C-ID - Course Identification Number System
C-ID FAQs for Faculty

C-ID FAQs for Faculty

  1. What exactly is C-ID?
  2. Hasn't this kind of information been available in ASSIST?
  3. Doesn't this system duplicate the work already done in CSU's LDTP and UC's Transfer Preparation Paths?
  4. Arent the C-ID numbers similar to the TCSU numbers developed for LDTP?
  5. Will C-ID "grandfather " previously approved CSU LDTP courses?
  6. How is this system similar to or different from CAN?
  7. What's the role of CSU and UC faculty in C-ID?
  8. What is the source of funding for C-ID?
  9. What motivations are there for ongoing support for C-ID---both by the segments of higher education as well as the faculty?
  10. What happens to existing articulation in light of C-ID?
  11. Can all three segments use these C-ID numbers?
  12. What response have you have from the independent colleges/universities?

FAQs especially for Articulation Officers

  1. What is the role of articulation officers in C-ID, and how are AOs participating in the C-ID descriptor development?
  2. Is participation in C-ID mandatory?
  3. Can anyone provide input during the development of the C-ID descriptors?
  4. Who will determine which feedback will be incorporated into the descriptors? Who will make the final decision on the course descriptor?
  5. Do you have a schedule of deadlines for descriptor reviews by discipline area? Do faculty have adequate notice and sufficient time to provide input?


1. The Course Identification Numbering system, or C-ID, is a mechanism for identifying comparable courses and facilitating articulation that provides an independent number assigned to community college courses that are commonly transferred to universities. C-ID also has a benefit for students who attend multiple community colleges. The number is assigned based on a course "descriptor” which was developed by intersegmental discipline faculty. Once descriptors are developed, colleges are asked to submit their course outlines of record (COR), and CORs that match the descriptor will be granted the C-ID number and will carry the associated articulation. In the early implementation phase, the focus has been on development of descriptors and granting of C-ID numbers. As the system becomes more visible at colleges and as the numbers are listed in college catalogs, C-ID designations will convey to viewers that faculty have determined that the courses with C-ID numbers have met the standards of content, rigor and comparability. C-ID embraces the intersegmental collaboration and partnership seen in previous efforts such as IMPAC and furthers the spirit of other faculty-driven initiatives. In short, C-ID is a method for facilitating articulation. It is simultaneously a system of providing a common number to comparable courses and is an answer to many challenges facing postsecondary transfer efforts.

With the new mandate for associate degrees for transfer (AA-T and AS-T degrees) that began in 2011, C-ID took on an additional and critical role: to provide descriptors and numbers for all of the courses in the Transfer Model Curricula (TMC)

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2. ASSIST was designed to be a repository of articulated transferable courses, but it has not contained the basis for awarding articulation and does not measure the degree to which courses are truly comparable. Determining comparability requires a system of descriptors against which courses can be measured, as is done in C-ID ASSIST continues to fill a unique and impartial recording function. In contrast, C-ID's faculty-based processes determine comparability of current and future courses. It is projected that beginning Fall 2012. ASSIST will also display C-ID numbers.

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3. No, it builds upon and complements previous work and goes far beyond those efforts. The CSU Lower Division Transfer Pattern project (LDTP) and its numbering system (called TSCU numbers) began by proposing major preparation packages, and they sought articulation to address this by creating descriptors for the courses. The C-ID discipline groups begin their development of C-ID descriptors by looking at and using, where appropriate, the LDTP descriptors. In addition to reviewing LDTP descriptors, each C-ID discipline group reviews the UC transfer major preparation paths. So, C-ID builds on both the CSU and UC strategies as it identifies common features of courses.

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4. There is a great deal of overlap of course content in the two systems, but the process for development of descriptors and the purpose of each numbering system are different, as outlined above.

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5. Yes, courses approved under LDTP will be granted a C-ID number IF the FDRG determines that the TCSU is sufficiently similar to the C-ID descriptor in content. Courses granted the TCSU number prior to 2007 will NOT be grandfathered; instead, those CORs must be submitted through the C-ID course approval process for consideration.

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6. It is similar to CAN in that visible supra-numbers are being assigned to approved courses. It is
different in that C-ID designations are only assigned to CCC courses and the assignment is made
based on comparability to a robust descriptor, as opposed to being based on the presence of articulation.

