Credit Hour and Coursework Procedures and Guidelines

I. Policy Statement

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

II. Definitions

A. Credit Hour

A way of measuring the academic time to which a class is equivalent.

B. Semester Credit Hour

A semester credit hour is an academic unit earned for no less than 16, 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.

C. Student Membership Hour

A student membership hour is one hour (60 minutes) of scheduled class or laboratory instruction for which the student is enrolled.

D. 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 re-training.

E. Curriculum Coursework

Any credit-bearing course, preparatory for or required in any regular curriculum or acceptable elective, for any curriculum which includes elective hours.

F. Continuing Education Coursework

Any non-credit-bearing course, organized for the teaching of any defined category of subject matter or special skills, 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.

G. College and Career Readiness

Any non-credit-bearing course that assists students in obtaining the knowledge and skills necessary for work, further education, family self-sufficiency, and/or community involvement. The College offers a comprehensive adult education and literacy program, including Foundational Skills, Compensatory Education, English as a Second Language, 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 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 on-line formats, or a combination of both (hybrid). Students also participate in course instruction and outside studies to achieve the course learning outcomes.

The awarding of credit hours for asynchronous on-line 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 hours.

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:

A. 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.

B. 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.

C. 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.

D. 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.

Related Policies

Policy 3.04 Credit Hour and Coursework