Stephen F. Austin State University

Texas Common Core Numbering System Initiative

SFA Initiative Overview

Texas Common Course Numbering System - Legislative rule is expected to require all Texas schools to adopt course numbering according to TCCNS Standards. In anticipation of this ruling and the desire to control rollout timing to a manageable schedule, SFA plans to move forward with this change. Adjustments will begin in the fall term 2018 with an expected completion for the fall term 2020. Moving to the TCCNS numbering structure will allow for clearer transfer processing and planning for our transfer students. Course changes will be managed in the new Digarc curriculum and catalog software providing a significantly smoother process for course and program management.

CIP Code Updates - The Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) provides a taxonomic scheme that supports the accurate tracking and reporting of fields of study and program completions activity. This process will begin within each department and once a list of proposed changes are internally identified each respective Dean must give approval before going to the Associate Provost for approval and final review. Once approval is finalized CIP updates will be sent to the Registrar and Office of Institutional Research for action.

Single Summer Parts of Term- Summer terms will be transitioning into a single summer term with multiple parts. This single summer term will be built incorporating TCCNS and a new summer structure with updated scheduling and billing, for summer 2021. Refresher training for building summer schedules will be made available from the Registrar's office.


The deadline to complete all approval processes in time to meet Board of Regents and THECB approvals is MAY 24, 2019. This means that all departmental level approvals must be completed before this date. Approvals at the appropriate university-level committee (either the UG Curriculum Committee or the Graduate Council), Deans Council, provost, and President levels will occur in June 2019.

Planning for course mappings is encouraged to begin as soon as possible.


The Texas Common Course Numbering System (TCCNS) is a voluntary, cooperative effort among Texas community colleges and universities to facilitate transfer of freshman and sophomore level general academic course work. Stephen F. Austin State University is a participant in this effort. The TCCNS provides a shared, uniform set of course designations for students and their academic advisors to use in determining both course equivalency and degree applicability of transfer credit on a statewide basis. When students transfer between two participating TCCNS institutions, a course taken at the sending institution transfers as the course carrying, or cross-referenced with, the same TCCNS designation at the receiving institution. For more information, including comparison tables from other TCCNS institutions, see

Course Structure:
All TCCNS courses are identified by a four character course prefix representing the course type or academic discipline, followed by a four digit course number.

The first digit of the course number denotes the academic level of the course. The second digit represents the credit value of the course in semester hours. The third and fourth digits establish course sequencing and/or distinguish the course from others of the same level, credit value, and prefix.

Course Structure diagram

TCCNS Numbering Process:
All course number changes need to occur in the same bulletin to avoid any confusion. By providing a consistent numbering structure and converting the entire catalog/bulletin to the TCCNS numbering structure, courses will be easily navigable and transferrable. To facilitate a smooth transition, courses changing only the prefix, number, and/or title will be on a fast-tracked approval process.

A new software, Digarc will assist the TCCNS implementation process. Digarc training will be available beginning October 2018. Planning for course mappings is encouraged to begin as soon as possible. Trainings will include software use and course proposal processes, as well as information relating to TCCNS, CIP, and Single Summer Parts of Term.

Once Digarc is available, changes are welcome at any time prior to the set deadlines. More details on that entry process and screenshots of the process are included in the Digarc section of this website.

Changes are made by editing current proposals within the system. Core courses that have already been matched with the TCCNS standards are being added and edited by the Registrar's office. Only those who need course title changes or have issues with the four digit course number will need academic unit input.

**To ease faculty workload, and to accommodate the timeframe, those courses that only need a prefix, number, and or title changed will be fast-tracked through the approval process. All others such as new courses, content changes and deletions must proceed through the full approval process. *During this project roll out ONLY, prefix, number, and title changes will be fast tracked.

In regards to Variable Credit, SFA will move forward with the same structures as other Texas Universities by using the lowest hour at the first level. Full variable credit information will be listed for the coordinating board and the catalog will still display the entire range. Transcripts will display the correct hours.

Data Access

All department level data was emailed to the Chairs and Deans from ITS. The files include all courses and all courses with a TCCNS mapping already in place separated. CIP code information is also provided in the data.

Selecting a course in Digarc will also provide any available TCCNS mapping from Banner.

Course changes and new course submissions will occur in the Digarc Curriculog product.

Digarc - Curriculum and Catalog Software

The Digarc product implementation completes in October 2018. Training and access become available the second week in October. The curriculum piece of the product (Curriculog) will be the tool utilized to manage curriculum changes including all TCCNS related change requests for the 2020 Bulletin.

Selecting the effective fall term in the course modification form will dictate which bulletin the changes take effect. Select the 2020 term submit the changes to number, prefix, and/or title for the corresponding TCCNS course or continued TCCNS mapping structure for the courses without a direct TCCNS corresponding course.

