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Article I: Overview of Act 94-202
The passage of ACT 94-202 by the legislature in 1994 amended Section 16-5-8, Code of Alabama 1975 to facilitate the process for articulation of degree program requirements and transfer of academic credit between and among institutions (See Section 16-5-8) The broad provisions of the law were intended 1) to provide for a uniform articulation agreement among all institutions of higher education as well as a statewide general studies curriculum; 2) to provide for the computation of grade point averages of certain transferred students; 3) to specify that the Act would not impede the objectives of historically black institutions; 4) to provide for implementation conditioned on the participation of certain institutions; and 5) to specify certain reporting requirements.
To implement provisions specified in the Act, the legislation provided for the creation of an Articulation and General Studies Committee. The Act designated the membership of the Committee, the appointment process and rotation of leadership. The legislation also designated the agency responsible for developing the computerized database and designing student contractual agreements to be honored among all public institutions as well as framed guidelines for compliance.
Article II: Articulation and General Studies Committee (AGSC)
The AGSC establishes fiscal and administrative policies and procedures for ensuring that the authority ascribed to the committee in the legislation is fulfilled. In addition, the AGSC provides fiduciary and administrative oversight for all AGSC activities including the Statewide Articulation and Reporting System (STARS) office located on the campus of Troy University, the host institution. The AGSC appoints the Executive Director of AGSC/STARS and operates in concert with the Executive Director to monitor AGSC funding and ensure that the priorities of AGSC are carried out.
Legislative Responsibilities Assigned to AGSC.
- Develop a statewide freshman and sophomore level general studies curriculum to be taken at all colleges and universities no later than September 1, 1998.
- Develop and adopt for the freshman and sophomore years a statewide articulation agreement for the transfer of credit among all public institutions of higher education no later than September 1, 1999. Under this articulation agreement, all applicable credits transferred from a two-year institution to a four-year institution shall fulfill degree requirements at the four-year institution as if they were earned at the four-year institution;
- Examine the need for a uniform course numbering system, course titles, and course descriptions.
- Upon adoption of the general studies curriculum and articulation agreement, the committee shall continue its duty and authority prescribed in the legislation. In the case of problems in the administration or interpretation of the articulation agreement or the general studies curriculum, institutions shall present the problem to the AGSC for resolution.
Article III: AGSC Membership
Official Voting Members. The legislation provided for the creation of a 10-member articulation and general studies committee composed as follows: two representing the state’s regional universities, three representing the state’s two-year colleges (one of whom shall be black), and one representing each of the following: Auburn University, the University of Alabama System, the University of South Alabama, Alabama State University, and Alabama A&M University. In addition to the 10-member Committee, alternates were designated to serve in the absence of appointed members.
Non-Voting Members. The Executive Director of the Alabama Commission on Higher Education (ACHE) and the Executive Director of the Statewide Transfer Articulation and Reporting System (STARS), the computerized advising system operated by Troy University, serve as nonvoting members. The ACHE serves as the fiscal agent for the AGSC/STARS.
Selection of Voting Members. Unless provided by the governing board of the respective institution the representatives to the Articulation and General Studies Committee shall be selected as follows: The presidents of the state’s regional universities shall select the two representatives of these institutions. The Alabama Community System Board of Trustees shall select the representatives of the state’s two-year colleges. The Chancellor of the University of Alabama System and the Presidents of Auburn University, the University of South Alabama, Alabama State University, and Alabama A&M University shall each select the representative of their institutions. It is the intent of the Legislature that women be represented on the committee.
Alternate Voting Members. Chief executive officers of the institutions or systems may appoint alternate voting
members to serve in place of an official voting member. For regionals and two-year college representatives,
when the number of voting members absent is less than the number of alternate members present, the
alternate member(s) who will cast votes will be identified at the time of roll call such that there will be only
three votes cast among the two-year institutions and only two votes cast among the regional universities.
Article IV: Officers, Election Procedures, and Removal of Officers
Officers. The Officers of the AGSC are the Chair and the Chair-Elect. The Chair is responsible for convening and presiding over all scheduled meetings and other activities of the AGSC as well as appointing ad hoc subcommittees. The Chair-Elect assists the Chair and serves in the absence of the Chair. The Chair, the Immediate Past Chair, and the Chair-Elect serve as an Executive Committee.
Election Procedures. The officers are elected by a simple majority vote of the Official Voting Members in attendance at the spring meeting.
