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About Virginia Western :: College Policies

I-20: Credit Hour Definition

Policy Number: I-20
Last Reviewed: May 14, 2015
Responsible Dept.: Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs

A signed copy of this policy is available in the President's Office.

Virginia Western Community College (VWCC) follows the Federal definition of a semester credit hour and VCCS Policy VWCC defines a "semester credit hour" as being not less than one "academic hour" of formal classroom instruction and a minimum of two hours of out of class student work per week for fifteen weeks plus a minimum of one hour of evaluation time.

An "academic hour" is defined as 50 minutes. The total instructional time for one credit hour is 750 minutes. The evaluation time for one credit hour is 50 minutes, not to exceed 150 minutes for one course.

One semester credit of lecture based instruction is defined as one academic hour per week for a fifteen week period plus an academic hour of evaluation time.

One semester credit of laboratory based instruction ranges from two to five academic hours per week for fifteen weeks plus an evaluation hour.

One credit of asynchronous distance learning or hybrid based instruction measures a credit hour based on the student learning outcomes being equivalent to the outcomes of the same course taught in a traditional section of the same class. This equivalency is determined by a peer review of the content, competency coverage, and student learning outcomes of the course.

In the case of courses taught on a compressed time frame, the requirement of 800 minutes per credit hour of lecture based instruction remains.

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