COURSES AT A GLANCE

Courses fall into several categories:

  • Lower Division Collegiate (transfer)
  • Computer Science & Computer Information
  • Career and Technical Education (Occupational) Preparatory
  • Post-Secondary Remedial (Developmental Education) Courses
  • Experimental Courses
  • Independent Study Courses
  • Cooperative Work Experience Courses
  • Stand-Alone Career and Technical Education (Occupational) Preparatory Courses
  • Occupational (Career and Technical Education) Supplementary Courses
  • Adult & Continuing Education (ACE) Courses
  • Other Education Courses

Credit Courses

Lower Division Collegiate (LDC)

Lower Division Collegiate (LDC) 100-200 level courses provide an introduction or synthesis of a content area or discipline. They can be part of any degree or program of study.

Lower Division Collegiate (LDC) courses are freshman and sophomore level instruction and are comparable (nature, content, and level of credit) to those at a public Oregon university institution. They represent a full range of academic and professional fields, carry regular transfer credit, and are generally accepted for transfer credit by public university institutions.

Each university institution lists equivalent transfer courses for each community college.

Community colleges are not allowed to offer courses that are generally considered to be upper-division at a public university institution, grant upper-division credit, or use collegiate level numbering (alpha numeric 100-299) on courses normally offered during high school.

The Office of Community Colleges and Workforce Development (CCWD) has statutory authority to approve lower division collegiate (LDC) courses for Oregon community colleges (ORS 341.425). The Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) administers LDC courses:

  • Under the authority of ORS 341.425, the Higher Education Coordinating Commission delegates to the Office the authority to approve Lower Division Collegiate courses.
  • A community college that is accredited by the Northwest Association of Schools and of Colleges and Universities shall follow the Department's Lower Division Collegiate Course Approval procedure to request new courses.
  • A community college that is not accredited by the Northwest Association of Schools and of Colleges and Universities shall apply for approval through their contracting college. (OAR 589-006-0200)

Courses are approved by CCWD staff through the Oregon Community College Program Submission System (also known as WebForms) at https://webforms.hecc.oregon.gov/. LDC courses are classified under State Activity (ACTI) Code 100 for OCCURS/D4A reporting purposes. 

Computer Science & Computer Information

Oregon's public post-secondary institutions have defined many courses in this category to be available as Lower Division Collegiate. Information on Computer Science and Computer Information Systems courses is available through the Oregon Council of Computer Chairs.

Career and Technical Education (Occupational) Preparatory

"Occupational preparatory program" means a state-approved Career Technical Education program which is designed to prepare persons for employment in a specified occupation or cluster of closely related occupations. OAR 589-006-0050(​36)

Occupational preparatory courses must also meet the criteria outlined ​in OAR 589-006-0​300; they are governed by Oregon Administrative Rule and are typically “approved as part of an approved program.” OAR 589-006-0300(5) further specifies the following:

Higher Education Coordinating Commission standards for approval of occupational preparatory courses are included in the Career Technical Education Course Approval Procedure and include but are not be limited to:

  1. Courses are delivered under the direct control of the college and are either:
    • Approved as part of a community college certificate of completion, associate of applied science degree program, or associate of applied science degree option; or
    • Approved as a stand-alone occupational preparatory course.
  2. Courses are collegiate-level and provide education and training directed to the development of abilities, skills, understanding, and attitudes needed to enter into an occupation.
  3. Courses are designed for occupational employment and are not necessarily directed toward completion of baccalaureate degree requirements.
  4. Courses are developed and operated with the advice and counsel of employers, employees and other persons knowledgeable about the requirements of the occupations involved.
  5. Courses will not adversely impact or detrimentally duplicate similar intersegmental courses offered locally.

State ​approval procedures exist for both programs and courses.  Regarding program approval, see the Program Approval section of this Handbook. Courses are approved by CCWD staff through the Oregon Community College Program Submission System (also known as WebForms) at https://webforms.hecc.oregon.gov/.  CTE (Preparatory) courses are classified under State Activity (ACTI) Code 210 for OCCU​RS/D4A reporting purposes.

Post-Secondary Remedial (Developmental Education) Courses

Post-Secondary Remedial (PSR) Courses are also known as Developmental Education courses. Credit courses must be numbered less than 100. The following ACTI code classifications are used for data reporting purposes:

  • PSR Reading/Writing credit courses [ACTI Code 350]
  • PSR Math credit courses [ACTI Code 351]
  • PSR Elective (not Math, Writing, or Reading) credit courses [ACTI Code 352]

Courses are approved by CCWD staff through the Oregon Community College Program Submission System (also known as WebForms) at https://webforms.hecc.oregon.gov/.

