Frequently Asked Questions ...for students, advisors, and counselors
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Click the questions below to view the answer.

  1. What is the Articulation and General Studies Committee (AGSC)?

  2. What is the Statewide Transfer and Articulation Reporting System (STARS)?

  3. How was the AGSC and STARS created?

  4. What are the advantages of a statewide articulation program?

  5. How do I use the STARS System?

  6. What are transfer guides and contracts/agreements?

  7. What are the time limits on these transfer guides and contracts/agreements and what catalog do students graduate under?

  8. What if I (the student) have not chosen a major? Do I print multiple guides? How many different majors can I have a guide/contract for?

  9. Can I (the student) have a STARS Guide for several different institutions?

  10. Does my guide/contract obligate me (the student) to a particular school or four-year institution?

  11. Do I (the student) mail anything in to the receiving institution?

  12. I (the student) am attending an Alabama Community College, but I plan to transfer to either a private in-state school or another college/university outside of Alabama. Can STARS help me?

  13. Does completing the work listed on the STARS guide/contract guarantee me (the student) admission into a state university? Does it guarantee me admission into a specific college/program at my chosen university?

  14. I (the student) made some D's in some of the courses listed on my STARS guide. Will these courses transfer or do I have to retake them?

  15. How does using a STARS transfer guide/contract protect me (the student)?

  16. What if I (the student) lose my transfer guide? What do I do?

  17. What if I (the student) encounter a representative (advisor, faculty member, dean, department head, etc.) from my chosen four-year institution who has told me they do not honor or accept the coursework taken from the STARS guide?

  18. What if I (the student) encounter a representative (advisor, faculty member, dean, department head, etc.) from my chosen four-year institution who tells me that the STARS guide is wrong?

  19. How soon in my (the student's) college career do I print the guide and contract?

  20. What if I (the student) change my mind and want to start working toward another major?

  21. Is there a cost/fee for students who use the STARS program?

  22. What if a student is currently attending an Alabama public four-year institution and would like to take a few courses during the summer (or other term) at an Alabama community college in or near their hometown?

  23. What are Transfer Pages and Area V Pages and who is responsible for their maintenance?

  24. How frequently is transfer information updated on the STARS Transfer Guide and how do I know when something has changed?

  25. What recourse do students have if they feel their STARS Transfer Guide is not being honored?

  26. Who do I contact if I have questions, comments, or suggestions regarding the AGSC/STARS Program?

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Please submit your question via our contact form and we will respond ASAP.


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1. What is the Articulation and General Studies Committee (AGSC)?

AGSC stands for the Alabama Articulation and General Studies Committee. The AGSC was created in March of 1994 by the State Legislature through ACT 94-202.

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 has 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. The committee members 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.

For more information, click here.


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2. What is the Statewide Transfer and Articulation Reporting System (STARS)?

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 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 his/her 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 be printed only 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 Alabama Articulation and General Studies Committee (AGSC) is responsible for the oversight and monitoring of the STARS System. The information that students receive from the STARS System has been approved by the AGSC.

Click here for step-by-step instructions for using STARS.

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3. How was the AGSC and STARS created?

The AGSC and STARS Program was created through by the Alabama State Legislature through the passing of Act 94-202.

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4. What are the advantages of a statewide articulation program?

Students and parents benefit. Having a statewide articulation program that covers the transfer of course credit from one public institution to another can result in huge savings in terms of time and money for both parents and students. For example, if a student takes one or more courses that he/she believes will transfer and upon transfer finds out otherwise, the student not only loses the money spent on tuition, books, room and board but also must face graduation delays which might result in lost income from future job opportunities.

The public two-year institutions benefit. In addition to saving time and money for students and parents, the two-year colleges across the state have begun to streamline their course offerings to better match the AGSC approved transfer requirements as prescribed by STARS. The two-year colleges can also provide better and more consistent advising and counseling for their students. Most two-year institutions, if not all, have started to use STARS as their primary advising tool.

The public four year institutions benefit. Now that a state articulation program is in place, four-year institutions can better accommodate the transfer student. The four-year institutions are more familiar with which courses they have to take in each of the various majors or programs. In addition, each month every four-year institution is sent a list of prospective transfer students who have expressed and interest in transferring to their institution. This listing provides the four-year institutions with student names, addresses, e-mails, and phone numbers (if provided). This reporting feature has greatly enhanced the transfer student recruitment process.

