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
Green for the 21st Century in Seattle
Innovations in curriculum and operations have earned the 2009 Green Washington Award for the Seattle Colleges
– Central, North and South. All three colleges are active members of the Seattle Climate Partnership and North was an
early signer of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment. A district-wide Chancellor’s
Sustainability Initiative provides energy, focus and a forum for emerging training and initiatives.
Sustainability is infused into programs ranging from urban agriculture at Central to environmental science,
real estate and building management across the district. Students have funded a sustainability coordinator.
Campus activities include reducing the carbon footprint and promoting recycling and energy conservation, which earned
a “Recycler of the Year” award for South. Last year, the college culinary operations diverted 31 tons of
materials to a regional composting facility – which returned the compost to “green” the college landscape.
For more information visit
Helping displaced workers to
‘Start Next Quarter’
During the economic downturn, thousands of displaced workers turned to the Seattle Colleges at the same
time regional employers reported a need for skilled workers to fill jobs in the new economy. To help both potential
workers and employers, the Seattle Colleges developed Start Next Quarter (SNQ), a two-part initiative
designed to improve the success of dislocated workers who enroll in technical education programs. SNQ invites
prospective students to assess their eligibility for workforce funding online and connects them to a comprehensive
two-day college success workshop held at each campus. The workshops are based on a model developed at one of the
district campuses. Students who complete the workshop are more likely to complete their training programs and to
obtain jobs using their new skills. The project was developed in part through a grant from the League for Innovation,
funded by the Walmart Foundation Bright Futures project to serve displaced workers.
A Model for the Region
The Opportunity Center for Employment and Education at North Seattle College is a regional resource and
the first integrated service center of its kind in Washington state. Since the OCE&E opened its doors in spring 2011,
more than 40,000 people have come for one-stop help in finding a new job, career retraining or to sign up for public
assistance benefits. Founding partners were the state Departments of Social and Health Services and Employment
Security, the college, and the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County. The campus and the new LEED
Gold Certified 45,000-square foot facility are in the heart of Seattle’s north end and close to a major transit hub.
House Speaker Frank Chopp and Rep. Phyllis Gutierrez Kenney (sponsor of the legislation and a former Seattle District trustee)
championed the OCE&E in the state legislature. The center aims to provide streamlined services in a positive environment,
helping clients succeed in the next stage of their lives.