Definition of a Credit Hour


All courses and programs, regardless of academic level, at Holy Apostles College & Seminary in Cromwell, CT, adhere to the federal definition of a credit hour as outlined in 34 CFR sections 600.2, 602.24, 603.24, and 668.8; Education Code sections 66700, 70901, 70901(b), 70902(b), and 78016, Title 5 sections 51000, 51022, 55002(b)(1)(B). 55100, 55130, and 55150.[1]  Holy Apostles College & Seminary adopted the Federal Definition of the Credit Hour, known as the Carnegie Unit, in the fall of 2011 for the purpose of scheduling review of its online degree programs and extended the definition to all courses and programs during its 2013-2014 curriculum review process.

A credit hour as defined by the U.S. Department of Education 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:

  1. Not less than one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours 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. At least an equivalent amount of work as outlined in item 1 above for other academic activities as established by the institution including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.

When the Carnegie Unit is cross-referenced with the federal definition of a clock hour, which is fifty minutes, the following formula is applied: each 3-credit course requires 2.5 hours of direct faculty instruction and 5 hours of outside readings and assignments for a total of 7.5 hours per week over a period of fifteen weeks, the equivalent of 112.5 hours of engagement with each 3-credit course.

This credit hour policy applies to all courses at all degree program levels that award academic credit regardless of the mode of delivery. The Academic Dean and Dean of Online Learning are responsible for ensuring that credit hours are awarded only for work that meets the requirements outlined in this policy.

[1] See 75 FR 66845, available at http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/pdf/2010-26531.pdf and http://www2.ed.gov/policy/highered/reg/hearulemaking/2009/credit.html


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