Roane State Community College is a member of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), which is its regional accrediting body, recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as an agency whose accreditation entitles its member institutions to seek eligibility to participate in Title IV programs. The purpose of this policy is to establish institutional definitions and procedures for the assignment and calculation of credit hours to comply with SACSCOC policy, the federal definition, Carnegie unit recommendations, and the guidelines of applicable programmatic accrediting agencies.
The Federal Definition of Credit hour (Federal Register (75 FR 66832 p. 66946):
While SACSCOC policy acknowledges that the federal definition provides some flexibility for institutions in determining the appropriate amount of credit hours for student coursework, it also notes that a credit hour is expected to be a reasonable approximation of a minimum amount of student work in a Carnegie unit in accordance with commonly accepted practice in higher education.
The Carnegie Unit-Definition and Calculation
Credit Hour is the unit of measuring educational credit, usually based on the number of classroom hours per week throughout a term.
Lecture Classes - For a lecture class, one unit is considered to be one hour of lecture class time and two hours per week of homework. For the typical three-unit class, a student spends three hours per week in class and should do six hours per week of homework. The total semester hours are calculated by multiplying the weekly hours by 15.
Laboratory Classes - For a laboratory class, the hours per week are considered to be all in class with no outside assignments. Thus, one unit is three hours per week of laboratory time.
Roane State Community College Definition of a Credit Hour
One course credit hour is equivalent to one hour of instruction based on a 15 week semester. A course offered in fewer than 15 weeks shall contain the same total hours (contact hours, preparation time, content, and requirements) as the same course offered in the standard 15-week semester.
All courses must be equivalent to the standard credit hour calculation (depending on the course type), and must be consistently delivered.
All courses will be developed to be equivalent to a regular, 15-week semester even if the course is taught in an alternative or accelerated format. This procedure applies to all lecture, laboratory, and/or external learning experience (clinical) courses.
Reasonable Equivalencies for Course Types and Methods of Delivery
Course credit hours are granted for various types of instruction as follows:
Distance Delivery Credit Hour Calculation
All courses offered through distance learning must be developed and delivered in compliance with Roane State’s definition of a credit hour.
Roane State Community College is a TBR and AA/EEO employer and does not discriminate against students, employees, or applicants for admission or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, disability, age, status as a protected veteran, genetic information, or any other legally protected class with respect to all employment, programs and activities sponsored by Roane State. View full non-discrimination policy.