C-ID Quick Guide for Course Outline Authors
Q. What is C-ID?
A. "C-ID [Course Identification Numbering System] is a supranumbering system being developed to ease the transfer and articulation burdens in California’s higher educational institutions." (Source: C-ID's home page.) You may also read more on the "About C-ID!" web page. In ordinary language, it boils down to a common-course-numbering system that provides a mechanism to identify comparable courses (mostly lower-division courses) among a wide swath of California's public colleges and universities. It is similar in concept to the old California Articulation Number (CAN) system, but has broader support from the California legislature and from the UC system.
Q. What is a descriptor?
A. "The C-ID number is a designation that ties that course to a specific course 'descriptor' that was developed by intersegmental discipline faculty and reviewed statewide. It provides information for students, staff, and faculty who must identify which community college courses best meet the expectations transfer partners have for courses that contribute to transfer into a major at specific universities." (Source: About C-ID! page.) In effect, a community college course approved to bear a C-ID number guarantees that the course meets standards of rigor, content, and objectives that make it transferable to any California public university that accepts comparable courses (with the same C-ID number) from other community colleges. The descriptor lays out the standards a course must meet in order to gain a C-ID numerical designation.
Q. What is a COR?
A. Depending on the institution, it is either the Course Outline of Record, or the Course on Record. Regardless of the official title, it is a course outline, the contents of which describe the legal expectation of a given course's topics and learning objectives, as well as other salient information.
Q. Does my course outline have to match the descriptor exactly?
A. No, but it should be similar enough that it is clear to neutral reviewers that it has comparable rigor, content, and objectives. The next section gives details on just how similar the outlines must be.
Specifics on Achieving C-ID Designation:
Q. Do I need to submit my own course for C-ID?
A. No, this is the job of the articulation officer. For this reason, it is best that you work with the articulation officer as you develop or revise the course. The course cannot be submitted for C-ID designation until it is fully approved at the college and district levels.
Q. Does my course have to have the same prerequisites and corequisites as the descriptor?
A. "The outline must have (at minimum) the same prerequisite or corequisite as is listed on the descriptor. Course outlines may contain a prerequisite or corequisite where there is none required by the descriptor. Prerequisites or corequisites in addition to or at a higher level than those required by a descriptor are also permitted. Descriptor advisories are strong recommendations only." (Source: C-ID Guide for Articulation Officers.)
Q. Does my course have to have the same content as the descriptor?
A. "The COR does not have to include the exact same number of content areas listed in the descriptor, or the exact language. However, holistically, the COR must address the content required by the descriptor. An element that is contained in one part of the descriptor may be inferred from another component of the COR. There is no expectation that any element of the COR will be consistent with the descriptor in a word-for-word manner." (Source: C-ID Guide for Articulation Officers.)
Q. Does my course have to have the same course objectives as the descriptor?
A. "The COR does not have to include the exact same number of objectives listed in the descriptor, or the exact language. However, holistically, the COR must address the requirements of the descriptor objectives." (Source: C-ID Guide for Articulation Officers.)
Q. Does my course have to offer the same unit credit as the descriptor?
A. "The descriptor units are the minimum units required. The course outline may contain more units but not fewer units then as indicated on the descriptor." (Source: C-ID Guide for Articulation Officers.)
Q. Does my course have to have the same methods of evaluation as the descriptor?
A. "The methods of evaluation listed on a descriptor are examples unless otherwise indicated. Course outlines must indicate methods of evaluation that validate the course content. However, there may be methods of evaluation listed on the descriptor that are inherently necessary for the content of a particular course (e.g., essays for an English course)." (Source: C-ID Guide for Articulation Officers.)
Q. Does my course have to have the same textbook(s) as the descriptor?
A. "Textbooks listed on a descriptor are examples unless otherwise indicated. Course outlines submitted to C-ID must include material in this area as appropriate for the discipline and course. In keeping with established articulation policies, the expectation is that at least one of the textbooks will have a publication date within seven (7) years of the course outline approval date. There may be cases in which a more recent text is expected (e.g., a technology course), the publication date is less relevant (e.g., classic primary sources in literature, philosophy, or history), or an exception exists relevant to the particulars of the discipline in question." (Source: C-ID Guide for Articulation Officers.)
"What, then, is the true Gospel of consistency? Change. Who is the really consistent man? The man who changes. Since change is the law of his being, he cannot be consistent if he stick in a rut." -- Mark Twain