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updated February 21, 2013
An excellent resource on noncredit is The Role of Noncredit in the California Community Colleges, written by the Education Policies Committee of the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges and adopted by the Academic Senate in Fall 2006. It provides background, definitions, and explanation of the differences, similarities and overlap between the various noncredit programs. Click here to access the full report.
Read some brief quotes from the paper elucidating some of the dynamics of the various categories.