Experimental Courses

Courses numbered 199/299 are considered to be experimental. They may be offered two or even three times because they usually undergo changes and improvements with each offering. After that, they are considered to be a regular part of the curriculum and need a discrete course number (other than 199/299).  Courses are approved by CCWD staff through the Oregon Community College Program Submission System (also known as WebForms) at https://webforms.hecc.oregon.gov/. Courses are classified for State reporting purposes as ACTI Code 100 or 210 according to their content. 

Independent Study Courses

Courses numbered ​198/29​8 are considered to be Independent Study courses. These courses typically involve one-on-one learning with a faculty member and/or content not otherwise included in program curricula. Courses are classified for ​State reporting purposes as ACTI Code 100 or 210 according to their content.​ Courses are approved by CCWD staff through the Oregon Community College Program Submission System (also known as WebForms) at https://webforms.hecc.oregon.gov/

Cooperative Work Experience (CWE) Courses

Courses numbered 1​80/2​80 are considered to be Cooperative Work Experience (CWE) Courses. Courses are classified for ​State reporting purposes as ACTI Code 100 or 210 according to their content. Courses are approved by CCWD staff through the Oregon Community College Program Submission System (also known as WebForms) at https://webforms.hecc.oregon.gov/

Stand-Alone Career and Technical Education (Occupational) Preparatory

A stand-alone occupational preparatory course is designed for students seeking to build knowledge and skills for employment in an area not included in one or more of a community college’s existing approved Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree, AAS option, or certificate of completion programs. Examples of stand-alone occupational preparatory courses might include “Flagger,” “GPS, Maps and Compass Techniques,” or “Supervisory Management.”

Students completing stand-alone occupational preparatory courses typically earn between one and 11 credits. Also, an award that indicates attendance or the completion of the required hours may be provided.

The stand-alone occupational preparatory course must meet the following criteria:

  • Course encompasses a minimum of ten clock hours,
  • Clock hours for all coursework does not exceed a total of 210 hours,
  • College identifies the Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code and title for the proposed course,
  • Adverse impact and detrimental duplication notification processes are followed,
    Approval is received before offering the course,
  • Chief Academic Officer validates assurances prior to submission of application, and
  • The approval process for stand-alone occupational preparatory courses is not intended to be an avenue for avoiding the AAS degree, AAS option, or ​Certificate of ​Completion program approval process or responsibilities.

The stand-alone occupational preparatory course must meet the following criteria:
Stand-alone occupational preparatory courses may not:

  • Be strung together to create a new program without applying for a new program and going through ​program approval processes as appropriate, and
  • Be stand-alone supplementary, hobby or recreational in nature.
CTE (Preparatory) courses are classified under State Activity (ACTI) Code 211 for OCCU​RS/D4A reporting purposes. Courses are approved by CCWD staff through the Oregon Community College Program Submission System (also known as WebForms) at https://webforms.hecc.oregon.gov/.

Non-Credit Courses

Occupational (Career and Technical Education) Supplementary

“Occupational supplementary program” is defined as a state-approved program designed for individuals who have already entered an occupation but seek to improve their occupational skills and knowledge in order to achieve employment stability or advancement." (OAR 589-006-0050(34))

Occupational supplementary courses are designed to upgrade the skills of workers currently employed in the occupational field related to the course. The award of credit for occupational supplementary courses is determined by the local college and, if granted, follows the general pattern of occupational preparatory and lower division collegiate courses. A single occupational supplementary course must be at least one (1) contact hour, but not more than 210 clock hours in length.

Occ Supp courses are approved by CCWD staff. This approval category cannot be used in place of applying for a new program or avoiding ​program and/or course approval responsibilities. Occupational supplementary courses may not form a program by separating a long course into several courses or otherwise stringing courses together. Occupational preparatory, hobby, or recreation courses cannot be approved as occupational supplementary courses. The college may not award any credential for completion of an occupational supplementary course that implies the completion of a program, acquisition of particular skills, or has a value in the job market without completing the ​course approval process. An award that indicates attendance or the completion of the required hours may be provided.

Occupational supplementary courses may be offered by the local community college prior to final approval by the department under conditions that include the following:

  • The local community college has a local course approval process in place and assures that the occupational supplementary standards have been met.
  • The community college is willing to take the risk that the course may not be approved and may be non-reimbursable.

