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Minnesota West Policies

Chapter 3 - Educational

3.29 Definition of College Credit

A college credit is a unit of measure that is used to quantify progress in or completion of a college course, program, or degree. A credit comprises elements of both time and academic achievement. In higher education, one semester credit generally involves 45 hours of activity. A lecture credit generally is comprised of 15 hours of classroom instruction from a qualified instructor, and an expectation of an additional 30 hours of student supplemental study or activity outside of the classroom. A lab credit would generally be comprised of 30 hours of laboratory instruction from a qualified instructor with an expectation of an additional 15 hours of supplemental study or activity by the student outside the classroom. An On-the-Job (OJT) credit would involve 45 hours of training at an actual job location, working for an employer, under the supervision of a qualified instructor. All credits would require assimilation of specified knowledge and skills comparable to and consistent with learning objectives established for similar courses and levels at other accredited institutions of higher learning.

Advances in communication technologies have affected how colleges award credit. Distance education courses, such as those offered on-line, stress assimilation of knowledge and skills more than time spent in a classroom. Students taking such courses are expected to acquire equivalent knowledge and skills by devoting more time to independent activities designed and directed by qualified faculty than they would for an equivalent course on campus with an instructor.

A college may grant or waive credit for a course in which the student does not enroll if the student can document a direct correlation between his or her life experience and the prescribed faculty-developed coursework. The student must establish that his or her experience was equivalent or superior to the classroom experience as well as demonstrate mastery of the course’s learning objectives in a manner determined by appropriate department faculty.

Approved by: Ron Wood, President
Date: February 16, 2001
History & Revision: