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You are here: Home Compliance Certification Section 4 - Federal Requirements 4.4 - Program Length

4.4 - Program Length

Program length is appropriate for each of the institution’s educational programs. .

Judgment of Compliance

The College certifies compliance.


Program length at Cleveland Community College is established according to the curriculum standards of the North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS) and with faculty input. The approval process for new programs ensures proposed programs are thoroughly vetted and adhere to the program hour parameters outlined in the State’s curriculum standards. In accordance with the curriculum standards of the NCCCS, program length is customized within published parameters according to discipline-specific needs. The approval process starts with faculty. Faculty submit a proposal form and then present the proposal to the Curriculum Committee. Items approved by the Curriculum Committee, as evidenced by meeting minutes, are then approved by Administrative Council. Requests for new programs are presented to the Board of Trustees for approval. Once approved by the Board, a new program application is sent to the NCCCS for State Board of Community Colleges approval and a prospectus is submitted to SACSCOC for approval before implementation.

Descriptions and completion requirements for each degree program (e.g. Associate in Applied Science degree in Medical Assisting) are identified in the Academic Bulletin and Student Handbook and on the College website. The Academic Bulletin and Student Handbook specifies the number of credit hours required for graduation. The listing also outlines any general education and major course requirements, and a suggested sequence of courses. The Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, and Associate in Fine Arts programs require 60-61 semester credit hours. The Associate in General Education degree requires 64-65 credit hours to complete. Associate of Applied Science degree programs range from 64-76 semester credit hours.

Diplomas range in length from 36-48 semester credit hours and generally take one year to complete. Diploma programs at Cleveland Community College require program-specific courses as well as three credit hours of English and three credit hours of mathematics or sociology. Certificate programs range from 12 credit hours to 18 credit hours, with the exception of the Basic Law Enforcement Training certificate, the Cosmetology certificate, the Cosmetology Instructor, and the Esthetics Instructor certificate. State Board of Community Colleges Code allows for additional hours for these programs because additional time in the program is required by an external regulatory, accrediting, or professional agency recognized by the State Board. A listing of all degree, diploma, and certificate programs, with required credit hours, is available in the Approved Programs of Study document.