The State of Alabama benefits. The STARS program also makes it easier for students to begin and complete their degrees in Alabama. In addition, the state articulation program promotes accountability among the higher education leaders of Alabama. Through this program, millions of dollars are saved each year because students are better informed and they do not waste time and/or money taking courses that will ultimately not count toward their total degree hours.

Alabama is not alone in this effort. Many states have implemented similar state articulation programs. In almost every instance, the benefits gained from such programs far outweigh the costs and difficulties associated in implementing and maintaining such a program.

If you would like to have someone from the STARS staff come to your campus and discuss the positive impact that the AGSC/STARS Program has had on higher education in Alabama, please contact us.

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5. How do I use the STARS System?

Click here to view the step-by-step instructions for using STARS. If you still have questions or need assistance in obtaining a STARS Transfer Guide, please contact us.

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6. What are transfer guides and contracts/agreements?

Transfer guides are simply the paper document created through the STARS System that details the specific courses and options required in the first two-years of college for students who currently attend or plan to attend a two-year community college prior to transferring to a state four-year institution. The guide has various parts. Students must use the STARS System as instructed----> See HOW TO USE STARS.

If you still have questions or need assistance in obtaining a STARS Transfer Guide, please contact us.




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7. What are the time limits on STARS Transfer Guides and Contracts and what catalog do students graduate under?

The STARS Transfer Guide is to be honored for a period of four years from the date printed off the web site by all other public institutions of higher education that offer programs in the specified discipline. Students should keep a copy of this guide for verification purposes. The STARS Transfer Guide remains valid and is guaranteed only if the student continues in the major specified on his/her transfer agreement. Changes made by accrediting and/or other regulatory agencies could result in specific requirements being added to the Transfer Agreement (i.e., No Child Left Behind Mandates). Any changes made by an institution in its degree programs will affect the transfer student in the same manner as the students native to the University.

Catalog Year Issue - The students who use transfer guides will be graduated under the catalog in effect on date that the guide is printed unless they choose to go under the catalog in effect at time of transfer. This issue is covered in item #1 on the actual transfer agreement that prints out at the end of the transfer guide.


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8. What if I (the student) have not chosen a major? Do I print multiple guides? How many different majors can I have a guide/contract for?

This is very common. Students who are uncertain are advised to print a guide/contract for each of the majors that they are considering. In most cases, for most of the freshman year and maybe a little in the sophomore year, there are enough common courses listed on the multiple guides that would give the student some options and time to make a final decision about a major. Students should be careful when signing up for courses to make sure they are taking courses that are listed on each of the guides they have printed. If they take certain courses that are only listed on one of their guides, and then later they decide to pursue a different major, they may be in danger of losing those credits.

There is no set limit on how many transfer guides a student may obtain. However at some point in their sophomore year or upon transfer the student will have to declare a major. At that point only the transfer guide for that chosen major is in effect. All other guides would then become null and void.


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9. Can I (the student) have a STARS Guide for several different institutions?

The STARS System is major driven - not institution driven. In most cases, there are multiple institutions listed toward the bottom of the transfer guide. The student using the transfer guide can transfer to any of those institutions listed and receive credit for the coursework taken as listed on the transfer guide.

In some cases, there may only be one institution listed at the bottom of each guide. In this case, that institution is the only institution to which the student can transfer and still receive degree credit for the coursework taken on their guide. These are know as "institution specific" transfer guides.

A good example of this would be "Surveying and Geomatic Sciences" Troy University is the only institution in the state - at the present time - who offers this program. Therefore, on the SURVEYING AND GEOMATIC SCIENCES guide, only Troy University is listed.


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10. Does my guide/contract obligate me (the student) to a particular school or four-year institution?

NO -- The guide/contract does not obligate (force) the student to attend a particular institution. Basically the guide simply protects the students by guaranteeing credit for coursework taken on the transfer guide if (1) the student remains in that particular major and (2) they ultimately transfer to one of the four-year institutions listed on the bottom within the given timeframe (four-years from date of printing).


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11. Do I (the student) mail anything in to the receiving institution?

In years past, students were required to mail a copy of their guide to the institution to which they planned to transfer. This is no longer the case. Now, students must simply maintain a copy of their transfer guide. Students are encouraged to keep one copy of their guide in a safe place. Upon transfer, this document may be needed for verification purposes.


