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About Virginia Western :: College Policies

I-3: Combining Courses

Policy Number: I-3
Last Reviewed: October 15, 2012
Responsible Dept.: Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs

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


Provide an academically and fiscally sound process of offering low enrollment courses.


VCCS policy 5.22 allows flexibility related to faculty workload and compensation. It states:

Faculty workload and compensation follows the Virginia Community College System policy. Exceptions to the regular class credit workload/compensation may be made based on factors including but not limited to: team teaching, lab or shop set up or maintenance, enrollment which exceeds or fails to meet normal SCHEV standards by more than 25% of standard, delivery mode, new or excessive preparations in a single semester, combined classes, and mentoring new or less than fully qualified faculty while they develop full qualifications. Exceptions for the assignment of more or less than the regular class credit workload/compensation will be negotiated by the supervisor for the class(es)/instructor(s) and the instructor(s) involved. Assigned exceptions will be calculated based on proportion of excess or deficiency in the normal class credits in the case of enrollment deviance from norms in consideration of the effect of the deviation in class enrollment on the workload involved. Other assigned exceptions will be based on weighted proportions or percentages of class(es) normal credit assignment. In the case of less than whole credits, calculations will be rounded off to two decimal places.


  1. The Academic Dean in consultation with the Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs sets the minimum and maximum student enrollment of each course. Each course should be run autonomously. However in the case of low enrollment courses, if approved by the Academic Dean and agreed on by the faculty member, courses may be combined. These combinations may be actual in the case of different courses that meet in the same room, at the same time or for workload purposes only where the faculty member agrees to teach more than one small section. For the purposes of faculty workload, faculty will only receive credit for only one of the courses, not all the combined courses. The course bearing the most credit hours or contact hours will be counted toward workload.
  2. When courses are combined, each course will be listed independently in the student information system.
  3. The minimum and maximum enrollments used for autonomous courses will be applied to combined courses.

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