Noncredit courses are available to members of the community, free of charge, and do
not count toward the completion of a certificate or Associate degree. However, they
follow the same curriculum approval process used for credit courses.
Many people refer to Community Services as noncredit (because the courses are not
applicable toward a certificate or degree), but the State Chancellor's office does
not. Community Service classes do not need the state application, and the college
does not receive apportionment for them.
Does not earn apportionment
Cannot be supported by general funds (i.e. must be self-supporting)
Subject to local approval process
Community colleges are authorized by statute and regulation to offer community services
classes, which are defined as "classes in civic, vocational, literacy, health, homemaking,
technical and general education, including, but not limited to, classes in the fields
of music, drama, art, handicraft, science, literature, nature study, nature contacting,
aquatic sports and athletics." Community services classes are not the same as noncredit
courses. They do not require approval from the Chancellor's Office and are not connected
with any approved program.
Community colleges do not collect any state apportionment for community services offerings.
They must charge students in these classes a fee sufficient to cover the cost of maintaining
the classes, or they may provide community services classes by contract, or with contributions
or donations from individuals or groups.
Community college districts are also prohibited from spending state general fund moneys
to maintain community service classes. Thus these classes must be fully self-supporting,
but, conversely, fees are not permitted to exceed the cost of maintaining the classes.
The Board of Governors, pursuant to statute, has adopted guidelines to define the
acceptable costs for which a community services fee may be charged (BOG Agenda, May
1985, Item 5).