System Procedures
Chapter 3 - Educational Policies

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for Board Policy 3.29


Part 1. Purpose
To establish the uniform format for Minnesota State college and university official transcripts.

Part 2. Definitions

Consortium course
A course identified in a consortium agreement where a student can receive financial aid at a college or university for coursework taken at another college or university that is applicable to the student’s specific degree program of study at the student’s home college or university.

Common market course
A course taken at one or more of the universities where a student earns resident credit(s) to be applied toward an academic program at the student’s home university.

Exchange course
A course offered through an exchange program involving a college or university and a non-system college and university.

Part 3. Official Transcript Format and Content
Official transcripts of colleges and universities must be formatted for 8.5"x11" paper in landscape orientation using the format for course grade reporting specified by the student information system. Official transcripts must incorporate one or more security systems to prevent alteration or unauthorized copying.

The front side of the transcript must be a record of a student's academic progress at a college or university and contain information on courses attempted, credits and grades earned, grade point average (GPA), and any degrees, diplomas, or certificates attained in the format specified by the student information system standards. Additional information on the front side of the transcript must be entered as required by this procedure.

The back side of the transcript must include elements of information determined to be essential for evaluation purposes as recommended by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO). This side must be formatted for landscape orientation using the three-column format illustrated in Appendix A: Official Transcript Sample. Elements of information and the order in which they must appear are: college or university name, address, telephone numbers, URL, FICE code; history, name changes, mergers; accreditation; academic calendar and terms; grading system, GPA calculation method, policy information on recording all courses attempted, policy information on withdrawals, transfers, incompletes, repeated courses, academic forgiveness; course numbering system; transcript symbols; honors designations and criteria; any necessary miscellaneous information, ADA statement, authenticity statement, and FERPA statement. College or university name and contact information must appear at the top of the transcript across all three columns, and may include college or university logo. Institutional history must appear at the top of the first column and the last element must always be at the bottom of the third column. The date of most recent revision must be placed last at the bottom of a column in bold.

Part 4. Transcript Symbols
The following set of symbols must be used on transcripts to note certain types of courses and other course and credit related information.

Subpart A. Academic forgiveness
The terms Academic Forgiveness, Fresh Start, and Academic Renewal, are used in college and university policies to describe previous credits and grades a student attempted (usually years ago), that are ignored in the calculation of the student's cumulative credits attempted, cumulative credits earned, and GPA. The courses, however, remain on the transcript and a reviewer must have some way of knowing that these credits and grades are being ignored. The bracket symbols [ ] must be placed around all courses a college or university includes in a student's Academic Forgiveness.

Subpart B. Repeated courses
Courses that are repeated and not counted in a GPA calculation must be denoted by being placed in parentheses ( ). Repeats that are counted must be denoted by slash marks //.

Subpart C. Developmental courses
Developmental courses that are not counted toward an award must have the course designation preceded by a "greater than" symbol, as in "> Math 0099 Intermediate Algebra."

Subpart D. Consortium, common market and exchange courses
Consortium (or dual enrollment), common market, and exchange courses must be denoted by a caret symbol ^. The name of the college or university where the course was taken must appear immediately below the course. Dual enrollment in this context does not refer to Postsecondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) enrollments.

Subpart E. Symbol explanation required
An explanation for each symbols used on a transcript must appear on the back side of the transcript.

Part 5. Notation of Credit for Prior Learning
Colleges and universities award credit for prior learning earned through practices that may include transfer of credit from external assessments (e.g. military, ACE, IB exams, or other standardized testing such as CLEP), an articulation agreement with a high school, or credit awarded through internal assessments designed and conducted by faculty within Minnesota State colleges and universities.

  1. Credit awarded for prior learning through external assessments must be designated as a transfer credit on the official student transcript. The source of the credit award must be designated and the course equivalency, when applicable, must be designated on the student degree audit.
  2. Credit awarded for military courses and military occupations must be designated as transfer credit on the official student transcript. The source of the credit award must be designated and the course equivalency, when applicable, must be designated on the student degree audit.
  3. Credit awarded for prior learning through internal college/university assessments must be designated as a course within the term awarded on the official student transcript. The source of the credit award must be designated as Credit for Prior Learning in the student information system but must not be displayed on the official student transcript.
  4. Credit awarded for prior learning through an articulation agreement may be noted either in the term when it was earned or in the transfer section. If placed in the term section, the type of special credit must be noted in parentheses ( ) immediately below the course.
  5. Career Technical Education (CTE) credit earned through an articulation agreement will be placed on an enrolled student’s transcript after the course drop date for the semester in which enrollment occurs.

