Course Coding Scheme

The Course Code is the unique code that identifies the course.  Your course coding scheme should aid in generating reports and registering students.  For those reasons, ACEware strongly suggests generating course codes using the following format:

Course Code Example:  04FYSUP103A

Year Semester Audience (Optional) Department Class # Section
17 F Y SUP 103 A
  1. Year designated by a two character code (i.e. 17-2017, 18-2018)
  2. Semester designated by a single character code that will make the semesters fall in chronological order within a school year. (i.e. F-Fall, S-Spring, U-Summer, W-Winter).
  3. Audience (if used by your organization) designated by a single character code (e.g. Y-Youth, A-Adult).
  4. Department designated by a three character code (i.e. SUP-Supervision, BUS-Business).  Note:  this code may be four character--if--your organization is not using the audience code.
  5. Class number designated by a three/four character code (i.e. 103, 3065)
  6. Section number designated by a single character code (i.e. A, B, C; or 1, 2, 3).

Why is this important?  Why wouldn’t SUP103AY17F work just as well?  To answer these questions, we'll take a look at a hypothetical reporting scenario:  you must generate a report of all classes held in 2017.  If you used the SUP103AY17F format, you would need to build a query that asks:

Find all classes where the course number ends with 17F, 17S, 17U or 17W.

If you use the format ACEware suggests, your query would look like:

Find all the classes where the course number begins with 17.

This coding scheme not only aids in generating reports, but also helps the registrar register students in classes.  Your registrars will easily find courses in the Course Find list when they are sorted by year/semester/department/class #/section.  Another benefit--setting up next year's courses is simple.  Just change the year, semester and section.  There's no need to change the audience, department or class #.

Coding Scheme Rules/Tips

While we feel the ACEware course coding scheme is the most efficient system, organization's can devise their own procedure as long as they follow these rules:

  1. The maximum size of the course code is 12 characters.
  2. Each different course record entered must have a unique course code.
  3. Keep all codes the same length (i.e. use four digits for all department codes).  If you number your courses from 1-999, fill in the starting numbers with leading zeros (e.g., 001, 099).
  4. ***IMPORTANT*** You CAN ONLY USE certain characters in your course codes.


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