Council on Articulations and Transfer of New Brunswick (CATNB)

Overview

In November, 2010, the New Brunswick Council on Articulations and Transfer of New Brunswick (now Council on Articulations and Transfer of New Brunswick or CATNB) was established. This fulfilled a commitment in The Action Plan to Transform Post-Secondary Education in New Brunswick led by the Department of Post-secondary Education, Training and Labour (PETL). This new council ensured an on-going improvement and enlargement of opportunities for learner mobility through the establishment of an infrastructure to support stakeholders working cooperatively for the benefit of learners.

Based on research of existing models in other jurisdictions and stakeholder consultations within the province,

CATNB was founded as a participatory Council of PETL with its membership consisting of post-secondary colleges and universities in New Brunswick. It is mandated to work as a link between the NB post-secondary institutions, the education ministries (K-12 and post-secondary), as well as the public and private education providers in order to facilitate articulations and transfers.

Always respectful of institutional autonomy, CATNB works collaboratively to improve awareness of, and opportunities for, learner mobility. As part of its operational structure, CATNB has a standing Operations Committee (OC) composed of representatives at the registrar level or equivalent from participating institutions.

Exchanges between post-secondary institutions in 2012 led to the creation of the New Brunswick Credit Transfer Portal (http://portal.catnb.ca/), designed to simplify the process of searching for recognition  of previous studies.  As a result, full-time students, those considering returning to the classroom, and anyone wishing to continue learning can easily verify how the post-secondary courses they have taken previously may be recognized by one or more post-secondary institutions in the province.

CATNB is also affiliated with the New Brunswick Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition Action Group (NBPLAR) to foster Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) to support learners in their post-secondary experiences and labour market integration. Most of the OC member institutions are also members of NBPLAR, which facilitates collaborative efforts.

In 2012 and 2014 CATNB and NBPLAR hosted stakeholder symposia to promote stakeholder collaboration and improve understanding of credit transfer and PLAR, supporting PETL’s continued interest in learner mobility. In 2015 CATNB celebrated its 5th anniversary.

Mandate

The CATNB serves as a participatory council, which is neither a legal entity nor a governing board, and has no legislative or regulatory authority. Its stakeholders work cooperatively for the benefit of learners to ensure smooth inter-institutional transitions and effective transferability of courses and/or programs. In addition, working in affiliation with NBPLAR, CATNB promotes the appropriate and effective use of prior learning assessment and recognition to support learners.

Responsibilities

The CATNB has responsibilities in the following areas:

  • to encourage post-secondary institutions and other stakeholders to develop and expand policies and procedures in support of learner mobility;
  • to promote improvements in communications and working relationships among institutions and other stakeholders regarding learner mobility;
  • to facilitate pan-Canadian collaboration with other councils and related organizations;
  • to review and approve the Annual Report for submission to PETL as well as the annual work plans for the Operations Committee (OC) and the Directors;
  • respond in a timely manner to proposed activities presented by the OC; and
  • to work in conjunction with PETL, the Operations Committee, and the NBPLAR Action Group by:
      • commissioning research on PLAR and transfer-related matters;
      • maintaining the NB Credit Transfer Portal and guide its continued improvement; and
      • sponsoring workshops and symposia to inform NB stakeholders about the opportunities and benefits of learner mobility, including PLAR, credit transfer and articulation.

Relationship to the Council and PETL

The CATNB is a participatory council composed of institutional representatives at the academic VP level or equivalent. Advice and recommendations proposed by the council shall be forwarded by the executive director to appropriate PETL officials.

Membership

The CATNB council shall consist of a minimum of seven (7) voting member institutions, including all publically funded post-secondary institutions in New Brunswick. The council may recommend to PETL the addition of other institutions that meet the CATNB membership criteria.  These additional member institutions shall have full voting rights and may be appointed for a five (5) year term, renewable.

Roles

The Council is led by a Chair and Vice-Chair. The work of the Council is carried out by the Directors provided by PETL as well as a standing Operations Committee (OC) composed of representatives at the registrar level (or equivalent) from participating institutions.[1]

Role of the Chair

The Chair and Vice-Chair of the council shall be elected by the council at the first official meeting and biennially at subsequent CATNB Annual General Meetings (AGM) thereafter. If the position of Chair or Vice-Chair becomes vacant, the council will elect a replacement at the next meeting to serve out the remaining mandate. The Chair and Vice-Chair share a combined responsibility to communicate and respond to communications in both official languages.

