CPP Stack

CPP Stack

The CPP stack is something advisors will often interact with, so it is very important to understand how and when to perform actions.

Additionally, the data in the CPP stack affects many of the processes run in the Office of the University Registrar (OUR) and Student Financial Aid; please be careful when saving data and choosing an effective date.

    CPP stands for Career, Program, Plan (Undergraduate, College, there are multiple plan-types major, second major, minor, AOI, etc.) and shows a history of a student's movement from one program/plan to another. It may be referred to by its full name, the CPP, or the stack.

    • Each stack number (e.g., 0, 1, and 2) represents a DEGREE; a separate diploma (this is an oversimplification; not all stacks lead to a degree, and if a student is in Extended Education and doesn't ever plan to move to a degree-seeking unit, then her stack won't result in a degree). For staff who work with students pursuing degrees, one stack is = to a degree.
    • It is always good practice to assess the status of the CPP stack before working with a student since so many processes rely on the status of the stack. The system gives a stack the number 0 for those created first, the 1 was created second, and the 2 was created third. Just because a student has three visible stacks doesn't mean they are pursuing all of them. Click onto each and review the status of each stack, so you can see which one(s) the student is actively pursuing. For example, a student may have completed 2, 1 is on a leave of absence (LOA), and 0 is the active one. The status of a stack depends on when the student first initiated a degree, changed her mind, graduated, etc.
    • If a student was dropped for non-payment and the term they were dropped is his/her first term at Ohio State, s/he will also be revoked from admission, which means you will not be able to locate his/her CPP stack but will be able to find him/her in Campus Solutions Campus Community Student Services Center (Student).

    Diving Deeper: The Academics Tab

    The status of a stack has system impacts

    For example:

    • In order for a stack to be completed (student graduated), it must be active. This is especially important to note if you have a student who is taking courses at another institution the term they are planning to graduate and taking NO classes at Ohio State.
    • In order for a student to be term activated (this gives a student the ability to schedule classes each term), a CPP stack must be ACTIVE.
    • A CPP stack can be on a Leave of Absence, but the student may not be on a leave from the university. If a student was at one point pursuing two degrees (two stacks) and now wishes to pursue only one, you would put one stack on a leave and keep the other active.
    Effective Dating

    An Effective Date is used when making any changes to the CPP stack. It is important not to select random effective dates; there are OUR and financial processing implications, not to mention program and/or plan fee assessments. For more details EffectiveDatingSIS.

    Expected Grad Term

    This is used to be blank until the student applies to graduate but the unversity is moving toward using this field; if it is populated, this field MUST be maintained. There are financial aid implications if this field is not accurate (read: expected graduation date changes for a lot of reasons). The student could be pushed into repayment status if the date is met or exceeded and has not graduated as this field is reported to the National Student Clearinghouse for verification purposes.

    Term Codes

    In SIS there is a convention for creating a term code.

    • If the year is through 1999 then the leading digit is a 0; if the year is 2000+ then the leading digit is a 1
    • The middle two digits are the last two digits of the year
    • The final digit indicates the term: 0 for winter quarter, 2 for spring term, 4 for summer term, or 8 for autumn term

    Examples: Autumn 1998 = 0988, Summer 2023 = 1234

    Admit Term

    The undergraduate admit term will ALWAYS be the term the student was admitted to Ohio State as an undergraduate regardless of additional undergraduate stacks and regardless of when s/he was admitted to a program with an admission application. The admit term is the earliest term in which a student can be activated in a career. The value is generated by default when a student is admitted and matriculated. A variety of CPP maintenance actions can cause the admit term value to be changed to a blank value, and the operator is required to enter an admit term before saving the updates. The best practice for maintaining the admit term value would be to always update the admit term with the term in which the student was admitted to the university for that career. To determine the admit term the operator would need to refer to the Academics Tab of the Student Services Center.

    Degree Audit impacts of Requirement Term

    The Degree Audit does not use the Requirement Term field on this tab. Instead, the Degree Audit uses the requirement term field on the Student Plan tab. However, you need to make sure that the requirement term on this tab matches the one on the Plan tab. IMPORTANT When populating the admit term field, the value entered becomes the default value for the requirement term. The requirement term is analogous to the legacy catalog year. If the requirement term should carry a term value that is different than the admit term, the operator should update the requirement term to the appropriate term.

    The Joint Program check-box

    You should check the JOINT PROGRAM box, located in the Student Program tab on the CPP stack, ONLY if the student is pursuing two different careers (for example, undergraduate AND a graduate degree) at the SAME TIME. The box will need to be checked in both careers; this ensures that the student is being assessed appropriate fees. Advisors, generally, do not have to worry about this.

    Plans and subplans

    To see the student's major (and additional plans, such as second majors/minors/pre-professional interests), you should look at the student plan tab. To see sub-plans, move to the student sub-plan tab. The sub-plan is a specialization of a plan, not a minor. There will be 1 of 2 (or 3) if there is more than one plan. A student can have multiple plans (e., first major, second major, minor, area of interest, pre-professional interest).

    Requirement Terms

    The Requirement Term (for the plan sequence 1 or 10 either number is OK. Admissions will use 1. As long as there is a difference of 10 between each plan sequence number) on the plan tab is used by the Degree Audit.

    • For example, if you list autumn 2017, the Degree Audit will run the autumn 2017 version of the general education requirements. If this student happens to be following an autumn 2020 major, an exception will need to be made in the degree audit so it knows to run the later major. Ask the degree audit exception expert in your college more about this.

    Search Results

    You will want to use the Find an Existing Value (value = CPP stack) when you are searching for a student with an existing CPP stack. The Add a New Value tab is used when you want to create a NEW CPP stack for when a student wishes to pursue another degree (understanding that this is not ALWAYS the case but for most undergraduate degree seeking students it is).

    Adding a Stack

    Not all advisors have responsibilities that require them to create 2nd stacks. For those who do:

    1. Go directly to the Student Program/Plan page to determine if the student has more than 1 active stacks already
      • Make sure you know the student's admit term
    2. Add a new value
    3. Select the appropriate Academic Career
    4. Enter a Career Number that is +1 from the previous career and click Add
      • After adding the new value, you are redirected to the Student Program/Plan
    5. Select Activate in the Program Action field and enter all required information (i.e. - program, plan, sub-plan)
      • Don't forget to update Effective Date if needed


    The CPP stack needs to be active so it can then be completed once a student graduates. If a student is taking all of their courses at another institution for the term they are graduating, it is likely that OUR will put them on a leave of absence (LOA) during the fourth week of the term if they DO NOT have an applied status on their CPP stack. Applied status is given to the student who applied to graduate. If your unit takes graduation applications beyond the fourth week for the term they are graduating; you will most likely run into CPP stacks on a leave of absence. Make sure you return their stack from a leave of absence while processing their graduate application.