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What is the AGSC & STARS?
The AGSC stands for the Alabama Articulation and General Studies Committee. The AGSC was created in March of 1994 through State Legislation (ACT 94-202).
Role and responsibility of the AGSC
The AGSC was created to simplify the transfer of course credit between public institutions of higher education. To accomplish this task, the AGSC has developed and implemented a statewide general studies and articulation program that facilitates the transferability of coursework among all Alabama public colleges and universities. The AGSC continues to serve as a monitoring committee for the articulation program. They oversee and maintain the program on an on-going basis. Finally, the AGSC works to resolve any student appeals related to transfer of coursework as it relates to the articulation program.
AGSC makeup (as outlined by the legislation)
- 3 Two-Year Representatives
(represent all public two-year institutions)
- 2 Regional University Representatives
(chosen from UNA, TROY, UWA, JSU, and UM)
- 1 Auburn University Representative
- 1 University of Alabama System Representative
- 1 University of South Alabama Representative
- 1 Alabama State Representative
- 1 Alabama A&M Representative
Total of ten members.
Note: Each member has an alternate. The name and contact information for all members and alternates can be found on the AGSC members page.
Four legislative charges to the AGSC
The 1994 legislation outlines the following four charges of the AGSC:
- Develop no later than September 1, 1998, a statewide freshman- and sophomore-level general studies curriculum to be taken at all public colleges and universities (completed);
- Develop and adopt by September 1, 1999, a statewide articulation agreement for the freshman and sophomore years for the transfer of credit among all public institutions of higher education in Alabama (completed);
- Examine the need for a uniform course numbering system, course titles, and course descriptions (completed); - The AGSC ruled that uniform numbering system for entire state was not needed at this time.
- Resolve problems in the administration or interpretation of the articulation agreement of the general studies curriculum (on-going).
Five guiding principles established by AGSC
Five guiding principles that the committee followed in undertaking their task.
- The AGSC wanted to permit flexibility among institutions in the specific courses they may offer to enable students to fulfill general studies requirements.
- The AGSC wanted to avoid increasing credit hour requirements for completion of baccalaureate degrees.
- The AGSC wanted to develop the credit hour distribution requirements rather than specific course requirements.
- The AGSC wanted to achieve a balance between general studies requirements and pre-professional or pre-major studies.
- The AGSC established
faculty committees that are responsible for course/template
specifications, review, and approval/ratification.
Oversight of STARS
The AGSC oversees the work of the STARS Program (now Alabama Transfers). STARS stands for Statewide Transfer & Articulation Reporting System. STARS is a web-accessible database system which provides guidance and direction for prospective transfer students in the State of Alabama.
The STARS system allows students, advisors, faculty, and administrators to obtain the most current AGSC approved transfer information. Prospective transfer students can log onto the STARS system and obtain a transfer guide for their chosen major that prescribes the coursework needed in the first 60-64 semester hours (SH) of their degree program. If a student follows the guide and does not change majors, they should receive degree credit upon transfer to the receiving institution.
The STARS system allows public two-year students in Alabama to obtain a transfer guide/agreement for the major of their choice. This guide/agreement, if used correctly, guides the student through their first two years of coursework and prevents loss of credit hours upon transfer to the appropriate public four-year university in Alabama. Although transfer guides/agreements can only be generated for two-year to four-year transfers, the STARS system can still provide guidance and direction to transfer students who have a different transfer situation.
The information that students receive from the STARS system has been approved by the AGSC.