Credit Hours and Credit Load
320.001 CREDIT HOURS and CREDIT LOAD
The State Board for Community and Technical Colleges has established rules for how community and technical colleges determine course credit hours. These rules are based on the type of instructor contact hours and the ratio of those hours to the number of weeks in a quarter. "Credit hours" are defined as the unit by which an institution measures its course work. The number of credit hours assigned to a course is defined by the number of hours per week in class and the number of hours per week in out of class preparation. Clark College uses these rules to establish credit hours assigned to each course offered by the College. Credit loads are determined based on the credit hours for which a student enrolls.
Credit ratios for five categories of instruction are:
- Lecture/discussion, 1:1 - One (1) hour of lecture or classroom discussion per week
and a minimum of two (2) additional hours of out-of-class assignments per classroom
contact hours earns one (1) credit hour.
- Laboratory/applied learning, 2:1 - Two (2) hours of laboratory work per week and
a minimum of one additional hour for out-of-class assignments earns one (1) credit
- Work site educational experience, 3:1 - Three (3) hours of work per week including
a required one-hour-per-week seminar or discussion group under the intermittent supervision
of the instructor - and also includes working with professional practitioners - earns
one credit hour.
- Online classes, 1:1 - One (1) hour per week of reviewing recorded lectures, viewing
Power Point presentations, reading resources providing by the instructor in the course
shell, participating in discussion forums and/or completing online assignments and
assessments. In addition, a minimum of two (2) additional hours of out-of-class assignments
(off or online) earns one (1) credit hour.
- Hybrid classes, 1:1 - One (1) hour per week classroom time will be divided between the virtual LMS classroom and time spent in an actual physical classroom. There is an expectation of two (2) additional hours a week to complete out-of-class assignments.
Exceptions are noted in the quarterly schedule (some classes are not scheduled in the usual College class periods.)
Credit loads are defined under three categories as:
- Full-time credit load. A full-time student credit load is generally defined as twelve
to nineteen (12-19) credit hours. However, students who are enrolled under government-sponsored
programs (e.g., financial aid, veterans, social security) should check with the appropriate
agency's financial services office for specific credit load requirements.
- Part-time credit loads. A three-quarter load is defined as nine to eleven (9-11) credit
hours; a half-time load is six to eight (6-8) credit hours, and a less-than-half-time
load is one to five (1-5) credit hours.
- Overload. Students may register online or in person for 0-20 credits. Students who wish to add excess credits (i.e., 21 or more) must make an appointment and obtain written permission from an advisor or counselor to register over the credit maximum.
The credit load definitions do not apply to dual-enroll students.
This policy will be reviewed by Executive Cabinet according to the program review policy schedule.
New Policy/Procedure Approved by Executive Cabinet
August 27, 2013