Part 6. Suspensions and Expulsions

Subpart A. Academic suspension
A two-line notation must be placed on the transcript when a student is suspended for academic reasons, with the first line stating “Academic Suspension" and the second line reading "Eligible for Readmission 'Term, Year.'" The notation must not be removed when a student is reinstated; however, the second line must be revised to read "Reinstated by Petition 'Term, Year'", or "Reinstated 'Term, Year'" when reinstatement does not require a petition. The academic suspension notation in its entirety must be removed when a student completes the certificate, degree, or diploma being pursued at the time of the suspension.

Subpart B. Disciplinary suspension or expulsion
Suspensions or expulsions for disciplinary reasons must be noted on the transcript with a two-line message. For a suspension, the first line must read "Disciplinary Suspension" and the second line "Eligible for Reinstatement 'Term, Year.'" An expulsion must be noted by a first line reading "Disciplinary Expulsion" and the second line reading "Not Eligible for Reinstatement." The disciplinary suspension notation must be removed from the transcript following the date when the student becomes eligible for reinstatement, while the disciplinary expulsion notation is permanent.

Part 7. Standardization of Term-Year
Course terms must be designated with the name of the term fully spelled out as Fall, Summer or Spring, and a four-digit year as in "Spring 2019."

Part 8. Other Notations

Subpart A. Initial statistics
Prior to the computerization of records, credits earned at Minnesota State Colleges and Universities were entered into the Integrated Statewide Record System (ISRS) as cumulative totals, without course detail. These previously earned credits, even if not applicable to a current award, must appear on the transcript.

Subpart B. Minnesota Transfer Curriculum
When a student has completed the entire Minnesota Transfer Curriculum a notation of transfer curriculum completion must appear in the top left quadrant on the front side of the transcript.

Subpart C. Previous degrees earned, institutions attended, and accreditation of institutions attended
Notation of previous institutions attended must appear on the transcript only when transfer credit is being accepted from those institutions or when a previous degree earned is applicable to the student's program. The accreditation status of those institutions shall must not appear on the transcript.

Subpart D. Dean's list/president's list
Colleges and universities are not required to award academic term honors, such as Dean’s List or President’s List. However, if awarded, achievement of academic term honors must be noted at the end of the term in which the honor was earned. Criteria for the academic honor must be listed on the back side of the transcript in the “Miscellaneous” area.

Subpart E. Membership in honor societies
Colleges and universities may make notations on student transcripts for student memberships in national scholastic honor societies such as Phi Theta Kappa and Golden Key. Memberships in specialized or departmental honor societies must not be noted. The designation must appear at the end of the transcript and specify the name of the honor society and the term-year of induction.

Subpart F. Graduation honors
Colleges and universities are not required to award graduation honors. If awarded, achievement of academic honors at graduation must be listed in the upper left quadrant of the transcript with the awards earned information. Criteria for graduation honors must be listed on the back side of the transcript in the Miscellaneous area.

Subpart G. Service learning
Notation of service learning hours must appear at the end of on the transcript only when service learning is required for a student's certificate, diploma, or degree.

Subpart H. Licenses earned
Notation of licenses earned or passage of professional board examinations such as the Pre-Professional Standards Test or the Peace Officer Standards and Training requirements must not appear on the transcript, but a record of these achievements may be maintained in the student information system.


Related Documents:


System Procedure History:

Date of Adoption: 02/03/05
Date of Implementation: 07/01/05
Date of Last Review: 12/06/19

Date & Subject of Amendments:

12/06/19 – Added the definitions to Part 2 for consortium course, common market course, and exchange course; added credit for prior learning information to Part 5, and made technical edits and grammatical changes throughout the procedure.

4/21/2010 – Reviewed, no changes

No additional HISTORY.

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