CTE Supplementary (Occ Supp) courses are classified under State Activity (ACTI) Code 220 for OCCU​RS/D4A reporting purposes. Courses are approved by CCWD staff through the Oregon Community College Program Submission System (also known as WebForms) at https://webforms.hecc.oregon.gov/

Adult & Continuing Education (ACE) Courses

Statutory authority for colleges to offer adult continuing education (ACE) courses is covered in ORS 341.425. Implementation requirements are set forth in OAR 589-006-0400

Continuing education workforce, health and safety courses are eligible for state reimbursement. Courses that are not eligible for state funding, but can be offered on a cost-recover/self-support basis, include: non-credit arts, sciences, and social sciences courses, open labs, shops, or gyms, physical education courses where competition is possible, courses that use alcohol or controlled substances, hunter safety courses, and courses teaching or promoting astrology, an occult or a religion. Hobby and recreation courses have never been eligible for state reimbursement. They can be offered on a cost-recovery/self-support basis.

Reimbursement

Courses that have at least six hours of direct instruction qualify for reimbursement. One hour is defined as a 60-minute period of which no more than 10 minutes can be spent for a break or passing period. It is difficult to offer a course with more than six reimbursable hours per day. Time spent for travel or meals do not count.

Student Age Information


Courses must be designed for adults (at least 16 years old). Colleges are not expected to track all students’ ages. If only a few under-aged students enroll, they need not be deducted from the FTE count. However if a significant number of underage students are enrolled in the course, submit one enrollment section for the adults and another non-reimbursable enrollment section for the underage student population.

Course Numbers and Titles


The assignment of course numbers and titles are the responsibility of the local institution. Each ACE course that is eligible for reimbursement is organized and alphabetized within ​an eligible content area: Workforce​ (Literacy, Languages, Life Skills, Technology, and General Workforce), Health and Fitness (non-competitive), and Safety.

ACE ​courses are approved by CCWD staff through the Oregon Community College Program Submission System (also known as WebForms) at https://webforms.hecc.oregon.gov/. Visit the ACE Catalog for a course list of all eligible ACE courses and the ACE course approval application. See the next section in this Handbook, Non-Credit Course Numbering Guide and Activity Codes, for more information on ACE courses. 

Other Education Courses

The “Other Education” category encompasses a wide variety of special interest courses for residents of community college districts. According to their content, they are often referred to as “community education,” “self-improvement,” and “developmental education” courses. Specific rules and policies related to Other Education courses are determined by the local community college. Statutory authority for these courses is as follows:

  1. Under the authority of ORS 341.425, the Higher Education Coordinating Commission delegates authority to the department to approve other education courses. Such approval authorizes the community college to receive state funding to support those courses.
  2. The department uses the following standards for approval of other education courses:
    • The course is primarily intended for adults;
    • The course may be developmental in nature and offered for:
      • Adults with less than an eighth grade education through adult basic education classes;
      • Adults with less than a high school diploma through adult high school completion programs;
      • Persons who lack sufficient background in subject-matter areas to make satisfactory progress in the lower-division collegiate or professional technical programs of the institution; or
      • Persons who lack English language skills needed to make satisfactory progress in the lower-division collegiate or professional technical programs of the institution or to enter the workforce.
    • The course must include at least six contact hours of instruction focused on a single topic.
  3. Approval of other education courses must follow the department's other reimbursable course approval procedure.
  4. State reimbursement shall not be available for hobby or recreation courses. However, such courses may be provided on a self-sustaining basis. (OAR 589-006-0400)

Students participating in ACE courses must be age 16 or older. If a significant number of the students actually taking a course are below age 16, CCWD recommends a separate section with a non-reimbursable course number. Separate instruction is not necessary.

Making contact with the CCWD Education Specialist is encouraged when there is doubt about the comparability of descriptions or when a course being considered does not seem to fit any catalog listing. During this contact, a decision can often be made as to whether the course is approved.

State reimbursement will not be given for Other Reimbursable courses that are held for less than six clock hours (360 minutes of direct instruction) during a term. Time spent for breaks, travel, or meals cannot be calculated as part of this time. Generally, no more than six hours per day will be reimbursed.

Courses are approved by CCWD staff through the Oregon Community College Program Submission System (also known as WebForms) at https://webforms.hecc.oregon.gov/. See the next section in this Handbook, Non-Credit Course Numbering Guide and Activity Codes, for more information on non-credit developmental education (ESL, ABE, GED, AHS) courses.