Curriculog term graphic

A TCCNS field is available on the Digarc modification form displaying any mapping already available on the course for reference. If creating a new course for fall term 2019 and a TCCNS number is already designated, it can be entered in the provided TCCNS field to be updated manually by the Registrar's office.

Software Overview:
The software provides a secure online process that syncs with Banner, utilizes online forms, creates workflows, tracks status, tracks edits, includes course fees, reduces inefficiencies, accelerates the edit process, provides easier navigation, auditability, historical data access, and results in an electronic up to date catalog. Significant process improvements, added functionality, improved student access, elimination of costly printed materials, improved accuracy, and meeting compliance requirements are additionally expected from the software solution implementation.

CIP Codes

The Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code assigned to each course represents a federal discipline-based tracking and reporting structure for fields of study and program completions activity. CIP was originally developed by the U.S. Department of Education National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) in 1980, with revisions occurring in 1985, 1990, 2000, and 2010. The state of Texas also applies CIP as reporting identification for programs and courses. Texas additionally structures the public university Instruction and Operations Support formula funding process by discipline categories using inventoried course CIP values. Each Texas CIP-based discipline category generates different amounts of Texas formula funding.

The CIP code analysis process represents opportunity to leverage existing resources and strategically maximize state funding through accurate course CIP assignment. Coordinating the CIP code analysis process with the TCCNS implementation creates efficiency with a one-time course evaluation and minimizes the academic unit management and burden.

CIP Process:
Submitting CIP codes changes will be addressed at the same time as the TCCNS numbering structure. The Digarc curriculum forms have a CIP code field for entry as part of course changes and additions.

Review the linked pdf for CIP resources including formula funding information prior to determining CIP.

Single Summer Parts of Term

Single Summer Parts of Term is an alteration of the current multi-term summer structure (Maymester, Summer I, Summer II) to a single long summer term with multiple parts of term. Stephen F. Austin State University will be transitioning into a single summer term with multiple parts. This single summer term will be built incorporating TCCNS and a new summer structure with updated scheduling and billing, for summer 2021.

Course offerings typically designed for long semesters may be scheduled without alteration to course instructional format/length. (More diverse summer course offerings would be available because courses already prepared for long semester online delivery and/or not already condensed or appropriate for a six week schedule would be possible to schedule if desired by academic units.)

Students will be admitted to a single summer term in order to register for various parts of term.

A single summer census day will exist for collectively reporting headcount, credit hours and faculty.

Transition Actions

**Academic units need to rebuild the summer term schedule as no schedule roll is possible to manage this transition.

Communication to students and changes in the display of course schedules will be needed to reduce or eliminate the confusion regarding which part of term and date ranges are available for registration and class attendance.

Based on current administrative office workload, efforts required, necessary business process analyses and communications, the project success is expected to require intentional, dedicated and scheduled time and effort.


Why are we doing this?
In anticipation of Legislative ruling to require all Texas schools to adopt course numbering according to TCCNS standards.
What does this do for our students?
This will allow for a clearer transfer process and planning for our transfer students.
What is Digarc?
It is a curriculum and catalog software which will create a smoother process for course and program management.
Is the fall 2019/spring 2020 curriculum deadline the same as the TCCNS deadlines?
TCCNS has a final approval due date of May 24, 2019, the 2019/2020 curriculum due dates are based on each academic units' own deadline for course curriculum submissions and or approvals.
What courses need to change?
All courses will be require alterations to match TCCNS standards, the courses that are within the Core are those already relationally mapped to TCCNS standards.
Do we only map core courses?
Every course offered by SFA will need to be mapped before any data entry or approval is completed. Each academic unit will be responsible for their unit's mapping and determinations levels.
Are these only number changes?

Courses may require more than simply a number change. The most important piece to match is the number and subject course prefix. Other schools moving to this model have not had directly matching titles and the THECB has not rejected any of the course titles.

Note: Some academic units have challenges with the current grouping of numbers and therefore may experience challenges determining the TCCNS mapped equivalent.

What is the administrative process once submitted?
CAPP has to be manually updated to match these adjustments requiring a heavy workload on the Registrar's office. The Bulletin will be developed immediately after all approvals. See the timeline as a reference to the additional work occurring after approvals.
What if there is a course at the 200 level similar in nature to one we have at the 300 level?
Decisions regarding direct course level mapping need to occur at the academic unit level. Best practice is to map your 300 level course to the corresponding 200 level course if the course content matches.
How do we manage Field of Study?

Changes are coming to Field of Study (FOS). If an FOS exists for your discipline, they will be required to bring in similar to the Core. More information will be available on FOS in the future. Find information on the FOS website listed in the Additional Resources section of this website.

Note the recent memorandum.

Additional Resources

Additional Information

Additional information will be updated as soon as it becomes available.

To schedule information meetings with committee members please email