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12. I (the student) am attending an Alabama Community College, but I plan to transfer to either a private in-state school or another college/university outside of Alabama. Can STARS help me?

Currently no private or out-of-state institutions participate directly in the AGSC/STARS Program. However, by CLICKING HERE, students can access and print official transfer guides that cover transfers from public two-year community colleges to private (independent) four-year institutions in Alabama. The information obtained from this site is an agreement between the Alabama Community College System and each of the Alabama Independent Colleges and Universities. This information is NOT part of the statewide articulation agreement that is governed by the AGSC.

Once you click the link above, a new browser will open and take you to the ACCS menu page. If you have questions about these guides, please contact the Alabama Community College System office or the Alabama Independent Colleges and Universities office. Our office is unable to answer questions regarding transfers to private institutions in Alabama.


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13. Does completing the work listed on the STARS guide/contract guarantee me (the student) admission into a state university? Does it guarantee me admission into a specific college/program at my chosen university?

NO --- Completing work as listed on the STARS guide/contract does not guarantee students admission into any university, college, or specific program. Students should actively research and inquire about specific admission requirements and standards for general admission into a university. In addition, some programs across the state are highly competitive. Admission into these specific programs is not guaranteed through the AGSC or STARS.

Students are encouraged to contact the institution to which they plan to transfer for general and specific admission requirements. This should be done very early in their college career.


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14. I (the student) made some D's in some of the courses listed on my STARS guide. Will these courses transfer or do I have to retake them?

It depends. All students must make a "C" or better in English Composition I (or its equivalent). From there, it would be dependent on the grade requirements set by the four-year institution for their native students taking the equivalent course on their campus.

For example... If the transfer student took Calculus I at the community college and made a "D," then he/she would receive transfer credit for the course if the receiving institution allowed their native students to gain credit and move forward with a "D." However, if the four-year institution required all students in that major to make a "C" or higher in Calculus I, then they could hold the transfer student to those same grading standards (must make a "C") and require them to re-take the course in question.


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15. How does using a STARS transfer guide/contract protect me (the student)?

STARS transfer guides/contracts, if used correctly, prevent students from losing degree credit upon transfer to public four-year institutions in Alabama. They also prevent the four-year institutions from adding additional coursework on the "back-end" of the degree by forcing them to graduate transfer students in the same number of hours as native students in the same major.


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16. What if I (the student) lose my transfer guide? What do I do?

Students are strongly encouraged to keep a copy of their guide in a safe location. However, because we all lose things, there is a way to obtain a replacement through the STARS office. Before our office can generate a replacement guide, we will have to verify that the student did indeed obtain a guide. If the student provide us with their name, what two-year school they attended when the guide was printed, their major, and the approximate date that the guide was viewed/printed, we can run a check against our database and see if and when the student actually obtained a guide. If we can verify this information, we are usually able to re-create the guide as it appeared when the student first obtained it.

If you lose your guide, and you would like to make a request to our office for a replacement, please contact Mr. Shannon Nichols by e-mail or phone (334) 670-3691.


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17. What if I (the student) encounter a representative (advisor, faculty member, dean, department head, etc.) from my chosen four-year institution who has told me they do not honor or accept the coursework taken from the STARS guide?

All public four-year institutions are required by law to accept the courses listed on the STARS transfer guide/contract. If students have problems, they are encouraged not to argue with the four-year representative. Instead, the students should first contact their two-year AGSC Institutional Point of Contact. This individual will in turn contact the four-year AGSC Institutional Point of Contact to discuss the transfer issue or problem. In most cases, the issue will be resolved and handled at this level.

However, there is a STARS Appeal Procedure in place should the student feel his or her guide has not been honored.


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18. What if I (the student) encounter a representative (advisor, faculty member, dean, department head, etc.) from my chosen four-year institution who tells me that the STARS guide is wrong?

While the information on the guide may be wrong, it is still legal and binding unless the AGSC rules otherwise. It is the responsibility of the various academic groups to review on a routine basis the information contained on the STARS Transfer Guides. If something is incorrect there are procedures in place for the area/academic committees to use to correct or change an existing guide/contract.

As stated above, all public four-year institutions are required by law to accept the courses listed on the STARS transfer guide/contract. Even if the four-year institution feels that the guide is incorrect. If students have problems, they are encouraged not to argue with the four-year representative. Instead, the students should first contact their two-year AGSC Institutional Point of Contact. This individual will in turn contact the four-year AGSC Institutional Point of Contact to discuss the transfer issue or problem. In most cases, the issue will be resolved at this level.

