MCPS should honor transfer students’ credits


Senior DH Chris Manguelle hands a student transfer form to counselor Jamie Ahearn. Counselors try to help students new to WJ, but MCPS policy can make this difficult.

Owing to its metropolitan location, transfer students at WJ arrive with reasons ranging from diplomatic or military ties to parents involved in business in the area. Being the new kid can certainly be frustrating, and unfortunately there seems to be an added layer of stress put on incoming transfer students: the rejection of past class credits gained at other schools.

Students hailing from as close as Ohio and as far as Canada have reported issues with combining older credits and a new Montgomery County Public Schools-sanctioned transcript. Issues include a combined biology and chemistry class that isn’t accepted for either credit at WJ, resulting in the student having to take a new round of biology and chemistry classes.Transfers in general have also reported having honors classes count only for on-level merit at WJ, greatly damaging the cumulative GPA.

The county owes it to new students to work with them to incorporate their past educational record into their academic future. It’s not the fault of the students for not always having attended an MCPS school. They deserve an equal chance as long-term students to succeed in the local academic climate, which can often be very strenuous and frustrating unto itself.

Classes don’t need to be accepted point-blank, but administrators should at least be working to explore how an incoming student’s credits can be interpreted in the context of the MCPS curriculum.
Even when officials at the school want to be flexible, MCPS mandated graduation requirements often stand in the way for transfer students.

Additionally, out-of-county transfers are compelled to take required classes that may add unfair work to their courseload and detract from a well-rounded academic plan. Students are often forced to sacrifice electives (humanities, social studies, etc.) to take required classes in subjects they may have taken in another form at their previous school. U.S. history and entry-level science classes are often the major culprits associated with this trend.

Classes left out range from chorus and digital art to law, potential subjects of real interest to students, especially if they’re subjects that will be explored in higher education.

Essentially, this demographic of student deserves the same opportunity to succeed that long-term county students have. After all, how would you like a series of roadblocks hindering your academic path to success?