Terms of Office. The Chair of the AGSC rotates annually between a voting representative of the four-year institutions and a voting representative of the two-year institutions. The newly elected Chair and Chair-Elect begin their terms during the summer meeting.
Removal of Officers. An officer may be removed by a simple majority of the voting members of the AGSC. A petition for removal signed by at least three official voting members of AGSC and providing a justification for removal must be presented to the AGSC membership two weeks in advance of a meeting scheduled for its
consideration. Should the Chair be removed from office, the Chair-Elect will assume the office of Chair and a new Chair-Elect will be elected.
Secretary to the AGSC. The Administrative Assistant to the Executive Director of the Alabama Commission on Higher Education serves as Secretary to the AGSC and is responsible for maintaining the historical record of all proceedings as well as posting notices to the Secretary of State website in compliance with the Open Meetings Act.
Article V: Meetings and Quorum
Meetings. The AGSC is required to meet annually, or at other times as convened by the chair. Typically, meetings are scheduled in the fall, spring, and summer. Any voting member of the AGSC may request that a meeting be called under special circumstances upon approval by the Executive Committee. Meetings are
subject to compliance with the Alabama Open Meetings Act (OMA) legislation (Act 2005-40) as amended.
Quorum. Six or more voting members constitute a quorum. No official business may be conducted at an AGSC meeting unless a quorum is declared in accord with the provisions of the OMA as it may be amended from time to time. The OMA stipulates that a quorum of the committee needs to be present at the site of the meeting in order to conduct business. Alternate voting members are counted in the determination of a quorum in the absence of the voting member. Voting members off-site are eligible to vote; they are not eligible to be counted as part of the quorum.
Article VI: Changes to Articulation Agreement and General Studies Curriculum
A super majority of eight voting members shall be required to approve changes to the articulation agreement and to the general studies curriculum.
Article VII: Statewide Transfer and Articulation Reporting System (STARS)
The computerized advisement system for students operated by Troy University and existing on the effective date of the ACT 94-202 was designated as the web-based data system to ensure students at each two-year institution accredited by the Southern Association Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) were able to enter into a contract with a four-year institution guaranteeing the transfer of credit earned for courses taken at the two-year institution. Under this contract, all agreed upon credits transferred from a two-year institution to a four-year institution would fulfill degree requirements at the four-year institution as if they were earned at the four year institution. Information regarding this advisement and contracting program is to be included in the official catalog of each institution of higher education. All public two-year and four-year institutions in the state accredited by the Commission on Colleges shall participate in this system.
Article VIII: Administration of AGSC and STARS
AGSC/STARS Office. Located on the campus of Troy University
AGSC/STARS Executive Director. The AGSC/STARS Executive Director serves at the pleasure of the AGSC and has the dual responsibility of carrying out the policies and procedures of the AGSC to ensure that the authority ascribed to the AGSC in the legislation is fulfilled as well as serving as the Director of the STARS Office. The AGSC/STARS Executive Director has overall responsibility for day-to-day operation, management, coordination, and promotion of the STARS program including: 1) supervising office staff; 2) managing the budget; 3) assessing the effectiveness of the web-based STARS program; 4) coordinating activities of the faculty committees responsible for course specifications, review, and approval; 5) and preparing an Annual Report for distribution to the legislature and presentation to the ACHE. All procedures for the operation of STARS are subject to approval by the AGSC.
Associate Director/Information Technology Manager. The Information Technology Manager is responsible for developing and executing plans that support the STARS IT needs. Activities include, but are not limited to, 1) ensuring proper functioning of the information processing system and overseeing necessary upgrades; 2) resolving technical issues; 3) maintaining web pages and data bases; 4) providing timely, accurate and consistent technical support for institutions served by the STARS office; 5) building Transfer Guides for AGSC approved templates; 6) compiling usage reports for institutions; and 7) making presentations at regularly scheduled meetings of the AGSC. The Information Technology Manager reports to the Executive Director.
Fiscal Agent. Funding for the support of the articulated computerized system is a line item in the ACHE budget. The ACHE is the fiscal agent for these funds.
Article IX: Changes to the Bylaws
Proposed changes to the Bylaws must be distributed to the members of the AGSC 30 days prior to the meeting at which they will be considered.
A super majority of eight voting members of the AGSC in attendance at a scheduled AGSC meeting is required to amend the Bylaws. Amendments to the Bylaws become effective upon passage.
AGSC Bylaws (.pdf) with signature page.