Course subject, number and title
Credit courses are identified by a subject (also sometimes referred to as a prefix), a course number, and a course title. Courses have an approved course description and student learning outcomes.
About Course Subjects
Subject format convention: one to four digit subject code (from STVSUBJ in Banner)
- The subject (prefix) is used to sort courses in the schedule of classes and in the catalog.
- The subject code can influence the transfer decision at a university so this impact should be considered.
- Some degrees use the prefix to define a requirement (such as, "choose 8 credits of courses with an ABC prefix" or "take courses from more than one prefix"
About Course Numbers
Course number format convention: a three digit number which may be followed by alphabetical digits. Courses numbered below 100 are considered “post-secondary remedial (developmental education)” by state definition.
The state approval process leaves the course number and title selection up to individual college approval systems. COCC uses the following conventions:
- Courses with numbers below the 100-level are developmental or remedial and do not apply towards most degrees though may be necessary for skill-building;
- 100-level courses contain content beyond the secondary level but is frequently introductory, survey, or topically oriented;
- 200-level courses are not introductory and frequently assume some previous college work.
About Course Titles
Course title format convention: a brief and unique identifier that is clear to students. The course must have a short title (30 character limit, used in the online schedule) and may have a long title (Suggest 40 characters, 70 character limit, used in the catalog).
Colleges and universities maintain tables of how they will transfer in COCC courses, and which courses are equivalent to their courses or meet their requirements. Many equivalency tables are available to view (see the advising transfer web page). If you are significantly modifying a course, it may impact it's use in transfer. If a course becomes no longer equivalent to a transfer course, it will be non-equivalent for all students who have previously taken the course as well.
Another resource for researching course information is the Oregon Colleges: Catalog and Course Resource webpage. Contact COCC's registrar for contacts at Oregon public universities who can consult with you about transfer-related issues.
- The Catalog of Lower Division Collegiate Courses, though dated, provides helpful information about LDC as well as CTE courses.
- The Oregon Community College Handbook, Appendix E provides a guideline for course numbering as well.
Courses are indicated as equivalent when the content of course A is so similar to the content in course B that the Repeatable for Credit rules apply AND when the courses can be used interchangeably for a degree requirement. At COCC, this occurs when a course is inactivated and a new course replaces it (such as when a prefix changes or when the course number is changed). Setting the equivalency course in the active course/s banner field does two things: 1) the repeatable rules apply, and 2) GradTracks will use either course to meet a requirement without additional scribe.
Which to Choose: New or Revised?
Revise an existing course, and keep the same number and title, if the new version of the course meets the same degree requirements as the old course (they can always be used interchangeably in all degree requirements AND both repeat restrictions apply, courses can't be counted unless it was approved as a repeatable course). Cases in which a course should be revised include:
- update of learning outcomes, but course meets the same degree requirements as the old version;
- minor changes to contact hours or credits;
- changes to course title;
- changes to prerequisites.
Propose a NEW course if the new course does NOT meet the same degree requirements as the old course, if repeat restrictions do not apply and both courses should be counted for credit, OR if you are changing the subject/prefix or course number. Cases in which a new course should be proposed include:
- Changes in subject (prefix) or course number;
- Changes that result in the new version of the course that does not meet the same degree requirements as the old;
- Students should be able to take the new version of the course and the old and count both for credit, even though neither is a repeatable course.
Example: BA 195 is being revised so that it now meets the Human Relations list requirement--change the number and title.
Example: ARH 206 hasn't been taught in a long time, and is going through a major overhaul of outcomes and description, but it still meets the same requirements--ok to keep the number.