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Federal Requirement 4.9

Federal Requirement 4.9

Federal Requirement 4.9

The institution has policies and procedures for determining the credit hours awarded for courses and programs that conform to commonly accepted practices in higher education and to Commission policy.

_X_ Compliance                     ___ Non-Compliance

McNeese State University is in compliance with Federal Requirement 4.9
McNeese State University defines a credit hour as follows:
In accordance with Federal Government guidelines, McNeese State University defines a credit hour as (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's use of 50 clock minutes as equivalent to one hour is in accordance with commonly accepted practice in higher education.
A unit of measure representing the equivalent of an hour (50 minutes) of instruction per week over the entire term.  It is applied toward the total number of credit hours needed for completing the requirements of a degree, diploma, certificate, or other formal award.
Fifty clock minutes per week per credit hour for approximately 15 weeks provides approximately 750 minutes instruction time per credit hour, which adheres to the University of Louisiana System policy on minimum length for academic courses:
For each 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 hours.

Furthermore, McNeese's calculation of course length adheres to Louisiana Board of Regents' policy on Seat Time for Academic Credit. As noted in BOR policy, the workload associated with the traditional three-credit hour lecture class is used as the basis for determining equivalent workload and credit hour assignations to online courses.

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 for a "traditional" three-semester hour lecture class. (BOR Seat Time Policy)

At McNeese, common practice is that courses designed for online learning have first been developed for face to face delivery. Thus, format is changed to fit online modalities, but content workload remains the same.

The majority of course offerings at McNeese are three-credit courses and therefore the academic calendar is developed primarily around three-credit course class meetings. Each spring, 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 to the Academic Advisory Council for approval. The schedule of class meetings provides the number of class meetings for each month of the semester as well as the total number of meetings for the semester.  For the 2012-2013 Academic Calendar and Schedule, each semester hour of credit ranged from 740 minutes to 790 minutes. McNeese has increased class time effective with academic year 2013 - 2014 academic year and adjusted the number of weeks to coincide with other Louisiana institutions. For Summer 13, class times range from 737 minutes to 800, and in fall and spring from 733 to 760 per credit hour.
Students are informed of the responsibility the University expects of a minimum of two hours of out of class work per credit hour pursued through the following statement listed under the Student Responsibilities section of the Academic Regulations section of the Catalog:
Investing a minimum of two hours additional work to accompany each hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction per week for each credit hour pursued.  Additional work may include but is not limited to, reading, studying, conducting research, writing, and other learning activities.

Supporting Evidence
McNeese Credit Hour Policy
National Center for Education Statistics IPEDS Definition of Credit Hour
SACSCOC Policy Statement
Louisiana Board of Regents Seat Time for Academic Credit
University of Louisiana System Bylaws and Rules, Part Two, Chapter 1--Academics, Section VII.A. Minimum Length for Academic Courses
2012-2013 Academic Calendar and Schedule
2013-2014 Academic Calendar and Schedule