The Role of Noncredit in the California Community Colleges:
Brief Quotes

All quotes below are from the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges’ paper, The Role of Noncredit in the California Community Colleges (adopted Fall 2006).

“For many people, there is confusion between the similar terms noncredit, non-degree applicable credit, non-transferable credit, and not-for-credit. Non-degree applicable credit courses are actual credit courses, the units of which are not applicable towards graduation with an associate degree. Non-transferable courses are credit courses of which the units cannot be transferred to a four-year institution. The term “not-for-credit” is typically used in reference to classes where the students (or in some cases, the agency that arranges for the class) pay the full cost of the class and receive no college-credit for the classwork.” Page 1

“In contrast, noncredit courses are basically what its title suggests – community college instruction that has no credit associated with it. Students who enroll in noncredit courses do not receive any type of college credit for these courses, nor do they receive official grades. Noncredit courses require no fees on the part of the students. Noncredit instruction in the community colleges shared much in common with adult education offered through K-12 districts, and in fact, noncredit instruction has its origins in K-12 education.” Page 1

“… noncredit course are very different from not-for-credit courses. The term “not-for-credit” is typically used in reference to classes where the students (or in some cases, the agency that arranges for the class) pay the full cost of the class and receive no college credit for the classwork. Such classes may also be called community service, community education, tuition or fee-based classes and receive no state apportionment.” Page 9

“While Education Code does not explicitly list the areas approved for apportionment in credit instruction, there is overlap with credit in three of the areas approved for noncredit. Like noncredit, credit offers courses in pre-collegiate basis skills (sometimes called “developmental education”) and ESL. Credit also has short-term vocational courses, and credit programs are just as involved in responding to welfare to work legislation such as the Workforce Investment Act and CalWORKS. ... The other focuses of noncredit – older adults, parenting, adults with disabilities, citizenship, home economics and health and safety – are generally not covered in credit programs.” Pages 17-18

“With regard to vocational programs, it can generally be said that noncredit short-term vocational programs concentrate more on entry level employment skills, while credit vocational programs educate and train students for amore advanced level of employment.” Page 18

“There has been some discussion of whether pre-collegiate basic skills courses and ESL are appropriately placed in credit programs. There has also been discussion of whether some vocational courses and programs are appropriately placed into noncredit. … Much of the discussion around appropriate placement of courses in credit vs. noncredit arises because of the difference in funding for credit and noncredit courses.” Page 19

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