Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Stand-alone Course Development – Overview


Stand-alone courses prepare people for work and provide advanced training for those already in the workforce. The state of Oregon has identified four distinct types of stand-alone courses. Each type serves a unique target audience and has a specific review and approval process.

Types of stand-alone courses and descriptions
Types of Stand-alone Courses
I. Occupational Preparatory: Designed to increase knowledge and develop skills leading to employment, and not within and existing PCC approved program area.

  • Credit for the occupational preparatory course can range from one -11 credits.
  • Contact hours can range from 10-210 hours and cannot exceed 210.
  • The course should be for skill development – for entry-level employment.
  • Developed and operated with the advice and counsel of employers and others knowledgeable about the occupations involved.
  • State approval must be received before offering the course.
  • A recognition award that indicates attendance or completion may be provided, however it may not be called a certificate.
  • Occupational preparatory courses MAY NOT be strung together to create a new program without applying for a new program and going through Adverse Impact as appropriate.
  • They MAY NOT be supplementary, hobby or recreational in nature.

Application process: Complete the application.

These courses must include CCOGs

II. Occupational Supplemental (CEU): Designed to upgrade skills of workers currently employed in the field.

  • May be offered for Continuing Education Units (CEU) (transcripted) or contact hours (not transcripted).
  • Contact hours can range from 1-210 hours and cannot exceed 210.
  • Does not require state approval prior to offering.
  • The course is designed for upgrading current skills.
  • A recognition award that indicates attendance or completion may be provided.
Application process: Use Courseleaf to submit.
III. Adult and Continuing Education (ACE): Designed for adults and may be developmental in nature.

  • The course number will be under 100.
  • Must be at least six contact hours of instruction focused on a single topic.
  • ACE courses may be reimbursable if they are designed for workforce training and fall into one of the following categories:  literacy (basic), languages, life skills, technology, general workforce, fitness (non-competitive), health, safety.
  • Non-reimbursable ACE courses may be self-sustaining and fall into the categories of hobby and non-credit arts and sciences classes.
Application process: Submit a new course request in Courseleaf.
IV. Other Education: Includes a variety of special interest courses, often referred to as community education and self-improvement.
Application process: Contact the community education programmers for assistance.

How long will it take?

A new stand-alone course request will take 4-8 weeks to complete the review process*. The Curriculum Office will work with faculty members to guide the course through the review process, which may include review and recommendation by

  • The Curriculum Committee
  • The VP of Academic Affairs
  • State of Oregon

*CEUs are exempt from the internal and state review process. Please review the CEU Guidelines and Timelines.


The SAC will be notified by the Curriculum Office when the course has completed the entire (internal and external) review process*. At that point, the SAC may schedule and advertise the course.

*A CEU is available to be scheduled once it is received by the Curriculum Office and entered into Banner.