of the Provost.

IV. Procedures

  1. While any academic unit can initiate one of the agreements covered by this policy, there are some standard procedures to follow in the case of making these agreements. In general, the procedures would consist of the following:

    1. The University or an academic unit within the university initiates an agreement.
    2. The initiator uses the template from the Office of Academic Affairs to prepare the agreement, and can consult with the Associate Vice President for Curriculum and Policy Development for any assistance in preparing the agreement.
    3. The initiator gathers the information required in “III. Policy Statement” and ensures that the agreement is complete.
    4. The initiator and the other party or parties set an enacting date and acknowledge that the sunsetting date will occur not more than five years later.
    5. The initiator, working with the Responsible Administrator or designee, ensures that all affected areas of the University (Other academic units, Registrar, Admissions, etc.) are able to review the agreement before its enacting date.
    6. The initiator, working with the Responsible Administrator or designee, ensures that the agreement is in compliance with all University policies.
    7. The initiator ensures that the necessary signatures from MSU Denver are on the final document.
    8. Once signed, the Responsible Administrator will add the document to a repository that is available for review by anyone within or without the University.

V. Definitions

  1. Articulation Agreements: A formal document produced when two or more academic institutions enter into a process leading to a partnership to provide a formalized pathway for student transfer.

  2. Institutions: Any entity providing a formal education to students. This includes regionally accredited and non-accredited institutions.

  3. Memorandum of Understanding: (MOU or MoU) is an agreement between two or more parties outlined in a formal document that signals the willingness of the parties to move forward toward a common goal.

  4. Sunsetting Date: The date on which the agreement will expire or be terminated automatically unless renewed by parties to the agreement.

VI. History

  1. Effective: April 20, 2020
  2. Review: This policy will be reviewed every three years or as deemed necessary by University leadership.

VII. Approval

Approved by Provost Vicki L. Golich, Ph.D.

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