Credit Hour Assignment Policy and Procedure
Southeast Arkansas College uses the Federal definition (34CFR 600.2) of a credit hour, which states:
- One hour* of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or trimester hour of credit, or ten to twelve weeks for one quarter hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or
- At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other activities as established by an institution, including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading toward to the award of credit hours.
*A class hour is defined as a minimum of 50 minutes per week.
Southeast Arkansas College has adopted Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board Policy 5.11 in defining traditional instruction which states:
The amount of credit awarded for a course is based on the amount of time in class, the amount of outside preparation required, and the intensity of the educational experience.
- A formal lecture course with extensive assigned reading or other out-of-class preparation is awarded one semester credit for a minimum of 750 minutes or 12.5 hours of classroom instruction;
- A laboratory class with moderate out-of-class preparation is awarded one semester credit for a minimum of 1500 minutes or 25 hours of laboratory instruction; and
- Clinical, practicum, internship, shop instruction or other self-paced learning activities involving work-related experience with little or no out-of-class preparation is awarded one semester credit for a minimum of 2250 minutes or 37.5 hours of work-related instruction.
Consistent with the federal definition of a credit hour, it is acceptable to replace sessions of equivalent instruction and/or examinations with alternative forms of coursework (e.g., laboratory work, practicums, out-of-class assignments and projects, assigned readings, problem sets, discussion questions, service learning experiences, a “capstone” project, etc.). Southeast Arkansas College also allows credit to be awarded for non-traditional instruction (self-paced, distance technology) by demonstrating evidence of achievement, represented in intended learning outcomes, that is equal to the amount of work that is equivalent to traditional instruction-based courses. Courses delivered by traditional methods, non-traditional methods, a combination of methods, or on a shortened term shall all have the same objectives, requirements, and quality of instruction.
The normal class load for students at Southeast Arkansas College is defined as 15 credit hours. Students may carry up to 18 credit hours as a maximum load in the Fall or Spring semesters without special permission. No more than 6 credit hours for Summer 4-week terms or 10 credit hours for the Summer 8-week term can be taken. Any deviation from these requirements will require approval from the Vice President of Academic Affairs or Dean.
When assigning credit hours to a new or revised course, the college expectation is that for each hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction, a minimum of two (2) hours of out-of-class work will be expected for a minimum of sixteen (16) weeks for one semester of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time.
Each course offered at Southeast Arkansas College shall have a standard syllabus, created and maintained by the course Department Faculty and reviewed by the Department Chair and Dean. Each standard syllabus will contain course expectations, both in-class and out-of-class.
All new or revised courses must adhere to the Course Approval Procedure.