By its design the Colorado Community College Common Courses will:
- Ensure that students who transfer from one public community college to another can successfully complete their degree or program without duplicating course work, causing extended time commitments and increased time.
- Provide a framework for faculty in each subject area to collaborate on course quality and consistency.
- Establish a system-wide inventory of all credit courses offered at Colorado community colleges.
- Facilitate transferability to four-year institutions.
- Facilitate a system for statewide articulation agreements.
For every course listed in the system the following information is included:
- Prefix and Number
- Credit Hours
- Course Description
- Recommended Prerequisites and Corequisites
- List of colleges offering the course
1986 – CCHE awards a one-year Quality Incentive Grant to CCCOES to develop and implement a “Core Transfer Program” to fulfill the terms of H.B. 1237.
1987 – Articulation Agreement signed between Colorado’s Community/Junior Colleges and Colorado’s four-year colleges and universities on the General Education Core Transfer Program.
1991 – Common Course Descriptor Project started – a matrix of all courses offered by Colorado’s community colleges was developed. Where two or more colleges offered a course, faculty were asked to identify a common course ID (prefix and number), a common title, and a common description. Credits, contact hours, and course competencies could vary.
1995 – Colorado Common Course Numbering System Project began as a way to organize courses with common credits, competencies and outline. Faculty in conjunction with the community college instructional leaders once again identified the many courses (more than 12,000) in the system database. Faculty formed writing teams to develop topical outlines and competencies for the courses that were commonly described. Over a five year period, these teams worked at combining courses, and deleting duplicates within each discipline.
2001 – Instructional Officers started the process of approving the courses submitted by faculty and eliminating duplication among disciplines. This process was completed during the Summer of 2002. Full implementation of the CCCNS will be Fall of 2003.
Additional Legislation that Impacted the Process
Legislation in two areas impacted the work being done to commonly describe the community college curriculum. The first was the Basic Skills Legislation that dictated assessment and remediation before students could enter college-transfer courses in Mathematics and English. The second was the King Bill, also known as the Students Bill of Rights. This piece of legislation required the development of a common core of General Education that would be transferable among all of Colorado Higher Education. This set of courses will be fully implemented Fall of 2003. As a result of the latter legislation, the original Transfer Core Agreement will terminate at the end of the Spring Semester, 2003.
Challenges – Changing leadership for the project, along with the implementation of the Basic Skills legislation, required that some Guidelines be revamped. While work with academic courses progressed at a fairly steady pace, work among career and technical courses was more spotty. Some of the CTE faculty groups were not convened until quite late in the process.
Project Continuation – After the bulk of the development, review, and approval of the curriculum was completed, a faculty task force developed guidelines for submitting new courses to the database. This process is now in place. Availability of a more “user friendly” database and website has been developed so that the information on courses available in the system is accessible to students, parents, and faculty throughout Colorado (and beyond).