Florida's Statewide Course Numbering System
Courses in this General Bulletin are identified by prefixes and numbers that were assigned by Florida's Statewide Course Numbering System (SCNS). This numbering system is used by all public postsecondary institutions in Florida and by participating non-public institutions. The major purpose of this system is to facilitate the transfer of courses between participating institutions. Students and administrators can use the online SCNS to obtain course descriptions and specific information about course transfer between participating Florida institutions. This information is available on the SCNS Web site, at http://scns.fldoe.org.
Each participating institution controls the title, credit, and content of its own courses and recommends the first digit of the course number to indicate the level at which students normally take the course. Course prefixes and the last three digits of the course numbers are assigned by members of faculty discipline committees appointed for that purpose by the Florida Department of Education in Tallahassee. Individuals nominated to serve on these committees are selected to maintain a representative balance as to the type of institution and discipline field or specialization.
Course Prefixes and Numbers
The course prefix and each digit in the course number have a meaning in the SCNS. The listing of prefixes and associated courses is referred to as the "SCNS taxonomy." Descriptions of the content of courses are referred to as "statewide course profiles."
The course prefix is a three-letter designator for a major division of an academic discipline, subject matter area, or sub-category of knowledge. The prefix is not intended to identify the department in which a course is offered. Rather, the content of a course determines the assigned prefix to identify the course.
The course number is a four-digit designator for the course level (first digit), century (second digit), decade (third digit), and unit (last digit). In the sciences and certain other areas, a "C" or "L" after the course number is known as a lab indicator. The "C" represents a combined lecture and laboratory course that meets in the same place at the same time. The "L" represents a laboratory course or the laboratory part of a course that has the same prefix and course number but meets at a different time or place.
Example of Course Identifier
For example, a freshman composition skills course is offered by eighty-four different public and non-public postsecondary institutions. Each institution uses "ENC_101" to identify its freshman composition skills course.
|Prefix||Level Code||Century Digit||Decade Digit||Unit Digit||Lab Code|
|(first digit)||(second digit)||(third digit)||(fourth digit)|
|In the SCNS taxonomy, "ENC" means "English Composition"||Represents the year in which students normally take the course at a specific institution, Freshman in this case||Freshman Composition||Freshman Composition Skills||Freshman Composition Skills I||No laboratory component in this course|
General Rule for Course Equivalencies
Equivalent courses at different institutions are identified by the same prefixes and same last three digits of the course number and are guaranteed to be transferable between participating institutions that offer the course, with a few exceptions, as listed below in "Exception to the General Rule for Equivalency."
Transfer of any successfully completed course from one participating institution to another is guaranteed in cases where the course to be transferred is equivalent to one offered by the receiving institution. Transfer credit must be awarded for successfully completed equivalent courses and used by the receiving institution to determine satisfaction of requirements by transfer students on the same basis as credit awarded to the native students. It is the prerogative of the receiving institution, however, to offer transfer credit for courses successfully completed that have not been designated as equivalent. Equivalencies are established by the same prefix and last three digits and comparable faculty credentials at both institutions.
For example, ENC 1101 is offered at a community college. The same course is offered at a state university as ENC 2101. A student who has successfully completed ENC 1101 at a Florida College System institution is guaranteed to receive transfer credit for ENC 2101 at the state university if the student transfers. The student cannot be required to take ENC 2101 again since ENC 1101 is equivalent to ENC 2101.
Note: Credit generated at institutions on the quarter-term system may not transfer the equivalent number of credits to institutions on semester-term systems. For example, 4.0 quarter hours often transfers as 2.67 semester hours.
Authority for Acceptance of Equivalent Courses
Section 1007.24(7), Florida Statutes, states:
Any student who transfers among postsecondary institutions that are fully accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education and that participate in the statewide course numbering system shall be awarded credit by the receiving institution for courses satisfactorily completed by the student at the previous institutions. Credit shall be awarded if the courses are judged by the appropriate statewide course numbering system faculty committees representing school districts, public postsecondary educational institutions, and participating nonpublic postsecondary educational institutions to be academically equivalent to courses offered at the receiving institution, including equivalency of faculty credentials, regardless of the public or nonpublic control of the previous institution. The Department of Education shall ensure that credits to be accepted by a receiving institution are generated in courses for which the faculty possess credentials that are comparable to those required by the accrediting association of the receiving institution. The award of credit may be limited to courses that are entered in the statewide course numbering system. Credits awarded pursuant to this subsection shall satisfy institutional requirements on the same basis as credits awarded to native students.
Exceptions to the General Rule for Equivalency
Since the initial implementation of the SCNS, specific disciplines or types of courses have been accepted from the guarantee of transfer for equivalent courses. These include courses that must be evaluated individually or courses in which the student must be evaluated for mastery of skill and technique. The following courses are exceptions to the general rule for course equivalencies and may not transfer. Transferability is at the discretion of the receiving institution.
- Courses not offered by the receiving institution
- For courses at non-regionally accredited institutions, courses offered prior to the established transfer date of the course in question.
- Courses in the _900-999 series are not automatically transferable, and must be evaluated individually. These include such courses as Special Topics, Internships, Apprenticeships, Practica, Study Abroad, Theses, and Dissertations
- Applied academics for adult education courses
- Graduate courses
- Internships, apprenticeships, practica, clinical experiences, and study abroad courses with numbers other than those ranging from _900-999
- Applied courses in the performing arts (Art, Dance, Interior Design, Music, and Theatre) and skills courses in Criminal Justice (academy certificate courses) are not guaranteed as transferable. These courses need evidence of achievement (e.g., portfolio, audition, interview, etc.).
Courses at Nonregionally Accredited Institutions
The SCNS makes available on its home page (http://scns.fldoe.org) a report entitled "Courses at Nonregionally Accredited Institutions" that contains a comprehensive listing of all non-public institution courses in the SCNS inventory, as well as each course's transfer level and transfer effective date. This report is updated monthly.
SCNS Contact Information
Questions about the SCNS and appeals regarding course credit transfer decisions should be directed to Andrea White in the Office of Faculty Development and Advancement or the Florida Department of Education, Office of Articulation, 1401 Turlington Building, Tallahassee, FL 32399-0400.
Special reports and technical information may be requested by calling the Statewide Course Numbering System office at (850) 245-0427 or at http://scns.fldoe.org.