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7. Because C-ID is founded on the principle of intersegmental collaboration, the intersegmental participation of faculty is essential. Legislative mandates for "common course numbering” apply only to the CCCs and CSU and the associate degrees for transfer were only mandated to those segments; however, the UC faculty have shown interest and have thus far had some involvement in C-ID. The work being done to develop course descriptors and review course outlines (CORs) for C-ID numbers is primarily done by CCC and CSU faculty, and the appointment of faculty to the discipline groups (called Faculty Discipline Review Groups or FDRGs) is done by the Academic Senates of the CCC and the CSU. There is a desire to continue to increase the participation by UC. Given the implementation of the associate degrees for transfer and the public demands for more college completion, it is expected that the demand for and interest in C-ID will continue to expand.

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8. Beginning in 2009 the funding has been from a grant in the CCC Chancellor's Office, with a plan to extend the funding for at least five years. In the autumn of 2011, the State of California was awarded a grant from Complete College America, to support the work at the CCC and CSU to expand the associate degrees for transfer and the C-ID system that is the foundation for the statewide response to the mandate. The grant is for 18 months.

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9. As explained above, colleges and universities are being pressured by the Legislature, by public opinion, by the workplace, and by a research agenda that argues for increasing student attainment. A part of this agenda includes a need for strengthening and streamlining student transfer. In California, with its independent tripartite system of postsecondary public education and with its unusually large number of public and private institutions, transfer is more complicated than in some states. A system like C-ID is an ideal solution to simplify and clarify for educators, students and parents course comparability. So, the most obvious motivation is that it benefits students. There have been multiple legislative mandates calling for "common course numbering” and C-ID is the answer.

For the UC, C-ID can:

For the CSU, C-ID can:

For the CCCs, C-ID can:

For the independent colleges and universities, C-ID can:

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10. C-ID does not affect existing articulation. It provides an additional mechanism for articulation.

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11. Yes, and there are benefits to doing so, politically and practically. Multiple prior bills calling for "common course numbering” are addressed with the C-ID numbering system. Today, legislators uninformed about C-ID are still calling for common course numbering. We can now inform them that we have a solution. When C-ID supra numbers are used in college catalogs that would satisfy the many legislative demands for "common” numbers across the state. Finally, having C-ID descriptors for the courses in the TMC makes the associate degrees for transfer even more attractive to UC and private universities.

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12. Some of the independent institutions have responded to the request to articulate with C-ID descriptors. We look forward to more independent colleges/universities articulating C-ID descriptors and/or accepting of C-ID descriptors in lieu of their courses. In addition, there may be interest from the independents in accepting TMC- aligned associate degrees for transfer.

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13. As members of the C-ID Advisory Committee, the intersegmental articulation officers play a critical advisory role as well as a critical role in the C-ID implementation process. Articulation officers have served and continue to serve an important role in the Discipline Input Groups (DIGs) meetings as well as serving on the original meetings of the Faculty Discipline Review Groups (FDRGs).

As established, C-ID will not function fully without the support and involvement of all articulation officers. CCC articulation officers serve as the primary conduit between this system and their local discipline faculty, with whom they will discuss the C-ID system and its implications for their program, determine appropriate courses for submission, and facilitate the submission of courses at their college. CSU articulation officers serve as the receivers of the C-ID descriptors and, similarly to their CCC counterparts, work with discipline faculty on their own campus to determine the articulation of the C-ID with comparable courses in their departments. Articulation Officers, both at the CCC and four-year campuses, also participate in the descriptor and TMC vetting process, they assist C-ID with identifying faculty from their respective campus to serve as members of the Faculty Discipline Review Groups (FDRGs) or as Course Outline Review Evaluators (COREs); and they assist their own discipline faculty as they modify courses to align with the C-ID descriptors.

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14. Participation is voluntary, but as a result of the development of the TMC for the new associate degrees for transfer and to the current Complete College America grant which will finalize the descriptors for all the TMCs, it soon will become more important than ever for all CCCs to participate by submitting their CORs for C-ID approval.

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15. Discipline faculty, articulation officers, and counselors can sign up for any discipline listserv on the C-ID website to receive notification of descriptor postings in order to provide comments on the draft descriptors.

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16. As noted earlier, these determinations will be made by the intersegmental FDRG.

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17. The C-ID website lists the disciplines that are working on descriptors and/or on a TMC. Draft descriptors have generally been posted for at least a one month period, sometimes longer, depending on the time of the academic year. If it is determined that not enough comments have been submitted, draft descriptors have been re-posted for a period of time to assure enough statewide intersegmental comments. All faculty and articulation officers who have signed up for the discipline listservs are notified immediately after the draft descriptors are posted.

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