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Credit Hour Policy

Credit Hour Policy

Authority: 
Academic and Student Affairs
Date enacted or revised: 
February 25, 2013; Revised February 24, 2016


McNeese State University uses the credit hour or its equivalency for academic scheduling and awarding of credit.   The credit hour is defined in accordance with Federal Policy as follows: 
  1. the amount of student time investment that reasonably approximates one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours out of class student work for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or;
  2. at least an equivalent amount of work as outlined in 1. that is required for academic activities as established by McNeese including laboratory work, online work and participation, clinicals, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the awarding of credit hours.
In accordance with commonly accepted practices in higher education, McNeese operates on a 50-minute hour for this definition.
 
McNeese also adheres to University of Louisiana System rules (C-I, VII. A.) for minimum length for academic courses which states for one semester hour of credit, a traditional lecture or laboratory course shall strive to meet a minimum of 750 minutes.  Final exam periods may be counted as class time when computing required minutes. With the growth in distance learning technologies, and increases in the number of readings/special topic courses, condensed sessions, independent study courses, and other more flexible course presentations, the customary method of determining course length for such non-traditional courses is to ensure all classes are of reasonable length and include both content and contact sufficient to maintain high academic quality and standards commensurate with credit hours awarded.   In general, at least one week of reflection is required for each credit hour earned.  The basis for such certification of learning is a valid, credible assessment system that reliably determines whether a student possesses clearly identified, standards-based knowledge, skills, and abilities.
 
Credit hours are assigned to courses by the program, department, and college from which a course originates in accordance with the academic work and student learning outcomes required in the course.   The credit hour assignment for each course is reviewed by the University Curriculum Committee/ Graduate Council and the Academic Advisory Council. The University Registrar reviews all curriculum changes and ensures adherence to the credit hour policy.
 
Prior to each academic year and prior to the course schedule being published for student registration purposes, a proposed academic calendar and schedule is developed by the associate vice president for enrollment management and the registrar.  The proposed academic  calendar and schedule includes the calendar of class meetings for three-credit courses which meet one, two, or three times a week as well as the begin and end date for electronically delivered courses.   The proposed schedule provides the number of class meetings for each month of the semester as well as the total number of meetings for the semester.  The Academic Advisory Council reviews the academic calendar and schedule and is responsible for its approval. 
 
This policy is communicated through Academic Advisory Council, the Senior Staff, and the University Policy Page.