Common Course Numbering - FAQs

Common Course Numbering (CCN) system is designed to identify courses that are equivalent at community colleges and to make it easier for students who may transfer between two-year colleges.

Courses with an ampersand “&” after the prefix code are part of the Common Course Numbering system. However, courses without an “&” will continue to transfer between two-year and four-year colleges under individual Direct Transfer Agreements, as in the past.

What is Common Course Numbering (CCN)?

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. Approximately 25 percent of all graduating community and technical college students have attended more than one two-year college. 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.

Why did some other course numbers change, even if they are not part of the new system?

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.

Why did some subject area prefixes change?

Many subject area prefixes have been changed to align with the longer designations being used across the state (example: ENG to ENGL).

How many courses are changing at the Seattle Colleges?

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.

Will additional courses be added to the list in the future?

Yes. As new courses are developed, they may become part of the new CCN system.

Will courses that do NOT change prefixes, numbers or titles continue to transfer?

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.

Are four-year colleges and universities included in the new system?

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.

What was the process for determining common courses?

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.

Where can I find more information about the Common Course Numbering system?

Background on the Common Course Numbering project is available at the website of the State Board for Community & Technical Colleges: