As of Summer Quarter 2008, all Washington state community and technical colleges are using a
Common Course Numbering (CCN) system. The system identifies courses that are equivalent at community
colleges throughout the state to make it easier for students who may transfer between two-year colleges.
The questions outlined below are designed to provide information about the CCN system.
Course prefixes and/or numbers have been changed for many academic transfer courses to
comply with the new standard being used by the state’s community colleges. The CCN system is designed to identify
courses that are equivalent among the state’s community colleges and to make it easier for students who may transfer
between them. These courses are now designated with an ampersand “&” after the prefix
(example: ACCT&). The “&” is being used because it was the best data symbol available.
Approximately 25 percent of all graduating community and technical college students have attended more than one two-year college.
In some cases, new statewide common or shared course numbers were selected,
even though they “collided” with courses at individual colleges. Those courses then needed to be renumbered.
At the Seattle Colleges, this has amounted to approximately 30 “collision” courses.
Many subject area prefixes have been changed to align with the longer designations being used
across the state (example: ENG to ENGL).
Approximately 150 courses are now considered to be part of the Common Course Numbering system.
There were minor prefix or title changes in nearly 400 others.
Yes. As new courses are developed, they may become part of the new CCN system.
Yes. Courses that have not been changed may continue to transfer under previously agreed-upon
transfer agreements between two-year colleges and four-year colleges.
Common Course Numbering (CCN) affects only two-year colleges in the state of Washington.
A staff member from the Council of Presidents, which represents all public 4-year college and universities in the state,
serves on the CCN Steering Committee, with the role of keeping the 4-year institutions informed about the project.
The statewide Articulation and Transfer Council, which includes academic deans and student services
representatives, reviewed courses for equivalency. For those courses where equivalency was unclear,
college faculty were convened to determine common courses.
Background on the Common Course Numbering project is available at the website of the State Board
for Community & Technical Colleges:
At the Seattle Colleges, contact Mark Baumann at firstname.lastname@example.org
Board Member Institution of the League for Innovation