October 18, 2017
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Comments for: 40 years later, UMaine System still hasn’t figured out how to transfer credits

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  • Anonymous

    Certainly the idea of smoother transfer of credits within the seven campuses of the System is as wholesome as apple pie. But it’s always puzzling that the campuses have differential tuition rates reflecting the higher standards of instruction and of facilities of some campuses versus others, with Orono as the flagship in theory if not always in practice. It therefore raises questions as to whether all credits should automatically transfer. Beyond that is the apparent desire on the part of some powerful System folks to reward credit for “life experience” as in the military. That kind of radical move needs serious thinking and should not be reduced to the desire to increase enrollment throughout the System. Do lower level NCAA players who might wish to transfer from one of the other six campuses to Orono get their own version of smooth credits for their athletic experiences? Not so easily,I suspect. 

  • Anonymous

    I remember when I was in my undergraduate degree program and moved to northern Maine and needed to transfer from Orono to UMPI.  You would have thought that transferring  WITHIN the U-Maine system was a no brainer….not so much.  Oh I could transfer alright, but without my U-Maine GPA accompanying me.  So when I applied to the specific program at UMPI I was interested in- I was told by UMPI that because I didn’t have a GPA- I could be admitted only on a conditional basis and only if all the slots didn’t get filled up with people who had GPA’s.  SERIOUSLY ?  This was after 2 full years at Orono I might add- which means I had over 60+ credits and had a 3.90 GPA.  Then there were the hassles with the credits- example: does Human Development at Orono count as Human Development at UMPI?  Apparently not.   So what you have to do is track down and contact the professor from 2 years ago who taught Human Development at Orono and get their 2 year old syllabus (if they still have a copy of it) and submit that syllabus to UMPI so UMPI can decide if Orono’s Human Development meets UMPI’s criteria of their Human Development course.  I had to do that with 7 different classes. What a freaking cluster that was and a whole lot of extra work- trying to locate previous professors and hope they still worked at Orono (and hadn’t left for another college somewhere else) AND hope they still had a copy of their old syllabus so I could give the syllabus to UMPI and hope that I was not going to be forced to retake the same exact course again this time at UMPI.  The best experience I ever had was when I left the U-Maine system and went to grad school at the University of New England.  ALL my U-Maine credits transferred with no questions, there were no issues with what class was what class or if they counted at UNE.  Best experience of my life as so far as college went.  The U-Maine system could learn a great deal from UNE

    • Anonymous

       I transferred from UMaine to another college and they gave me credit for all the courses I took at UMO. They figured it out real quick like too.

    • StillRelaxin

      I had much the same experience with UMaine.  It was ALWAYS my impression that when the folks up there told me that various credits couldn’t be transferred it was “really” for only one reason, it was going to cost me a heap of money taking a class over again with them. 

      • Anonymous

        You are absolutely 100% correct.  Why take Human Development once when you can take it twice and pay for it twice?   God forbid I had to transfer to a 3rd U-Maine system school I could have taken Human Development for a 3rd time.  Ridiculous.   I liked it when UMPI tried to tell me that my American Sign Language classes (over 70 hours of ASL) would not count as my language requirement because ASL was not a ‘real language’ – at which time I appealed UMPI’s decision and argued with them and they finally unhappily agreed that ASL was an actual language (because you know apparently over a million deaf people don’t know what they are talking about)  I don’t miss D-UMPI or Orono at all.

        • Anonymous

          How long ago was this? Just curious.

          • Anonymous

            Within the last 6 years.

    • Anonymous

      What you have just described is EXACTLY the same foolishness that the Maine Department of Education imposes on certified teachers from away who are trying to certify in Maine.  Doesn’t matter that you have a certification from another state and it doesn’t matter if you had 7 years of classroom teaching experience – nope you have to dance to Augusta’s tune or no certification in Maine.  

      • Anonymous

        Try to get licensed in this state for pretty much anything if you are coming from another state and it’s nothing but a comedy of errors by Disgusta and a bad comedy at that.  There is NO easy or reasonable reciprocity in this state for anyone who has a professional license  from another state.  It’s ridiculous……Maine ‘Open for Business’ ….sure it is.

