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Credit Hours

One semester credit hour will be awarded for a minimum of 750 minutes of instruction that typically requires students to work at out-of-class assignments an average of twice the amount of time as the amount of instruction (1,500 minutes). 

Instruction may take place in a variety of modes, including faculty-led instruction and faculty-mediated learning experiences. Instruction may be virtual as well as face-to-face. Each credit hour awarded requires at least one week of reflection and study on the subject matter of the course.  

The College seeks to move from a time-based measure of academic credit toward a competency-based measure of academic credit.  


Guidelines for Contact Hour to Credit Hour Ratio for Different Modes of Instruction

  1. Lecture, discussion or seminar:   One contact hour constitutes one credit hour (1:1)
  2. Self-contained laboratory or problem/exercise period (preparation for associated course is the only required preparation for the lab or practice period):  Three contact hours constitute one credit hour (3:1)
  3. Advanced laboratory session (requires preparation by the student before lab at a level beyond the preparation required for the associated  class):  Two contact hours constitute one credit hour (2:1)
  4. Studios:  One-and-a-half contact hours constitute one credit hour (1.5:1)
  5. Field placements/internships/practica: (experiential learning at on-campus or off-campus sites):  Forty hours constitute one credit hour (40:1).  In some disciplines, the standards or practice in the discipline or the accrediting body for the discipline may require more hours than indicated here.  In those cases, the guidelines for the accrediting body or standards of practice in the discipline will govern the number of contact hours required.
  6. Applied music (individual lessons):  One-half contact hour constitutes one credit hour (0.5:1)

Definitions:

  • Laboratory definition:  Laboratory describes a class in which all students are practicing an application of a scientific or technical nature that, for the most part, has already been delivered in the lecture class. Content in a lab is based on theory or content from an associated course. All the students in the room are following a similar set of instructions.
  • Studio definition:  Studio describes a class in which all students are engaged in creative or artistic activities, which are new and unique. Every student in the room is performing a creative activity to obtain a specific outcome. Limited whole-class instruction by lecture and demonstration occurs. Individual guidance of students is required. 
  • Field Placements/Internships/Practica:  Field placements, internships and practica are professional, experiential learning opportunities that allow students to apply knowledge and skills they have learned in their discipline. Such experiences are required for entry in some disciplines. 




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