Inland Empire/Desert Regional Consortium - California Community Colleges, Doing What Matters for Jobs and the Economy

Regional Program Recommendation Process

Regional Resources



If you are you a CTE faculty member who has been tasked with developing a new CTE certificate or degree (program) for your college, you will need to secure regional consortium recommendation from the Inland Empire/Desert Regional Consortium (IE/DRC) before you submit your program approval documents to the State Chancellor’s Office for formal approval (chaptering).

Your college CTE Dean can advise you on the regional recommendation process and your college’s own curriculum approval process. You should also consult your college’s curriculum committee chair (or designee) early in the development process.

  Chancellor’s Office Program and Course Approval Handbook (PCAH), 6th Edition

The Inland Empire/Desert Regional (CTE) Consortium

The Inland Empire/Desert Regional Consortium is comprised of the 12 community colleges in Riverside and San Bernardino counties. The California Community College Chancellor’s Office requires that all requests for new CTE program approvals include a recommendation from the “appropriate CTE Regional Consortium” (PCAH 6th Edition, page 17). This recommendation ensures program offerings meet regional labor market needs and do not unnecessarily duplicate programs.

The IE/DRC vested responsibility for recommending new programs, program revisions, and other program matters with its CTE Deans subcommittee (click here to see IE/DRC Governance).

Regional recommendation should occur at the beginning of new program development. Colleges seeking regional recommendation must submit their request online at The process is described on the next tab, "Process".

Guiding Principles for IE/DRC Recommendation

  • Format for Submitting a Request: Colleges seeking regional recommendation of new or substantially changed programs must do so by completing the online request form. Before submitting the request form, they must obtain LMI information from the region’s Center of Excellence (COE).
  • Timeline: The region is committed to review and act on all requests for regional recommendation within 30 days, provided the request is complete at the time it is submitted. CTE Deans hold regular monthly meetings between September and May. Meeting dates, meeting format (online or in-person) and agendas can be found on the IE/DRC website under “Meetings”. Requests received after the May meeting and before the September meeting will be reviewed electronically in order to honor the 30-day turn-around.
  • Voting: A vote to recommend a new or substantially changed program will occur at the CTE Deans meeting. Each college present at the meeting will receive one vote. The college’s CTE dean (or their designated representative) will place the vote for their college. A minimum of eight colleges must participate in any meeting where a vote is to be taken. Seven votes are required to pass any action. The college requesting recommendation should be present at the CTE Deans meeting in order to discuss their request. College faculty responsible for the development or revision of the program are also encouraged to attend the meeting.
  • Minutes: Minutes will be reviewed and approved at the conclusion of each meeting and will be posted to the IE/DRC website within five (5) business days. The outcome of the vote, along with any discussion, including any substantive comments or concerns voiced by the CTE Deans, will be recorded in the meeting minutes. The college’s CTE dean is responsible for communicating those comments and/or concerns to their college’s appropriate program personnel.Minutes for the current academic year can be found on the IE/DRC website under “Meetings”. Archived minutes can be found under the Home dropdown menu in the Archive section titled "CTE Deans Meeting".

Submission Process

Step 1: Request Labor Market Information from the Center of Excellence (COE)

The PCAH 6th Edition (page 86) states: “Pursuant to Education Code section 78015 Labor Market Information (LMI) data is specifically required for all new CTE program proposals, where available. Current LMI and analysis, or other comparable information, must show that jobs are available for program completers within the local service area of the individual college and/or that job enhancement or promotion justifies the proposed curriculum.”

The IE/DRC relies on consistent LMI data provided by the region’s COE in order to make a recommendation for program approval. At their discretion, colleges may submit other LMI data in addition to the LMI provided by the COE.

Step 2: Complete the “Request for Regional Recommendation” Online

In addition to general program information, you will provide a narrative response to the topics listed below. These narrative responses should be the SAME responses you will provide to the CCCCO when you are ready to submit your program for formal approval (chaptering).

  • Program Goals and Objectives – must address a valid workforce preparation purpose and may address transfer preparation.
  • Catalog Description – includes program requirements, prerequisite skills or enrollment limitations, student learning outcomes, and information relevant to program goal.
  • Program Requirements – includes course requirements and sequencing that reflect program goals. The GE pattern and the calculations used to reach the degree total must be shown following the program requirements table.
  • Enrollment and Completer Projections – projection of number of students to earn degree annually.

In addition to the narrative responses above, you will also attach the following to your submission:

  • LMI Report – provided by the COE.
  • Advisory Committee Minutes – indicating a recommendation of the program/program changes.

The region is committed to review and act on all requests for regional recommendation within 30 days, provided the request is complete at the time it is submitted. CTE Deans hold regular monthly meetings between September and May. Meeting dates can be found on the IE/DRC website Meeting's page. Requests received after the May and before the September meeting will be reviewed electronically in order to honor the 30-day turn-around.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a program?
An educational program is defined in Title 5, section 55000(g), as “an organized sequence of courses leading to a defined objective, a degree, a certificate, a diploma, a license, or transfer to another institution of higher education.”

When does a new (or substantially changed) certificate or degree program require regional recommendation and state approval?
If it is in a CTE program area AND...

  • The number of semester units a student must complete to receive a program certificate or degree is 18 units or more (or 27 quarter units), OR
  • The certificate is from 12 to 17.5 semester units AND it will appear on a student’s transcript*

*Chancellor’s Office approved Certificates of Achievement are the only credit certificates that may appear by name on a student transcript, diploma, or completion award.

What constitutes a substantial change?

  • The goals and objectives of the program are substantially changed.
  • The TOP code will change to a different TOP code at the discipline-level (e.g.; biological sciences [04] to health [12]).
  • Addition/creation of a new program award (degree or certificate) or major/area of emphasis using an active proposal. For example, a college may decide to create an associate degree for transfer (A.A.-T or A.S.-T) in the same four-digit TOP code as an existing degree or certificate offered by the college.
  • The job categories for which program completers qualify are substantially different from the job categories for which completers previously qualified.
  • The baccalaureate major to which students typically transfer is different from the baccalaureate major students typically transferred to in the past.

Examples of non-substantial changes may include:

  • Title changes
  • The TOP code will change to a TOP code within the same discipline-level (e.g.; a change within the discipline of biological sciences (04) from the field of Biology, General (0401.00) to Microbiology (0403.00)).
  • degree unit changes
  • Addition to or removal of courses from an existing approved program

Pending Recommendation

The Program Recommendation Process has changed!

Visit the Program Recommendation Process page to read about the new process.

Recommended Program Proposals (Prior to 9/01/2017)

Last Updated: 04/03/2017

Barstow College

Chaffey College

College of the Desert

Copper Mountain College

Mt. San Jacinto College

Norco College

Riverside City College

San Bernardino Valley College