2:064 Credit Hours
|Austin Peay State
||September 14, 2020
||Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
It is the policy of Austin Peay State University to adhere to the U.S. Department
of Education regulations and accreditation standards and policies of the Southern
Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (“SACSCOC” or “Commission”). The
determination of the amount and level of credit awarded for courses is conducted by
the faculty consistent with commonly accepted practice in higher education and in
accordance with the mission and goals of Austin Peay State University.
For purposes of the application of this policy and in accordance with federal regulations,
a credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified
by evidence of student achievement. This policy provides guidelines to measure the
number of contact hours required for each semester credit hour offered by Austin Peay
State University, regardless of location or mode of delivery, including but not limited
to traditional face-to-face courses, distance education courses, hybrid courses, and
courses offered in a shortened session or at an off-campus instructional site. This
policy applies to all levels of courses (undergraduate and graduate) and all types
of courses, including but not limited to clinical, independent study, internship,
laboratory, practicum, seminar, student teaching, studio, study abroad, and research.
-Semester Hour of Credit
-Shortened Face-to-Face Courses
-College Credit Hours
-Criteria for Determining Credit for Courses
-Criteria for Determining Credit for Programs
-Process for Determining Credit
-Responsibility for the Credit Hour Policy
|Semester Hour of Credit
The University offers instruction and grants credit on the semester system. Standard
semester hour credit is determined through the University’s curriculum approval process
as maintained in the official curriculum records in Academic Affairs. In accordance
with federal regulation (34 CFR 600.2 and subsequent guidance), one semester credit
(equivalent to 1.5 quarter hours credit) reasonably approximates the learning outcomes
expected from one hour of direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of
out-of-class student academic engagement each week for 15 weeks. At Austin Peay State
University, one hour is defined as a minimum of 55 minutes per week.
Courses offered in alternative calendars and course types require an equivalent amount
of faculty and student engagement and learning outcomes. Laboratory and studio classes
usually earn one credit for each two hours of attendance or equivalent for a semester
unless otherwise indicated.
|Shortened Face-to-Faced Courses
A course that has been condensed into a time period less than a fifteen-week semester,
yet remains the same course worth the same amount of credit hours. The students and
instructor meet face-to-face at regular times for the same minimum number of total
contact hours expected for the same course being offered in the traditional fifteen-week
semester time period.
Committees charged with reviewing curriculum proposals for new courses and programs,
and proposals for modification of existing courses and programs, including the amount
and level of credit awarded for a course. The university’s curriculum committees include
department curriculum committees, college curriculum committees, Graduate Academic
Council, Teacher Education Council, and the University Curriculum Committee.
|College Credit Hours
All college credit courses at Austin Peay State University are expected to adhere
to the Federal Definition of Credit Hour minimums as described by the Southern Association
of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges Credit Hours Policy Statement.
The Office of Post-secondary Education, Department of Education in Code of Federal
Regulation (CFR) 34 Section 600.2 defines credit hour as follows.
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 not less than:
- One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of
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
- At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition
for other academic activities as established by the institution, including laboratory
work, internships, clinical placements, practica, studio work, and other academic
work leading to the award of credit hours.
Austin Peay State University determines and monitors credit hours regardless of format,
delivery, location, time of day, and length of semester/term. APSU ensures that all
college credit courses meets the definition of semester hour of credit for a college
credit course regardless of course delivery (i.e., face-to-face, hybrid, online/distance
learning, and independent study).
|Criteria for Determining Credit for Courses
Faculty and curriculum committees determine the quantity of credits for a course in
accordance with commonly accepted practice in higher education. Standards established
by external discipline-specific accreditation agencies will be applied as required.
Institutionally established criteria reflect professional standards and include some
or all of the following:
- discipline-specific best practices;
- purpose and goals of the course;
- intellectual/learning outcomes;
- content and topics;
- major assignments;
- assessment methods;
- course level: lower or upper division undergraduate, undergraduate/graduate combined,
graduate (master and/or doctoral).
- course schedule type: lecture, lab, clinical, studio, study abroad, internship, field
placement, independent study, thesis, or dissertation;
- course delivery method: face-to-face (traditional), hybrid (blended), online, or other
mode of delivery
- articulation and transferability of credit to other institutions; and
- other factors as appropriate
|Criteria for Determining Credit for Programs
Faculty and curriculum committees determine the quantity of credits for courses and
programs in accordance with commonly accepted discipline-specific best practices for
undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificate programs, and policies of APSU,
Tennessee Higher Education Commission, and Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
Commission on Colleges.
|Process for Determining Credit
Faculty develop courses and programs and provide justification for proposed credit
amounts. College and university faculty committees conduct rigorous reviews of course
and program proposals, including justifications for credit to be awarded, and are
responsible for final approval of proposals. Final acceptance of a proposal by each
appropriate curriculum committee denotes the review and acceptance of the proposed
number of credits.
|Responsibility for the Credit Hour Policy
Faculty are responsible for the content, quality, and effectiveness of the curriculum;
therefore, the responsibility for credit hour determination resides with the faculty.
The amount and level of credit hours awarded for a course will be determined according
to these guidelines and courses will be monitored to ensure that they meet or exceed
these expectations. Faculty and academic departments are charged with following the
credit hour policy in developing and offering new courses or new modes of delivering
The University has established the Registrar to be responsible for ensuring the class
contact hours for those classes that are completely 'face-to face' are scheduled to
meet the minimum contact hour requirement maintained in the official Curriculum file.
For distance education (online or hybrid class) courses, the University has established
the department chair as responsible for ensuring that the class syllabus is designed
to meet the intended learning outcomes.
The Office of Academic Affairs will periodically coordinate an audit of a sampling
of course syllabi, inclusive of the course level, course schedule type, delivery method
and location of courses, session length, instructor type, number of credit hours.
The audit will be conducted by qualified faculty and the curriculum committees.
External peer reviewers review proposed and existing programs and courses through
the program approval, program review, and program and institutional accreditation
processes, in accordance with best practices. APSU also provides its policy and procedure
for awarding credit for compliance with SACSCOC standards and federal regulations.
APSU Policy 2:064 – Rev.: September 14, 2020
APSU Policy 2:064 – Rev.: November 26, 2019
APSU Policy 2:064 – Issued: January 23, 2018
President: signature on file