Credit Hour Policy
(Revised and approved by APC, 12/16)
Marymount Manhattan College degree programs are approved by the New York State Education Department (NYSED). The College’s method for awarding credit for courses in undergraduate and graduate degree programs follows NYSED guidelines, which are based on the U.S. Department of Education’s definition of credit hour.
The faculty of the College are responsible for all aspects of the curriculum and degree program requirements. The College has a curriculum committee that reviews proposed new and revised courses and degree programs, including the credit hours associated with each.
NYSED – CREDIT HOUR DEFINITION
All courses and degree programs at the College must comply with Section 50.1 (o) of the New York State Commissioner of Education Regulations:
- Semester hour means a credit, point, or other unit granted for the satisfactory completion of a course which requires at least 15 hours (of 50 minutes each) of instruction and at least 30 hours of supplementary assignments, except as otherwise provided pursuant to section 52.2(c)(4) of this Subchapter. This basic measure shall be adjusted proportionately to translate the value of other academic calendars and formats of study in relation to the credit granted for study during the two semesters that comprise an academic year.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION – CREDIT HOUR DEFINITION
The U.S. Department of Education defines credit hour as an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than:
- One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work 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 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.
MIDDLE STATES ACCREDITATION
Marymount Manhattan College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
MSCHE issued a “credit hour policy” in August 2012 that requires MSCHE institutions to comply with the U.S. Department of Education’s definition of “credit hour.” MSCHE also noted in the statement that institutions must provide this information to the Commission’s evaluators “at appropriate points of accreditation review so they can verify compliance with the credit hour regulations.”
Today there are many types of educational experiences with which credit hour assignment may properly be associated.
In the interest of accurate academic measurement, the following definitions and practices pertaining to the relationship between contact and credit hours apply to all courses, disciplines, programs, degree levels, formats, and modalities of instruction. Courses may be composed of any combination of elements described, such as a lecture course which also has required laboratory periods or a lecture course having an additional requirement for supervised independent study or tutorial activity.
A credit hour is normally granted for satisfactory completion of 12.5 hours of classroom instruction with a normal expectation of 25 hours of outside study per credit over the course of the term. The standard academic period is a 14-week semester with standard instructional time of two 81-minute sessions or one 171-minute session per week.
Credit hours are granted for various types of instruction as follows:
IN-CLASS LECTURE, SEMINAR, DISCUSSION
One credit hour is awarded for a minimum of 12.5 hours of classroom instruction with a normal expectation of 25 hours of outside study per credit over the course of the term.
ON-LINE AND HYBRID COURSES
For online or hybrid courses, credit hours are assigned according to the classification of the course:
- Type 1: On-line courses with no classroom meetings that share equivalent student learning objectives and expectations for student effort as face-to-face sections of the course: The on-line section is assigned the same credit hours as the face-to-face section.
- Type 2: On-line courses that include an in-class component (i.e., hybrid courses) with equivalent student learning objectives and expectations for student effort as a fully face-to-face section of the course: The hybrid section is assigned the same credit hours as the face-to-face section.
- Type 3: On-line and hybrid courses that do not have corresponding face-to-face sections for comparison: The department providing the course must document the expected level of student effort, expected student/faculty interactions, course assessment plan, and student learning objectives for the course along with proposed credit hours. This information will be reviewed by the Curriculum Committee and the VPAA/Dean for approval of the proposed credit hours.
ACTIVITY SUPERVISED AS A GROUP (LABORATORY, FIELD TRIP, PRACTICUM, WORKSHOP, GROUP STUDIO)
One credit hour is awarded for the equivalent of fourteen periods of such activity, where each activity period is 160 minutes or more in duration with little or no outside preparation expected. Where such activity involves substantial outside preparation by the student, the equivalent of fourteen periods of 110 minutes duration each will earn one semester credit hour.
SUPERVISED INDIVIDUAL ACTIVITY (INDEPENDENT STUDY, INDIVIDUAL STUDIO, TUTORIAL, RESEARCH)
One credit for independent study (defined as study which is given initial faculty guidance followed by repeated, regularly scheduled individual student conferences with a faculty member, and periodic as well as final evaluation of student performance) is awarded for the equivalent of 37.5 hours of student academic activity.
At its discretion, MMC may award credit hours for learning acquired outside the institution which is an integral part of a program of study. When life or work experience is to be credited as a concurrent portion of an academic program design, as in an internship, one credit hour will be awarded for each 40-hour period of supervised activity that provides the learning considered necessary to program study plus 5 hours of outside study.
At its discretion, MMC may award credits for mastery demonstrated through credit-by-examination. When such credit by examination is allowed, it may be used to satisfy degree requirements or to reduce the total number of remaining hours required for a degree. MMC may also award credits through Prior Learning Assessment; see http://www.mmm.edu/academics/about-the-program.php for information.
APPEAL AND REVIEW
Faculty may present educational justification for departures from these policy provisions to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Credit hours to be earned in approved international academic programs will continue to be considered on an individual basis following established procedures. Other special arrangements suggested by partner institutions will be considered on an individual basis by the Office of Academic Affairs.
PERIODIC COMPLIANCE REVIEW
New courses are reviewed and approved by the Curriculum Committee and the VPAA/Dean for compliance with the credit hour policy. The periodic compliance review of the credit hour policy is incorporated into each department’s program review under the supervision of Office of Academic Affairs.