The Chair shall:

  • call and preside at meetings of the council (if unable to attend a meeting, this may be delegated to the Vice-Chair);
  • oversee the production of the Annual Report and any other documentation from the Council;
  • function as a liaison with other councils, organizations and stakeholders, or delegate this role as appropriate;
  • participate, with the Vice-Chair and members of the council, in making any necessary decisions between meetings; and
  • undertake any communications activities on behalf of the council, or delegate this role as appropriate

The Vice-Chair shall:

  • preside at council meetings where the Chair is unable to be present;
  • participate, with the Chair and members of the council, in making any necessary decisions between meetings;
  • undertake any communications activities as delegated by the Chair; and
  • oversee the preparations for the CATNB Annual General Meeting;

Role of the Operations Committee: The operations committee carries out activities on behalf of the CATNB council for improvement and enlargement of educational opportunities for learners. The OC is led by a Chair and Vice-Chair who are elected every two years by the members of the OC. The Chair and Vice-Chair shall serve on the council as ex-officio (non-voting) members.

The Operations Committee shall:

  • undertake the activities from the annual work plan that have been delegated by the Chair and Council;
  • facilitate the institutional component of any research undertaken on behalf of the Council;
  • work with the members of the council to develop recommendations and advice regarding CATNB initiatives to support the council in its decision-making ;
  • provide members to lead any ad hoc or sub committees that are formed as well as members to participate with NBPLAR members on the Symposium Planning Committee; and
  • Prepare and submit the annual data for the NB Credit Transfer Portal and the Credit Transfer statistical report for their respective institutions

Role of the Directors

  • undertake the tasks from the annual work plan that have been delegated by the Chair and council;
  • provide support in the preparation for, and logistical needs of, meetings including the AGM;
  • ensure that required documents (minutes, agendas, quarterly reports, Annual Report, etc.) are prepared and available as needed, in consultation with the Chair;
  • provide a liaison to PETL with regard to resources, finances, and other similar matters;
  • participate, with the Chair and Vice-Chair, in making any necessary decisions between meetings; and
  • function as ex-officio members of the Contact Persons’ Committee and any ad hoc or sub committees that are formed.

The Executive Director and Associate Director of CATNB shall function as staff of CATNB.  Administrative support shall be provided through PETL.

Meetings

The council shall meet at least two (2) times each year. Additional meetings on special issues that arise may be called by the Chair as needed.

Designates may be sent to vote at meetings where the voting representative is unable to attend, but the intention to do so must be communicated prior to the meeting. The council may review the membership of an institution given sufficient cause, such as three consecutive absences without a designate.

Decisions that require a response between meetings shall be made by the Chair and Vice-Chair in consultation with the members of the council. Consultation shall take place using various means of communication and a request for member voting may occur as required. A review of these decisions will occur at the next regular meeting.

Members are encouraged to express themselves in the official language of their choice with the Directors assisting with the translation. All official CATNB documents will be provided in both official languages. Council documents will be stored in the document repository with copies to the CATNB website as appropriate.

The NBPLAR Co-Chairs attend council meetings as non-voting participants to facilitate liaison between the council and the NBPLAR Action Group.

CATNB will create ad hoc and/or sub committees as necessary to achieve its mandate and activities. The council may establish these ad hoc or sub committees through the OC.

In addition to the regular meetings of the council, a CATNB Annual General Meeting (AGM) is required, during which time the Annual Report will be approved for submission to PETL.

Finances

Initial financial disbursements related to CATNB will be carried out by the Financial Services unit of PETL in accordance with the financial policies of the Government of New Brunswick (GNB). Operational and/or project-related grants to member institutions are subject to the terms of the grant agreement. Disbursements related to these grants shall be carried out in accordance with the member institution’s financial policies and the member institution agrees to make financial records related to the grant available to PETL upon request. Costs associated with meeting attendance are the responsibility of the member institutions. The fiscal year of the Council extends from April 1 to March 31 to align with the GNB fiscal year.

Conflict of Interest

Members of the council and the individuals representing them must avoid any actual or perceived conflict of interest whenever possible. Any such conflicts must be declared at the start of a council meeting and the representative must abstain from voting on decisions that would convey a benefit to the member institution he or she represents or to him or herself personally. When in doubt about any potential conflict, such concerns should be discussed with the Chair and Vice-Chair or the council, as appropriate.

Member Confidentiality

Any materials or information received by members of the council that is deemed confidential by other members or meeting participants is not to be discussed or disclosed with anyone beyond the bounds of the council.

Approved            November 30, 2010                         Last Amended         April 14, 2016

[1] The membership of the OC may expand to include additional organizations beyond those constituting the council provided that these organizations affirm the mandate and activities of CATNB, and indicate a desire to work with the OC to complete these activities.