        • Anonymous

          Its not easy getting rid of the legacy of 35+ plus years of Democrats running things

          • Anonymous

            I’m fairly certain that democrats or republicans are not responsible for the U-Maine fiasco of credit transfers…..it’s the administrators who are apparently clueless.  One campus does not talk to the other campuses….it’s ridiculous.

    • Anonymous

      Just so you know: Regardless of what college you transfer to/from, your GPA never follows you.  This is so someone can’t go to EMCC and get a 4.0 for 3.5 years then go to UMaine and graduate summa cum laude after only taking one semester of courses.

      Having worked in a University office that deals with transfer credits, I can say first hand that transfers can be very, very messy – because all universities are different.  It’s just the nature of the beast, and there’s really not much anyone can do about it.  It’s unfortunate, but that’s the truth.

      • Anonymous

        I understand that community colleges may be considered ‘different’ by the U-Maine system, but that was clearly not my case.  

        I was transferring from the ‘flagship university’ of the University of Maine system to another podunk university WITHIN the SAME university system.  Shouldn’t English 101 at Orono be the same as English 101 at Farmington or Machias or Fort Kent?  And if not- WHY NOT ? Chemistry or Calculus at UMPI should be the same as chemistry or calculus at UMA or USM should it not?  And again if not WHY not.

        One of my cohorts at UMPI was from Canada and her University of New Brunswick GPA transferred with her as did all her credits.  Odd how that worked isn’t it?

        So what I am understanding is if one chooses to attend or has to attend (due to financial reasons) one of the ‘other’ smaller universities within the University of Maine system other than Orono or USM your educational experience which you pay a good chunk of change for…..is actually a worse quality of educational experience.  What a lovely and ironic concept THAT is. 

        • Anonymous

          English 101 should be one of the easiest classes to transfer, so if this is in fact one of the ones that was not transferred, I am not sure why – I”m sure one of my former co-workers would have been able to contribute greatly to this comment thread.  To me, it seems like general, lower-level math and science courses should be easily-transferable, too.. So I’m with you on that one.  It’s when you get up into the more specific courses where things get really tricky.

          The fact that they are in the same system has little to do with transfer credits, unfortunately.  They are each their own individual universities, with different departments, faculty, staff, presidents, curricula, etc. So, essentially, transferring a credit from one UMS university to another is very similar to transferring a credit from just about any other university in the country.  The current setup makes it easier (you don’t have to send a transcript) within the UMS, but courses at the different universities are not considered to be the same, in all cases.  Having not been a transfer specialist at my former job, I do not know the particulars of why some classes are transferable between the different schools and why some aren’t.

          This is the first time I’ve heard of a GPA transferring to/from a UMS school, so this is new to me.  My best guess is that UMPI has different rules about transferring GPA than UMaine does – or perhaps they have struck some sort of deal with University of New Brunswick, who knows.  All I know is that when I had to answer phones, I had to tell people that their GPA absolutely would not transfer, no matter what – and it makes sense why it wouldn’t.

          It’s not a matter of better or worse quality education (necessarily), it’s just different.  In some cases, it may definitely be easier than what you might find at UMaine, but you also have to take into consideration that some people get rejected at UMaine, but accepted at other UMS schools – there is certainly some difference in level of difficulty there, isn’t there?

          • Anonymous

            School has always been easy for me- so I did not find any real difference at any of the campuses I have taken a classes at (undergrad or grad school)….. except for the prices the prices were clearly different.

          • Some people get rejected form UMaine ,but accepted at other UMS schools.  Would those same students be rejected if the were super talented at tossing a ball??????? Or would that be an exception?????  

          • Anonymous

            I’m… not sure.. but that’s not really relevant to the topic here..

    • Anonymous

      Their 40 year secret that we all know about will never change as long as it is a cash cow for the Maine college system. The Maine system laps their lips like pigs at a trough waiting for the kids to dare transfer, poof you now need to take this course and pay us twice for it. Biggest ponzi scheme ever.

  • Anonymous

    They are just starting to talk about this?? They are chumps, trying to get a positive note, trying for the bond the voters are supposed to vote on tuesday, good gawd, just as soon as the election is over,  it will be business as usual, what a bunch, VOTE NO on the UMO bond issue, do not let this side stepper side step you, it is the same ole bunch.

    • Anonymous

      Agreed, typical of the “leadership” always telling the tax payer whats best for us.They all should take a long hard look in the mirror, the problems at the USM system are at the top !

