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Montgomery College Transitioning to New Four-Letter Course Descriptors

By Artur Agaronyan

Montgomery College is transitioning to new four-letter course descriptors that will replace the older two-letter descriptors for the Fall 2014 semester. The new system promises to clarify credit transfer for students and to ensure consistency with other colleges in Maryland.

The new system promises more logically sequenced courses, particularly prerequisites, said Dr. Sanjay Rai, interim senior vice president of academic affairs, in a press release. The new identifiers form a clearer pathway to further education, Rai said.

The new system aligns courses more closely with other colleges and universities in Maryland, Rai said. The change will not affect noncredit courses or Workforce Development & Continuing Education courses, he said.

The new system will be in place for the Fall 2014 academic schedule, Rai said. Registration for courses will start on April 28 and schedules will be viewable April 14, he said.

Four character course descriptors are more consistent with transfer universities and allow for new programs and disciplines, said Ed Riggs, department chair of communication arts technologies.

The new identifiers were partly developed to address course sequencing, said Ernest Cartledge, assistant director of enrollment services and college registrar. “For example, if the content in a course numbered 201 builds on the knowledge gained from a course numbered 217, it makes sense to renumber those courses to reflect that fact,” he said.

The new course descriptors are independent of the academic restructuring the college is going through, said Tammy Peery, associate professor of English on the Germantown Campus. “[The new system] is part of changes we must make to meet accreditation standards as well as some new requirements that the State mandated in the College and Career Readiness Completion Act (formerly SB740),” Peery said.

The change was announced back in April 2013, Cartledge said. “We’ll have additional platforms communicating the change in the coming days, such as the libraries and the homepage and My MC crawls,” Cartledge said.

A directory comparing the old and new course designators can be read on Montgomery College’s website or right here.



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