SEE QUESTION #25 BELOW FOR OFFICIAL APPEALS PROCEDURE.


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19. How soon in my (the student's) college career do I print the guide and contract?

Any student who attends a public community college in Alabama and later plans to transfer to a public four-year university in Alabama should obtain a STARS transfer guide early in their freshman year or as soon as they choose a major -- the sooner, the better!

Most two-year institutions, if not all, require all of their incoming freshman to become familiar with the STARS System. Many of these schools are incorporating the use of STARS into their freshman orientation courses.


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20. What if I (the student) change my mind and want to start working toward another major?

If a student follows his or her guide and then changes majors, the guide for the old major is no longer valid. Students should then print a new guide for their new major. Students should also understand that by changing majors, they may not receive credit for all of the coursework taken on their old guide.


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21. Is there a cost/fee for students who use the STARS program?

NO --- Currently, this program is funded solely through Alabama taxpayer dollars. There is no charge to individual students or institutions for the use of the AGSC/STARS Program. The AGSC/STARS Program is funded as a separate line item through the Alabama Commission on Higher Education (ACHE).


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22. What if a student is currently attending an Alabama public four-year institution and would like to take a few courses during the summer (or other term) at an Alabama community college in or near their hometown?

This is possible. However, in most cases, this is handle by approval of the four-year institution through their transient student process. Contact your four-year advisor or department for information regarding taking transient courses at state community colleges. Because the student is considered transient and not a transfer student, they are not covered by STARS in this situation.


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23. What are Transfer Pages and Area V Pages and who is responsible for their maintenance?

Transfer Assistance Pages are web pages maintained by each individual four-year institution in Alabama. Most Transfer Assistance Pages include general information vital for transfer student success. Information links include, but are not limited to:

  • Admissions Requirements
  • Admission Application
  • Tuition/Fee Costs
  • Financial Aid Assistance and Information
  • Links to AREA V Pages
  • Scholarship Information
  • Advising Information
  • Current Bulletin/Catalog
  • Links to Various Departments/Colleges

Area V Pages are also maintained by each individual four-year institution in Alabama. The primary purpose of Area V pages is to provide transfer students with additional information about transfer coursework that can be taken at the two-year institutions to complete the Area V requirements not covered on the official AGSC/STARS Transfer Guide. Four-year institutions can use these pages to provide information about specific admission criteria and requirements for specific academic programs. In addition, four-year institutions can make strong recommendations in Areas I-IV as long as they do not limit choices by transfer students in those areas.

In some cases, the Transfer Assistance Pages and the Area V Pages are combined into one single web page.

NOTE: To better assist students, every STARS guide viewed includes a listing of the institutions that offer bachelor degrees in the student's chosen major. This listing is hot-linked to institutional Home Pages, Transfer Assistance Pages, and Area V Pages.

If you have questions about your institution's Transfer Assistance Pages or Area V Pages, please contact your institutional point of contact for AGSC/STARS matters. The point of contact, in turn, will contact our office if necessary.


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24. How frequently is transfer information updated on the STARS Transfer Guide and how do I know when something has changed?

Since all STARS Transfer Guides are based on current curriculum standards as prescribed by the various academic committees, this information changes periodically. In most cases, the information on STARS is updated soon after regular AGSC meetings (every 3-4 months). However, should the need arise, the STARS Staff can make changes at any time. To stay informed about changes that impact the content of STARS Transfer Guides, click here. Each time our office changes or updates a particular transfer guide, we will post a summary of the change on this page.

NOTE: All two-year and four-year institutions are responsible for checking periodically for changes so that they too can update or change their Area V Pages (if needed).


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25. What recourse do students have if they feel their STARS Transfer Guide is not being honored?

There is a formal appeals procedure in place if students feel their STARS Transfer Guide is not being honored. However, as of today, the AGSC/STARS Office has had ZERO appeals. Students who are having a problem or issue with the transfer of their credit prescribed on their STARS Guide should report that problem using the ONLINE FORM. We will begin address their issue in accordance with the current appeals procedure.

If students have questions or concerns, they can also contact our office at (334) 670-3690 or e-mail the STARS Office.

Also see questions # 17 & 18 above.


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26. Who do I contact if I have questions, comments, or suggestions regarding the AGSC/STARS Program?

Please see our contact information page.