1.7 Assignment of Credit Hours Policy

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Chapter 1: Organization

1.7 Assignment of Credit Hours Policy


Related Minnesota State Board Policy: Policy 3.36 Academic Programs
Related Minnesota State Board Policy: Policy 3.35 Credit for Prior Learning
Related Minnesota State Board Procedure: Procedure 3.36.1 Academic Programs

The purpose of this policy is to ensure Normandale Community College’s assignment of credit hours is consistent with the federal definition of the credit hour and conforms to commonly accepted practices in higher education.
Part 1: Definitions 
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Subpart A:  Federal Credit Hour Definition. A credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than:

  1. One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or trimester hour of credit, or ten to twelve weeks for one quarter hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or
  2. Institutionally established reasonable equivalencies for the amount of work required in paragraph (1) of this definition. This includes student achievement, with evidence, of intended learning outcomes, or
  3. At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other activities as established by an institution, including laboratory work, internships, clinical experiences, studio work, and other academic work leading toward to the award of credit hours.
 

Subpart B:  Clock Hours. Clock hours are the total number of actual hours per week a student spends attending class or other instructional activities that count toward completing a program of study. Federal regulations require that a semester hour must include at least 37.5 clock hours of instruction, and a quarter hour must include at least 25 clock hours of instruction.

 

Subpart C:  Alternative Modes of Delivery. Alternative modes of delivery refers to courses delivered by other than the traditional face-to-face model of one hour per week for each credit.  Normandale offers coursework in the following alternative delivery modes:

  1. Internet Delivered Course
    This definition includes courses where the delivery method is entirely or predominantly online. To be considered internet delivered, a course must be predominantly delivered online with all, or nearly all, course activity occurring in an online environment. A maximum of two activities may occur face-to-face in a classroom. The course may have required proctored exams in addition to face-to-face meetings.

  2. Blended/Hybrid
    Courses which blend online and face-to-face delivery that result in reduced classroom seat time are considered blended or hybrid.  A blended/hybrid course has more than two face-to-face meetings per term.

  3. Completely Online-Asynchronous
    Completely online asynchronous courses without face-to-face meetings, proctored exams, or synchronous meetings.

  4. Completely Online-Synchronous Meetings
    Courses in which all instruction is delivered online and with required synchronous meetings (class meets online at a specified time and day). Courses do not require face-to-face meetings or proctored exams.
Subpart D:  Credit for Prior Learning. Credits assigned after demonstration that course outcomes have been completed and documented. Refer to Minnesota State Board Policy 3.35.
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Part 2: Course Credit Assignments 
  Subpart A:  Establishment of new courses. Each new credit course shall be brought through the curriculum approval process of the Academic Affairs and Standards Council (AA&SC). Each course proposal shall include the number of credits requested as well as the number of lecture, lab, studio, and clinical/practica hours per week.  Each course proposal shall also include a common course outline (CCO) that specifies content to be covered and student learning outcomes.  Credits requested shall conform to the federal credit hour definition as specified in Part 1: Subpart A.
 

Subpart B:  Changes in course credit assignment of existing courses. Changes in course credit assignment for existing courses shall be brought through the curriculum proposal process of the AA&SC. Each course proposal shall include the number of credits requested as well as the number of lecture, lab, studio, and clinical/practica hours per week. Each course proposal shall also include a CCO that specifies content to be covered and student learning outcomes. Credits requested shall conform to the federal credit hour definition as specified in Part 1: Subpart A.

  Subpart C:  Dissemination of information to faculty. It is the responsibility of the dean or designee (e.g., faculty chair) to direct faculty members to the CCO.  The CCO sets minimum expectations for the course and faculty must adhere to it. Faculty are expected to be current with changes to CCOs in their program area.
  Subpart D:  Dissemination of information to students. Common course outlines shall be available to students through the college website.
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  Policy History:
Date of Adoption:  Adopted and implemented prior to 2011
Department Owner:  Erin Daly
Policy History and Subject of Revisions:
Reviewed and revised August 2018.
• Updated subpart A
• Added subpart B
• Updated subpart C
• Deleted subpart related to delivery of courses
Next Review Date:  August 26, 2021
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