State tries to streamline college catalogs … by the numbers

Call it “System-ness” 101.

In the fall of 2019, the state’s colleges and universities could offer 43 common-numbered courses, in everything from English and the humanities to math and science.

The idea behind the common course numbers, and the identical course titles, is to make it easier for students to transfer course credits, and give students a clearer idea of the credits they need to get a degree.

“We want to provide greater transparency and confidence in how credits are earned and transferred for college students, high school students earning dual credits, and the advisers and counselors who work with them,” State Board of Education Chief Academic Officer Randall Brumfield said in a news release.

The plan covers introductory level courses, common courses that most students need to pass in order to get a college degree.

The common numbering plan is not yet a done deal. The State Board will look at a formal proposal in August, and a board vote is expected in October. If the proposal passes, the state’s colleges and universities will put the plan in place in 2019.

The idea springs from a gubernatorial task force on higher education, which met in 2016. A recurring theme from the task force work was the idea of streamlining higher education in Idaho — a notion that became known as “system-ness.”

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