    • Anonymous

      UMO doesn’t exist.

      And the bond is a UMS and community college system issue.

      • Anonymous

        Well pardon me, then, if forty years later they cannot transfer credits, then NO BOND MONEY, UNTIL, THEY CAN TRANSFER CREDITS.

      • Tyke

         UMO no longer exists because the folks in charge at the Orono campus were so threatened by the obvious trends making them the 2nd largest campus they voted to call themselves the University of Maine, while requiring each and every campus to append a descriptor to the U Maine name,  to pretend they were the most essential cog in the system.
        .
        I used to donate to UMO. It no longer exits so I don’t anymore.

        • Anonymous

           exactly competitive EGO crap .

        • Anonymous

          They had been the University of Maine for over a century before the Super-U tagged “at Orono” onto the name, so that people wouldn’t get the notion that they were bigger or better or any different than the other campuses.  There’s nothing more unequal than the equal treatment of unequals!    The University of Maine is still the largest with the greatest course offerings, tremendous research facilities and terminal degree granting.  Try saying “UM” or “UMaine” or just “Maine”, that worked for over a century!

      • Anonymous

        I remember when it was called UMO…. and UM Zero was about right.

  • Anonymous

    In technical areas, credit transfer will be a very difficult-to-solve matter.

    Similarly-named math and science courses on different campuses seldom are of the same quality.

    The quality of the student cohorts in these contexts at USM, UM, and the smaller campuses will seldom be genuinely comparable.

    To level the playing field, an aggressive norming effort will be required.  Should that be well-executed, the result would most likely be damage to existing programs in the smaller campuses where the ability to recruit top flight students in sufficient numbers to fill Orono-grade courses is frequently limited.

    (In a few cases, the best programs in the UMS are found on the small campuses, but that is the exception, not the norm.)

    The big danger in the current initiative is subtle, but potentially significant, erosion of quality in the most demanding programs.

    The current UMS financial situation is clearly endangering quality.

    • Anonymous

      “The quality of the student cohorts in these contexts at USM, UM, and the smaller campuses will seldom be genuinely comparable.” seriously ? ” who knew? different schools get different “quality ‘ of classes.  That is quite shocking news.  So math 101 is different in say farmington then , orono or USM?? WOW!!!  That is the scandal right there. “quality” of students is different ; so “quality ” of classes are different? WOW!!! Who knew?? So basically we have a “class” system ” with in the University??

      • I would bet some of the sports players would never get into or pass college on there own merits . based on ability and how hard they try . That being said most will not fail. The playing field is not level for all . It seems more about making money than educating people  . Oh you can not transfer this class you need to take it all over again . What a rip off and they seem to get away with it.

  • Anonymous

    I have never understood this. I grew up elsewhere and went to college elsewhere thank heavens and did transfer colleges with NO ISSUE and it wasn’t even part of a “system”. It makes it ludicrous in my mind that there are different members of this system but their teaching is not directly transferable? Seems they would have the same teaching requirements in each but then again, Profs are independent to a large extent. What a hassle for students.

  • Anonymous

    Can’t figure out how to transfer credits between universities, but they think they should be entrusted to spend $100M bond responsibly. Maybe we should issue a bond to fund a study to decide what type of individual could figure out how to transfer credit.

    • Anonymous

      Maybe they could put Selma Botman on the case, she should not be too busy. Forty years, they cannot transfer credits and they need a chancellors office, why??

    • Anonymous

      It can be a lot more difficult than one might think – especially when you have to deal with hundreds or thousands of them on a weekly basis.

      • Anonymous

        Notion,  I cannot buy that you cannot transfer the credit and grade within the UMaine system.  If that is the case then why have a state system, if you’re not going to at least have standardized core classes.  I can understand trying to transfer 300 or 400 classes, even some 200’s but 100’s?  This is just a system trying to take advantage to get some extra $$$

        • Anonymous

          You can transfer credits within the UMaine system.  The credits can go, but the grades do not transfer.

