Common Course Numbering Project

UNM's Academic Affairs values the academic judgment of faculty, which is protected by the UNM Faculty Handbook and the Regents' Policy Manual. As with all courses at UNM, faculty determine course materials, teaching methods and approaches, assignments and specific content for Common Course Numbered courses offered at UNM.

In accordance with New Mexico statute, all lower-division courses must be integrated in a statewide common course numbering system. The Higher Education Department maintains a list, organized by subject, of all lower-division courses, identified by four-digit common course numbers (CCNs) and related student learning outcomes (SLOs). In offering a lower-division course, an institution must rely on at least 80% of the SLOs listed for that course by the NM Higher Education Department. CCN refers to lower-division courses, now numbered as 1000- and 2000-level courses. General education courses are a small sub-group of lower division courses that have undergone curricular approval for inclusion in the general education program at UNM.  A general education course has a CCN, but not all courses with CCNs are general education courses.

Faculty and departments must make sure that any new lower-division course —in addition to being approved through UNM's curriculum flow process —is entered with the support of the UNM Associate Registrar into the HED common course numbering system. Resources at the links below can help you navigate the Higher Education Department CCN approval; the Associate Registrar and I are available to support you through the process.

Faculty on UNM Main campus and on UNM branch campuses will need to consult with each other about alterations (new courses, changes to courses including titles and SLOs, and course deletions) to the lower-division curriculum.

To make a change to a common course numbered course, an institution must submit a request for approval to the Higher Education Department, since any alteration affects other institutions.

If a course is offered at another institution and has a CCN, UNM may adopt that course along with its CCN and 80% of the listed SLOs, even if UNM has not offered it in the past. Conversely, some lower-division courses offered at UNM do not have equivalents at other institutions and are called "unique." Unique courses must be entered into the CCN system. Once a "unique" course is on record with HED, other institutions may offer the course, as long as, in doing so, they rely on at least 80% of the SLOs listed for that course.

UNM maintains the integrity of its own curriculum oversight process. This means that for lower-division (CCN) courses, both changes to existing courses (UNM Form A) and creation of new courses (UNM Form B) need to go through a UNM curriculum process and a Higher Education Department process simultaneously. If a course already exists in the Higher Education Department CCN matrix but has not yet been offered at UNM, then the proposal to offer it at UNM only needs to go through the UNM curriculum process (UNM Form B).

UNM may move upper-division courses to four-digit numbering at some point in the future, but there are no plans for a statewide upper-division numbering system.

 — Pamela Cheek, Ph.D., Associate Provost for Curriculum and Assessment