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Credit Hour Policy

Credit Hour Policy

Authority: 
Academic and Student Affairs
Date enacted or revised: 
February 25, 2013 (Upd-Rev of BOR Seat Time and ULS Minimum Length Policies)
In F/S Handbook: 
yes
McNeese State University defines the credit hour 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) for other academic activities as established by McNeese including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award 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 for minimum length for academic courses:
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, independent study courses, and other more flexible course presentations, the customary method of determining course length for such non-traditional courses has been reexamined. Consistent with the Board of Regents policy (below) all classes must be of reasonable length and include both content and contact sufficient to maintain high academic quality and standards commensurate with credit hours awarded. 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.
(See ULS Bylaws and Rules, Part Two, Chapter One-Academics, Section VII.A. Minimum Length for Academic Courses)
 
And to Louisiana Board of Regents Policy for Seat-Time for Academic Credit:
State System institutions have long recognized that college-level learning may be acquired in a variety of settings and can be documented objectively and comprehensively through written or performance examinations and other academically sound procedures.  A traditional example used to determine course length has been that three semester hour classes have met for not less than 36 clock hours of instruction. With the growth in recent years in distance education, the introduction of technology in delivering instruction, and the increase in the number of readings/special topic courses and independent study courses, the nature of contact hours has changed and requires greater flexibility. All classes must be a reasonable length and include both content and contact sufficient to maintain high academic quality and standards commensurate with credit hours awarded for a "traditional" three-hour semester lecture class. The basis for such certification of learning is a valid, credible assessment system, which reliably determines whether a student possesses clearly identified standards-based knowledge, skills and abilities. (See BOR Seat Time Policy for Academic Credit)
 
Course credit hours are assigned by the program from which a course originates in accordance with this policy and reviewed by the University Curriculum Committee and/or Graduate Council and the Academic Advisory Council. The University Registrar reviews all curriculum changes and ensures adherence to the credit hour policy.

Additionally, the Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management proposes the academic year schedule of class meetings for three-credit courses which meet one, two, or three times a week be submitted to the Academic Advisory Council for approval. The schedule provides the number of class meetings for each month of the semester as well as the total number of meetings for the semester.