Definition of a Credit Hour

Lander University Credit Hour Policy

As an institution of higher education, Lander University holds the responsibility for determining and upholding standards related to the awarding of credit hours for student work consistent with national standards. At Lander, a credit hour represents a minimum level of student achievement of specific learning outcomes as verified by an assessment of student work. Lander’s definition of the credit hour establishes a basis to quantify academic activity for purposes of awarding academic credentials and determining federal funding, including institutional eligibility, program eligibility, and student enrollment status and eligibility.

Lander University Definition Of A Credit Hour

Lander University adheres to the Federal definition of a credit hour for cumulative contact time per semester:

  • Not less than one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours 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 outlined in item i. above for other academic activities as established by the institution including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.

Lander University ensures a minimum of 750 minutes of instruction per credit hour (2,250 minutes of instruction for a standard, three-hour course), regardless of mode of delivery. The fall and spring semester standard meeting times for three-hour courses are a 60-minute Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule and a 90-minute Tuesday, Thursday schedule.

Summer Session classes follow the same standard of 750 minutes of instruction per credit hour but because the summer sessions are shorter than a fall or spring semester, the summer terms standard meeting times are longer and more frequent.

Application Of The Credit Hour Policy

Lander’s definition of the credit hour applies to all courses at all levels (graduate and undergraduate) that award academic credit (i.e. any course that appears on an official transcript issued by the University) regardless of the mode of delivery, including, but not limited to, self-paced, online, hybrid, lecture, seminar, and laboratory. Academic departments are responsible for ensuring that credit hours are awarded only for work that meets the requirements outlined in the Credit Hour Policy Statement. The Lander Catalog provides the number of credit hours in each course description.

The expectation of contact time inside the classroom and student effort outside the classroom is the same for all formats of a course whether fully online, a hybrid of face-to-face contact with some content delivered by electronic means, lecture or seminar. Courses that have less structured classroom schedules, such as laboratories, independent studies, internships, practica, studio work, or any other academic work leading to the award of credit hours state clearly the learning objectives and expected outcomes and workload expectations that meet the standards set forth above.

  • Credit hour policy oversight: The Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee is charged with following the policy on credit hours in its review and approval of all courses and in certifying that the expected student learning in the course meets the credit hour standard. The determination of credit hours is made when a new course or a modification to an existing course is proposed. The submitted syllabus is examined for contact time as well as for assignments and assessments of learning outcomes.

  • Academic Calendar: The University Registrar chairs the University Calendar Committee that prepares and recommends the annual Academic Calendar for approval by the President's Council no less than 18 months in advance of the planned academic year. The Academic Calendar is developed such that it establishes the prescribed framework for class instruction as previously described above in the section titled "Lander University Definition of a Credit Hour."

The University Registrar maintains the official Academic Calendar on its website. In addition, the Academic Calendar is published in the printed and online versions of the Lander University Catalog.

Credit Hours Awarded For Academic Programs

Lander complies with the federally recognized definition of an academic program. University-established policies ensure that the required number of credit hours for completion of a degree will be earned.