          It is my understanding that the UMS isn’t intended to be one giant university with 7 different campuses, but 7 different institutions that work together more than universities traditionally do.  This is why transferring credits is essentially the same as if you were transferring to/from a university outside the UMS.  One difference is that the 7 members of the UMS often have distance education courses that, for example, a student who goes to UMaine, can take at USM, be it online or otherwise, while counting this course work toward their degree at UMaine.  Most universities do not have this relationship that is created by the UMS.

      • Anonymous

        Maybe somebody could develop a machine that could deal with large amounts of data quickly! Let’s give UMO a billion dollar bond to work on that, should only take about 100 years for them to figure out.

  • One word “Money”.

  • Anonymous

    If a college course is not transferable to another college, the student should clearly know this before the students enrolls in that course. it’s called disclosure.

  • Anonymous

    Use distance learning for all courses emanating from Orono; the smaller campuses would not be allowed to offer courses of the same name as those coming out of Orono.

    • Anonymous

      please explain what you mean by this.

  • I transferred more than 60 credits from UNH to UMaine with no problem.  However, I had a huge headache transferring three credits from UMA to UMaine.  I found out why after I gave in and retook the class in Orono – it was much more challenging.  It seems like the issue isn’t transfer credits so much as it is parity of content and academic rigor.  

    • Anonymous

       then offer ALL the same course content.  You implication is some classes are  are dumbed down and students  get an inferior product.

      • Anonymous

         Offer all the same course content? — when one course is taught by a PhD with impressive research credentials and the other is taught by some adjunct with a master’s degree and not a published paper to his or her name.  Not gonna happen …

  • Anonymous

    Absolutely incredible!  Fix it mu pronto!

  • Paige Findlen

    UMaine is all about money.  Why would they give you a diploma with their name on it if you didn’t pay them for every single credit?  They will seriously screw you over in ANY way possible.  I wanted to go home and attend UMPI for one semester then come back down to UMaine; nope, not happening. They are both in the University of Maine system and both offer my degree, but it “wasn’t possible” if I wanted to graduate on time. I am personally really regretting choosing UMaine to spend my time/ money on.

    • Anonymous

      Programs of the same name at different universities are never exactly the same, so this is not isolated to UMaine.  It’s very uncommon for anyone to transfer anywhere and still graduate on time – because courses don’t always transfer as well as one might hope.

  • Anonymous

    Sounds to me like UMS should get their heads out of their butts and put in place the transfer system that USM has.  I had no problems transferring credits to USM, and my GPA transferred as well.  The only reason they make it so difficult is because they want the mighty dollar. 

  • Anonymous

    NO BOND MONEY,UNTIL THE TRANSFER CREDIT SITUATION IS FIXED, SHOW THE PEOPLE, THIS SEEMS TO ME LIKE A ISSUE WITH ALL THOSE WHO ARE PAYING COLLEGE LOANS, HOW COMPETENT IS THIS UNIVERSITY OF MAINE SYSTEM??

    VOTE NO ON THE BOND MONEY,THEY ARE TOO STUPID TO BE ABLE TO TRANSFER CREDITS AFTER 40 YEARS, MONEY THEY CAN BE NO BETTER WITH, OUR MONEY REMBEMBER, IF THEY WANT OUR MONEY, SHOW US YOU ARE MATURE ENOUGH TO SPEND IT WISELY, FORTY YEARS, CANNOT TRANSFER CREDITS, THIS IS NOT FUNNY, PAGE SEEMS TO THINK IT IS FUNNY.

  • Anonymous

    Why does it have to be such a challenge. I took courses at a local community college while still in high school. The credits for those courses followed me to a state university my freshman year. When I later transferred to a private university and then to another state university all of the credits travelled with me without any problem. I should say that covered the years from 1971-1976, long before the days of instant communication and data transfer with computers. It also involved universities whose student populations averaged, then, 25,000 students so, apparently, the size of the schools involved shouldn’t be an issue. By the way, these are NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED UNIVERSITIES. The bottom line is this, if the University of Maine system wants this to work, they will make it work, and in short order. My guess is that they all want to protect their little provincial fiefdoms so they’ll just talk about for another 40 years.

  • Anonymous

    They sure know how to shake down taxpayers though.

  • John Eastman

    They only want money. They need a major shake-up. Come on UMO get your s#*@ together. 

  • Anonymous

    If it was an acceptable class where you came from andyou passed then it should be acceptable at the new school.  Now that is simple.  Education is education and the principles are the same.

