About California Community Colleges

California Community Colleges (CCCs)

The California Community Colleges (CCCs) system consists of 73 districts, led by locally elected boards of trustees, which operate 115 physical campuses and collectively serve over 2 million students a year.

SB 1440

In 2010, the California State Legislature passed SB 1440 which requires a student that receives an associate degree for transfer to be deemed eligible for transfer into a California State University (CSU) baccalaureate program; and requires the California State University to guarantee admission with junior status to any community college student who meets the requirements for the associate degree for transfer.

In other words, SB 1440 established Associates Degrees for Transfer (ADT) to streamline the process for students starting in the CCC system and transferring to the CSU system.


The CCC system maintains the Course Identification Numbering System (C-ID). C-ID facilitates the formation of ADTs by establishing and maintaining discipline-specific Transfer Model Curriculum (TMC) and Course Descriptors.

Transfer Model Curriculum

A TMC is a document that lists the courses a CCC student needs to complete to earn a discipline-specific ADT. TMCs are jointly developed by CCC and CSU faculty in each discipline.

Course Descriptor

A Course Descriptor is a document that lists the status, discipline, descriptor title, units, general description, C-ID number, prerequisites, corequisites, advisories, content, lab activities, objectives, evaluation methods, textbooks, approval date, and revised date.

A Course Descriptor is the document used by faculty at the 115 campuses to develop a Course Outline of Record.

Course Outline of Record

According to Academic Senate for CCCs’ The Course Outline of Record: A Curriculum Reference Guided Revisited, “The course outline of record (COR) is central to the curricular processes in the California community colleges. The COR has evolved considerably from its origins as a list of topics covered in a course. Today, the course outline of record is a document with defined legal standing that plays a critical role in the curriculum of the California community colleges. The course outline has both internal and external influences that impact all aspects of its content, from outcomes to teaching methodology, which, by extension, impact program development and program evaluation.”

A Course Outline of Record is the document used by faculty at the 115 campuses to develop their unique Course Syllabus.

Course Syllabus

A syllabus is a unique document that delineates the relationship between faculty and students for a given course, outlines the course content and timeline, and defines the assignments and projects that must be completed by a student to earn a specific grade.

New Political Science TMC

The current Political Science TMC was finalized in early 2022.

The TMC consists of three parts: Required Course, List A, and List B. Within each part, is a list of Course Descriptors that be used to fulfill each part.

Required Core: Select 3 courses (9 units) from the following:

  • POLS 110 – Introduction to American Government and Politics
  • POLS 120 – Introduction to Political Theory and Thought
  • POLS 130 – Introduction to Comparative Government and Politics
  • POLS 140 – Introduction to International Relations

List A: Select 2 courses (6 units) from the following:

  • Any course not selected from Core
  • POLS 150 – Introduction to Political Science
  • Any one the following:
    • POLS 160 – Introduction to Political Science Research Methods
    • MATH 110 Introduction to Statistics
    • SOCI 125 Introduction to Statistics in Sociology
  • POLS 170 – Introduction to the Politics of Race and Gender
  • Any CSU transferable political science courses

List B: Select 1 course (3 units) from the following:

  • Any courses not selected above
  • Any CSU transferable political science courses
  • Any other courses that are articulated as lower division preparation for the political science major at a CSU
  • Any CSU transferable introductory course in the social sciences (i.e., articulated as filling CSU GE Area D)

Current Political Science Course Descriptors

How does the TMC and Course Descriptors Matter for OPoliSci?

The number of students served by the CCCs, as well as the tens-of-thousands of students who transfer from a CCC to a CSU campus or from a CCC to a University of California (UC) campus, warrant attention to the CCC system’s TMC and Course Descriptors.

The TMC and Course Descriptors serve as a guide for what open education resources and practices need to be developed for specific disciplines, including political science.

Other Resources