Common Course Numbering Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is Common Course Numbering between community and technical colleges?

Washington State created the Common Course Numbering (CCN) system, which has renumbered and renamed courses that are commonly shared among Washington community and technical colleges.

2. Why is this information important to me?

It is important to you if you have taken courses at BC prior to summer quarter 2008 because hundreds of course numbers and titles have changed and you do not want to accidentally repeat the same course. Remember: be careful when picking classes if you have previously taken courses at BC.

3. I am a new student who has never taken classes at BC…
do I need to use the course change list and continue reading?

Only if you have previously taken classes at another Washington State community and technical college.

4. I am a continuing student who has taken classes at BC…
do I need to use the course change list to check to make sure I don’t accidentally repeat the same course and continue reading the information?


5. What does this mean to me as a student when choosing coursework for my degree or certificate?

If you have taken any BC classes before summer 2008, it is very important for you to check the list of course changes to ensure you do not accidentally take the same course twice as result of the new course number/title changes.

6. How will I know when a course is part of the common course group?

The courses identified as common between community and technical colleges are denoted with a “&” behind the course prefix (for example, SPCH 200 is now CMST& 210).

7. Does this affect how classes transfer to a university?

No. Common course numbers and titles were changed to simplify transferring between community and technical colleges; not between community/technical colleges and four-year colleges and universities. For example, UW will accept either Speech 200 or Communication Studies 210, but not both (SPCH 200 is now CMST& 210).

8. So I only have to check the Course Change List when I see a course number showing the “&” sign?

NO! As a result of common course numbering system, BC had to change some other course numbers and titles that are NOT common among the state community/technical colleges. However, all BC courses with changed course numbers and/or titles are clearly denoted on degree planning worksheets, quarterly course schedules and the college catalog, and throughout the college catalog. Please read these materials carefully before registering!

9. What about courses that are not on the Course Change List?
Do they still transfer?

Many courses not on the Course Change List continue to be considered transferable coursework under the Direct Transfer Agreement between community and technical colleges and universities.

Note: Unchanged BC courses that were transferable prior to common course numbering continue to be transferable as always. In addition, courses that were not transferrable before the change still are not. It is recommended you check with the receiving institution as the transferability of individual courses is the sole prerogative of the receiving school.

10. How will this be reflected on my BC transcript?

All classes taken prior to summer quarter 2008 will remain the same. Classes taken thereafter will use the new course number and/or title. You will see a message on your transcript to denote the beginning of the Common Course Numbering program as of summer quarter 2008.

11. Where can I get help or ask more questions?

If you have any questions or would like some assistance, please do not hesitate to contact the Educational Planning Advising Center at (425) 564-2212 or your advisor (if you need help locating your advisor, please call us and we will connect to your advisor).

12. Is there more information available online?

Yes. You can also visit the State Board of Community and Technical Colleges site:

13. Does Common Course Numbering affect how I register online?

The online registration will not catch that the item number for a CCN course is for as the course you have already taken under the former prefix, title and/or number. You must cross-reference CCN courses against the course change list.

Note: When using the online schedule planner, you will need to add the “&” to the common courses as they are listed in the schedule and catalog. For example, CMST& 210 (not CMST 210).

Last Updated April 29, 2019