5.05 Credit Hour and Coursework

I. Rule

Central Piedmont Community College credit hour policy aligns with the state and federal directives specified in State Board of Community Colleges Codes 1G SBCCC 100.1 Definitions (PDF) and 1D SBCCC 400.8 Courses for Curriculum Programs (PDF), and Code of Federal Regulations 34 CFR 600.2 (PDF). The College complies with these regulations in determining the amount and level of credit awarded for courses regardless of the instructional delivery methods. The College also follows directives described in the North Carolina Community College Combined Common Course Library (CCL).

II. Definitions

  1. Credit Hour: A way of measuring the academic time to which a class is equivalent.
  2. Semester Credit Hour: A semester credit hour is an academic unit earned for no less than sixteen 50-minute sessions of classroom instruction. For each class session, this basic measure may be adjusted proportionately to reflect modified academic calendars and formats of study.
  3. Student Membership Hour: A student membership hour is one hour of scheduled class or laboratory for which the student is enrolled.
  4. Curriculum: An organized sequence of credit-bearing courses leading to a degree, diploma, or certificate. All curriculum programs are designed to provide education, training, or retraining.
  5. Curriculum Coursework: Any credit-bearing course preparatory for or required in any regular curriculum or available as an acceptable elective for any curriculum which includes elective hours.
  6. Continuing Education Coursework: Any non-credit-bearing course organized for the teaching of any defined category of subject matter or special skills and presented through a single course, or through a discrete training program or training project organized and offered outside the regular curricula offered by the institution.
  7. College and Career Readiness (formerly Basic Skills): Any non-credit-bearing course that assists students in obtaining the knowledge and skills necessary for work, further education, family self-sufficiency, and community involvement. The College offers a comprehensive adult education and literacy program including Foundational Skills, Compensatory Education, English as a Second Language, and General Educational Development (GED), Adult High School, and Pathways to Employment.

III. Procedures for determining credit hour

The level and amount of credit for each course in the North Carolina Community College Combined Common Course Library has been determined on a system-wide basis. Instruction is provided for each course based on the number of contact hours listed in the Combined Common Course Library for that particular course. Instruction is delivered by a variety of methods, including traditional and online formats, or a combination of both. Students also participate in course instruction and outside studies to achieve the course learning outcomes.

The awarding of credit hours(s) for asynchronous online and alternative delivery methods of instruction is reflective of the amount of student work necessary to achieve the course objectives and represents an equivalent amount of student work defined by the clock hours for the awarding of credit hour(s).

Laboratory, clinical, and work experience courses from the Combined Common Course Library convert from credit hours to contact hours per course using the following guidelines:

  1. Credit of one semester hour is awarded for each 32 hours of experiential laboratory work. Experiential laboratory work consists of instruction given to a student by an instructor to increase the student’s knowledge and skills without immediate student application.
  2. Credit of one semester hour is awarded for each 48 hours of faculty-directed laboratory work. Faculty-directed laboratory work involves structured and coordinated demonstration by an instructor with immediate student application.
  3. Credit of one semester hour is awarded for each 48 hours of clinical practice. Clinical practice is a structured, faculty-directed learning experience in a health sciences program which develops job proficiency. Clinical practice requires significant preparation, coordination, and scheduling by the faculty and is under the supervision of an instructor or preceptor who is qualified for the particular program.
  4. Credit of one semester hour is awarded for each 160 hours of work experience such as cooperative education, practicums, and internships. Student activity in work experience is planned and coordinated by a College representative, and the employer is responsible for the control and supervision of the student on the job.

Academic programs offered online have the same total semester credit hours as the equivalent programs offered in a traditional, face-to-face, or seated environment.


Changes approved by Cabinet on October 15, 2012