Arkansas Baptist College shall assign credit hours to courses and programs consistent with the state and federal definition of the credit hour, and with commonly accepted practices of higher education.
2.0) STATE AND FEDERAL CREDIT HOUR DEFINITIONS
Federal Credit Hour Definition: A credit hour is 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:
1) One hour of classroom or direct 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 of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or
2) At least an equivalent amount of work as required in 1 of this definition for other activities as established by an institution, including laboratory work, internships, practical, studio work, and other academic work leading toward the award of credit hours. 34CFR 600.2 (12/30/2020)
3.0) STANDARDS FOR DETERMINING CREDIT HOURS
Arkansas Baptist College applies the traditional Carnegie definition of a semester credit hour. The Carnegie unit definition of a semester credit hour is defined as one semester unit of credit as equal to a minimum of three hours of work per week for a semester. A credit hour equals 1 hour (50 minutes) of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of 2 hours of out-of-class work each week. One credit hour thus equals 37.5 hours of instruction including classroom sessions and outside preparation distributed over a 15-week semester, including 1-week period for final exams.
Arkansas Baptist College courses that offer academic credit are assigned a credit value based on the number of scheduled student contact hours and the type of teaching modality used to deliver the course. Credit may be awarded using the following standards:
- A regular semester is defined as 14 weeks of instruction plus 1 additional week allocated for final exams;
- A credit hour for Arkansas Baptist College equals 50 minutes of class time or direct faculty instruction and two hours of out-of-class work for a full semester;
- For courses such as online, where no required seat time exists, a credit hour is measured by equivalent amount of work as documented by student achievement, use of equivalent syllabi, textbooks, and learning outcomes. For each credit hour, online and hybrid courses shall clearly document a minimum of 37.5 hours of direct faculty instruction and an additional 75 hours of student-directed learning in a course syllabus.
- Other course types such as laboratory, practicum, and internships shall have commensurate hours of faculty and field supervision, which shall also be clearly documented in a course syllabus.
4.0) COURSE TYPE DEFINITIONS
The following course types are available at Arkansas Baptist College. Specific definitions for assigning credit hours for each course type follow:
Activity/Physical Education: A course with scheduled structured physical education activities. For each credit earned, students are expected to spend an average of 2 hours per week in structured physical activities for each credit earned with no additional time required for unscheduled activities.
Applied Music Lesson: Courses taught as applied study on a private or semi-private basis. Students receive from 1 – 2 credit hours for applied music courses. Private instruction ranges from 30 to 60 minutes with independent practice as prescribed by the instructor.
Independent Study: This individualized method of instruction involves the student working on his/her own to carry out objectives established by the instructor in an area where there is a specific need and no Arkansas Baptist College course offered to address the student’s requirements. Before an independent study can be started, the instructor must develop a complete course syllabus, have it approved by the department chair, and submit it to the Registrar’s Office.
Internship/Practicum/Field Experience: A non-lecture based experiential application of student learning either from a particular course or from a set of courses in the discipline. Supervision is provided by an Arkansas Baptist College faculty member. Supervision is, also, provided by a site supervisor. Students must register for an official internship course to receive credit. The supervising instructor must submit a complete course syllabus to the Dean. Minimum of 40 hours of work is required per credit hour.
Laboratory: A course that consists primarily of scheduled structured laboratory activities in which the major focus is on “hands on” experience to support student learning (use of equipment, activities, tools, generally found in a laboratory).
100 Level Science Laboratory: science labs at the 1000 level will meet a minimum of 1 hours per week for a 1 credit hour lab
200 Level Science Laboratory: science labs at the 2000 level will meet a minimum of 3 hours per week for a 1 credit hour lab
Lecture: A course in which the primary method of instruction is verbal and where a lecture/discussion/group interaction format is utilized. Course content is presented in a sequential manner leading to accomplishment of course objectives. For each credit earned, students are expected to spend an average of 1 hour per week in scheduled structured lecture, whether in person or at a distance, and 2 hours per week in unscheduled activities. Lecture is the default course type unless the course satisfies one of the other course type definitions.
Studio: Students execute prescribed techniques and methods specific to their chosen media to complete required course work and to develop their individual points of view. Studio courses will typically be completed in conjunction with a lecture/demonstration component involving faculty contact. Two studio hours= 1 credit.
5.0) COURSE INSTRUCTION MODALITY DEFINITIONS
The following instruction modalities are utilized in courses at Arkansas Baptist College:
Face-to-Face: Instruction is delivered fully on-site with face-to-face interaction between the instructor and student. A face-to-face course may make use of computers, the internet or other electronic media in the classroom. Students may be directed to online materials provided by publishers, or to other internet accessible sources as part of their course work. All courses shall use the institution’s Learning Management System to supplement instruction. Face-to-face courses adhere to the Carnegie definition of a semester credit hour and use Arkansas Baptist College standards for assigning credit to courses described in section 3.0 of this policy.
Online: An online course is a course that is provided entirely through the institution’s chosen Learning Management System. No on-site class meetings are required. Although it is preferred that all assessments occur within an online course, a proctored in-person exam may be required. Online courses shall use the institution’s Learning Management System for instruction and assessment. Online courses will adhere to the Carnegie definition of a semester credit hour and use Arkansas Baptist College standards for assigning credit to courses described in section 3.0 of this policy.
Web-enhanced: Instruction is delivered fully on-site with face-to-face interaction; however, students are expected to regularly supplement their learning through the use of technology. Web-enhanced courses shall use the institution’s Learning Management System for instruction and assessment. Web-enhanced courses will adhere to the Carnegie definition of a semester credit hour and use Arkansas Baptist College standards for assigning credit to courses described in section 3.0 of this policy.
6.0) STANDARD SYLLABUS CREDIT HOUR POLICY
The following statement will be included in all Arkansas Baptist College Syllabi:
Arkansas Baptist College applies the traditional Carnegie definition of a semester credit hour. The Carnegie unit definition of a semester credit hour is defined as one semester unit of credit as equal to a minimum of three hours of work per week for a semester. A credit hour equals 1 hour (50 minutes) of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of 2 hours of out-of-class work each week. One credit hour thus equals 37.5 hours of instruction including classroom sessions and outside preparation distributed over a 15-week semester, including 1-week period for final exams. Therefore, for a three-hour course, a typical student should expect to spend at least nine hours per week dedicated to the course.
7.0) ENSURING COMPLIANCE
Final calculations for semester time requirements will be reviewed, approved, and signed by the Provost, Registrar, Financial Aid Director, and Accreditation Liaison prior to any dissemination. All calculations will be consistent with state statute, federal, and Higher Learning Commission (HLC) requirements.
Annually, the President will request the Provost to provide a verification that the institution is in compliance with the above criteria through a qualitative review process.