Knox plans to increase the number of credits transfer students will need to complete a degree at Knox from 13.5 to 17. The plan will not come into effect until the 2018-2019 catalog, and transfer students already at Knox will be able to choose if they want to use the new catalog or the one they came in under.
Chair in Economics and Chair of the Policy Subcommittee of the Curriculum Committee Steve Cohn explained that the change brought Knox in line with the majority of ACM schools. Most require around half of a student’s credits to be from the institution from which they receive their degree.
According to Cohn, Knox chose to make the requirement 17 credits and not 18 credits so transfer students with associate’s degrees can still receive one credit from somewhere besides Knox or their two-year college.
“We felt that to have a Knox degree, it’s more or less reasonable that half your credits came from Knox. But this is one less than half so if you came in with 18 you still have some flexibility,” Cohn said.
“I understand the logic behind it, because you don’t want people coming into the school and getting the degree without actually doing the work,” senior Mackenzie Lynch said.
Lynch transferred to Knox after completing a semester at George Washington University in D.C. and brought around six credits from her semester there. The semester schedule put her ahead of other freshmen, who generally earn only three credits from Fall Term.
Combined with AP credits and two credits from online classes, Lynch needed 24 Knox credits to graduate, so she would not have been affected by the change. She will be able to graduate after two years and two terms at Knox.
“All of my requirements have been taken care of, and in some places I’m actually taking classes that I didn’t normally have to,” Lynch said.
Junior Errol Kaylor transferred to Knox from a four-year college, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Unlike Lynch, he will graduate later than he would have if he had stayed at the University of Illinois, as he plans to graduate after the Fall 2018 term.
Kaylor brought 13 credits total to Knox, meaning he had 23 still to complete, above both the current catalog’s requirement and the new plan’s.
“Credits is something every transfer student will be worrying about,” Kaylor said.
Neither Lynch nor Kaylor think they would have dismissed transferring to Knox under the new plan, but said they would have considered the credits in their decision. Both also acknowledged that students rarely transfer after starting their junior year, so the change is unlikely to affect many students’ decisions.
“There is something to be said for requiring that full two years at Knox, because a degree from Knox doesn’t mean you just have enough credits, you have taken some of the Knox ideals, the Knox Honor Code, all that jazz to heart,” Kaylor said.