Student ​Learning Outcomes

The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), the accreditation body for Oregon community colleges, requires expected learning outcomes and respective assessments for each degree and certificate program. (For more information, see Student learning outcomes are statements that describe what students are able to do outside of the classroom with what they have learned. They differ from course objectives or competencies in that they are broad statements for entire programs of study. Learning outcomes are used to shape and define the curriculum, communicate expectations to the student, employer, and other educators about the program, and assesses student progress.

Collegiate ​Level

The phrase “collegiate level work” is important in the curriculum development and course approval process. Courses must be collegiate level if used to fulfill a requirement in an associate degree, Associate of Applied Science, option, or certificate of completion program. Collegiate level is a term that denotes more than merely college/university transfer courses. Collegiate level also includes professional technical education coursework and other courses that exceed basic skills, workplace readiness, and fundamental technical skills. Collegiate level work provides skills and information beyond what is normally gained before or during the secondary school level. Collegiate level work is characterized by analysis, synthesis, and applications in which student demonstrate an integration of skills and critical thinking. OAR 589-006-0050 (14​)

Credits and ​Clock/​Contact Hours

The award of course credit is a local college issue. However, if awarded, it must adhere to the following ratios or to equivalent student learning outcomes. The number of clock or contact hours required to generate one credit per quarter term:

 Generating One Credit
 Lecture 10-12 hours/term 
 Lab  ​30-​36 hours/term
 Lecture-Lab  ​​20-​24 hours/term
 Physical Education Activity Course  ​30-​36 hours/term
 Recitation  10-12 hours/term
 Cooperative Work Experience Seminar  10-12 hours/term
 Cooperative Work Experience (CWE)  ​30-36 hours/term

“Clock/Contact hours” is defined as one clock (or contact) hour that is 60 minutes long. No more than 10 minutes of each hour can be used for a regularly scheduled break or passing period. OAR 589-006-0050 (1​3)  The credit requirements of courses and programs should be manageable for students allowing them to successfully complete program requirements within a reasonable period of time. There is a 108 credit mandatory cap on the maximum number of credits required for an associate degree or certificate of completion program. OAR 589-006-0100

2014 FTE Guidelines

Numbers, ​Titles, and ​Descriptions

Course numbers, titles and descriptions are the responsibility of the institution. The State does not prescribe them for colleges. An optional numbering guide for non-credit courses is available for colleges that need it, see the Non-Credit Course Numbering Guide and Activity Codes page in this Handbook.

Continuing ​Education ​Units (CEUs)

The continuing education unit (CEU) is a form of recognition given for completion of a unit of training. At Oregon community colleges, they may be given for completion of occupational supplementary courses. CEUs are not generally transcripted by the college, although colleges may choose to develop a record keeping method for retrieving and documenting the information.  One CEU is traditionally based on ten clock hours of instruction. Portions of a CEU may be given (e.g., .3 CEU for a three-hour workshop). Professional associations, private companies, community colleges and other organizations may give CEUs. Employers, professional associations, or certification and licensing bodies give value to continuing education and related professional development opportunities. OAR 589-006-0050 (​16)

Oregon Transfer Module (OTM)

Any student holding an Oregon Transfer Module (OTM) that conforms to the guidelines below will have met the requirements for the Transfer Module at any Oregon community college or institution in the Oregon University System. Upon transfer, the receiving institution may specify additional course work that is required for a major or for degree requirements or to make up the difference between the Transfer Module and the institution’s total General Education requirements.