    • Anonymous

      Unfortunately, it is not that simple.  An engineering class at UMaine is NOT the same as an engineering class at MIT.  A degree from the Maine School of Law is NOT the same as a degree from Harvard Law…  This is why we have different universities that have different programs and have different tuition.

      This is even true in the University of Maine System, which is surprising to a lot of people.

      • Anonymous

        Which is basicly what my point was about in the system the course structure should be the same system wide.  Not because Fort Kent is different than Orono.  After all it is a system and not a seperate university if they are then maybe they need to get themselves in line with the main campus.  Students and the system waste a lot of time and money chasing these rabbits and for what?  Money

  • Anonymous

    I worked in a community college system where the various campuses were asked to start coordinating entry-level courses to facilitate easier credit transfers. They started with the intro English classes and gave the various institutions and instructors a year to get their act together. After a year, all they had done was bicker, so the admin gave them one more year and said that as of Sept. 1 of that year, ALL of the intro English classes WOULD be credit-equivalents – end of story. 

    That lit a fire under the academics and it happened on time with only good effects. The reason the UM “system” hasn’t done similar is because it is not a system, it is a loose group of educators who fight with each other and among themselves, apparently. It is shocking that credit transfer is not easier and an indictment of their lack of understanding of how education should work. Witness that it is easier (see previous comments) to transfer UM credits to other institutions than within the so-called “system”.

  • Anonymous

    Being broken makes money for the system. Why would they fix it.  repeating courses keeps bringing in the dollars and tenured proffessors get to keep their jobs.

  • Anonymous

     Uh so why are they not offering the SAME courses to make transfers EASY ,especially for the basics?? HELLO!!  I mean math is math—- english is english.  This is nothing but a money making racket  to make student Retake courses on the new schools profit sheet . This isn’t rocket science. This is competitive EGO stuff.  MY math course is better then THEIR math course so there fore I am better.  Baloney —Math is math.ALL other states have state university systems and can seem to figure it out seamlessly .MONEY and  puffed up EGO.

  • Anonymous

    It sounds to me that the UMaine System is just making a simple solution complicated, especially within its own system.

    Maybe if those “smarter then the rest of us” would just step back and use some old fashion “COMMON SENSE” the problem could be solved.

    I do realize that, especially if you change majors, some credits might not be valid for the new major, however one would think that basic courses would be the same from campus to campus and college to college.

  • Anonymous

    Just one more example how podunk things are at UMaine.  And they wonder why they don’t have a good reputation?
     
    In undergrad my wife went to two different state universities in the Midwest and had very little problem transferring between the two.  Even changed her major in between.    Fast forward ten years – she is at Orono for a Masters and tried to change programs (two related programs by the way)… UMO staff acted like they had never heard of such a thing and they had to reinvent the wheel just for her.  Painful process to say the least.

    The more I learn about it, the more I’m convinced that UMO gives state universities a bad name. 

  • Anonymous

    I attended SMCC after leaveing the USAF and had no trouble transferring out of state credits. They even excepted USAF courses I had as long as the completion certificate had the number of hours the course was on it. Easy as pie.   My nephew on the other hand has a teaching cert from Mass. where he attended majoring in History. Districts told him he needed to get a  Maine teaching cert to teach in Maine. The same course he has taken already. BS.

  • Anonymous

    I transferred from Aroostook State (UMPI) to Farmington State (UMF) in 1967 and had no trouble. This while the “super University” was in the works and graduated from Farmington State College of the University of Maine in 1969. All credits and GPA were transfered as an Elementary-Junior High Education Major.

  • Cut cost..bahaaaaa..how’s that working out for us.Tell them to take an economics class….twice!

  • Anonymous

    This is one of those truth is stranger than fiction moments.
    The administrators of the UMaine system should be delivered an ultimatum.  Fix this within one year, or you will be replaced.
    I’ll believe that setting up a system isn’t totally straightforward, we tough.
    Penalizing students year after year after year because the administration hasn’t got the gumption and competence to deliver a needed and deserved system is unacceptable.

  • Ben Hutchins

    No worries, though.  This may have eluded education professionals and such-like for 40 years or more, but I’m sure there will be a few dozen simple, economical solutions proposed here on this board within a few hours.  Pick one of those and Bob’s your uncle!

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