TES Catalog Change Requests: An Overview

This article overviews the TES Catalog Change Requests feature in Transferology® Lab. When there are differences between course codes on a student transcript and those used in the course catalog data sets in Transferology®, Transfer Specialists and Program Admins can use this feature to submit a request to CollegeSource to review the course code display.

Throughout the United States, colleges and universities publish academic catalogs that contain the institution's curriculum, program requirements, and policies during specific timeframes. These catalogs are considered the institution's official record of its academic programs and requirements. They are used by the institution - and other colleges and universities - to facilitate degree completion and transfer.

To see how courses, standardized exams, and military credits transfer to or earn credit at participating institutions, students and staff members first follow prompts within Transferology® and Transferology® Lab to select these academic experiences from electronic versions of college, university, and organization catalogs. These electronic catalogs are called course catalog data sets and are provided to Transferology from TES®. Each course catalog data set is an edition spanning over a particular time; at many institutions, an academic year.

Courses within the Biology Department at CollegeSource University (SH) as reflected in the 2023-2024 edition of the institution's catalog.

Course Code Format

Course Catalog

Using the example above, CollegeSource University (SH)'s official course catalog indicates that during Fall 2023, it offered BIOL100 General Biology. Since course catalog information is supplied directly from the institution, course codes appear in TES® and Transferology® precisely as documented in the edition of the college or university's official catalog.


When adding a course to Transferology®, students and staff may note the course codes on an institution's transcript sometimes differ from those within its course catalog.
Using the example above, while CollegeSource University (SH) lists BIOL100 in its official catalog, the course appears as BIOLOGY100 on its transcript.

Effect of Course Code Format on Match Results

When searching for matches, Transferology® looks through each institution's source of equivalencies and attempts to locate rules containing the transfer course codes in the course catalog data sets used in Transferology (and supplied by TES®). Suppose a transfer course code used in a transfer rule supplied by the institution differs from the one used within the selected course catalog data set. In that case, Transferology will be unable to find established equivalencies and, thus, not produce matches. 

Callout illustrates that BIOL100 is the course code used in Transferology

Generally, these codes will match, as most institutions use the same course code in the course catalog as on the transcript. Additionally, institutions supplying rules from TES or via a flat file import will always utilize the transfer course codes in the TES course catalog data sets by virtue of how rules are sourced to Transferology.

There may be instances, however, where institutions supplying transfer rules from other systems of record find that students and staff members cannot find matches at the institution due to the transfer rule's transfer course code not matching the institution's catalog code, as described above. When creating transfer rules in a transfer solution system (such as uAchieve®) or a Student Information System (SIS), the best practice is to format the transfer course codes as displayed on the transcript to ensure that the student's transfer credit can be correctly processed upon entry. Since these institutions are supplying transfer rules to Transferology in the format used in these systems of record, Transferology would be unable to find matches to the transcript course code unless:

  1. The institution maps the transcript department - or the department from the transfer rules - to the catalog department via a Source Department Alias; or
  2. The transcript course code is entered into Transferology manually by the student or staff member.
  3. The transcript course code is supplied as an alternate field to Transferology via TES.

TES Catalog Changes Requests

While Transfer Specialists may opt to create Source Department Aliases to enable Transferology® to locate matches to rules containing transcript course codes, this solution is institution-specific. It would only impact matches for the colleges or universities creating the aliases. Each institution would need to create similar aliases.
In instances where transcript and catalog data set codes differ, Transfer Specialists and Program Admins can submit a request to CollegeSource to review the transfer course code display in TES® and Transferology®. CollegeSource will review the information provided to determine whether to supply the transcript course code to Transferology and TES.

Guidelines for Submission

Before submitting such a request, it is essential for the institution to verify and be ready to report:
  1. The transfer course code:
    1. In Transferology®.
    2. On the institution's transcript.
  2. The term the transcript course code appears on the institution's transcript.
  3. In instances where a course's department abbreviation differs between the transcript (BIOLOGY) and catalog (BIOL), whether all courses within the department are transcripted with the abbreviation noted, and during what time period.
  4. In instances where an extra character or zero is appended to the course catalog code but not the transcript code, or vice versa, whether all courses within the department are transcripted with the character noted and during what time period.
Using the example above, if an institution would like to ask CollegeSource to review the transfer course code display for CollegeSource University (SH)'s BIOL100 General Biology in TES® and Transferology, the institution will need to gather the following information:
The transfer course code in Transferology BIOL100
The transfer course code on the transcript BIOLOGY100
The term the transcript course code appeared on the student transcript Fall 2023

On the transcript, does the institution use the noted department abbreviation for all courses within the subject?

If so, for what time period?


Starting with the 2019-2020 catalog

CollegeSource Review

CollegeSource will review all requests and determine whether sufficient information has been provided to warrant displaying the transcript course code for the course(s) in TES® and Transferology®.
CollegeSource will follow up with the institution regarding the request once data has been analyzed and let the requestor know if a solution will be implemented.
It is important to note that:
  1. CollegeSource will make the final determination as to whether the transcript course code will be supplied to TES and Transferology and appear in place of the course catalog data set course code.
  2. CollegeSource does not and will not change actual catalog data supplied by the institution. Any change to the display of course codes in TES and Transferology is only a change to the type of code users see.
  3. While institutions submit a start and end date for the requested display change, a different timeframe may be applied if the catalog edition that contains the course extends beyond that time.
  4. CollegeSource's agreement to display the transcript course code in place of the course catalog data set code for a particular timeframe or edition is not an agreement to actively maintain the display of this data for past or subsequent editions.
  5. Changes to the display of course codes in TES and Transferology will be visible to all users of these systems and could influence how institutions decide to create transfer articulation rules. As such, the institution should take the necessary steps to verify data with the transfer institution before requesting display changes and be aware of the impact of the fulfillment of the request on other institutions.

Submit Requests

Transfer Specialists and Program Admins can submit two types of requests via the TES Catalog Change Requests functionality:

  1. Those for Course-Level Changes ask CollegeSource to consider populating and providing the transcript course code for individual courses within a Department.
  2. Those for Department-Wide Changes ask CollegeSource to consider populating and providing the transcript code for all courses at the institution or all courses within a Department.
    • Within this path, users can additionally submit a course-level change to a single course in a department.

Select the hyperlinks above to see further information and instructions for submitting these requests.

Manage Requests

See Manage TES Catalog Change Requests for instructions on resolving and deleting active requests.

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