Federal Requirement 4.9

16.             The institution has policies and procedures for determining the credit hours awarded for courses and programs that conform to commonly accepted practices in higher education and to Commission policy. (Federal Requirement 4.9)

X Compliance           ___ Non-Compliance

Narrative: 

Southern University and A&M College at Baton Rouge (SUBR) has commonly used policies, procedures and practices for determining the amount and level of credit awarded for all of its courses and programs. SUBR employs the principles developed by nationally recognized organizations, such as the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, when developing the types of credit and the amount of credit awarded for undergraduate and graduate courses. Additionally, educational programs meet the standards for their respective accrediting bodies as it relates to credit hours.

The Southern University and A&M College Undergraduate Catalog 2014-2017 and Faculty Handbook 2016-2020 describe how semester hour credits are determined.  The handbook states, "A semester credit hour is the term used to define the number of credits a student receives for a course, including internships and labs, taken during a semester."

Credit hours are calculated in the following manner:

1 credit hour = 1 contact hour per week x 15 weeks

2 credit hours = 2 contact hours per week x 15 weeks

3 credit hours = 3 contact hours per week x 15 weeks

4 credit hours = 4 contact hours per week x 15 weeks

1 laboratory/studio credit hour = a minimum of 2 contact hours per week x 15 weeks

Regardless of delivery-evening, weekend, or by distance education, 15 contact hours or their equivalent = 1 semester credit hour.   Faculty members use this information in course design and it is part of the course approval process for Southern University and A&M College.

Course credit hours are assigned by the program from which a course originates, in accordance with the above policies and procedures, and reviewed by the University's Curriculum Committee, an Academic Affairs Committee, and Graduate Council. The Registrar reviews and approves all curriculum changes, in coordination with Academic Affairs, and ensures adherence to all policies and procedures. Each unit, in collaboration with the Registrar's Office and the Office of Academic Affairs, produces a class schedule every semester. The schedule provides the class information and frequency of class meetings.

SUBR's use of 50 minutes as equivalent to one hour is in accordance with commonly accepted practices in higher education, such as those of Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.  According to IPEDS, the definition of a credit hour is "A unit of measure representing the equivalent of an hour (50 minutes) of instruction per week over the entire term. It applies toward the total number of credits needed for completing the requirements of a degree, diploma, certificate or other formal award." Southern University and A&M College follows the Louisiana Board of Regents Seat-Time Policy for Academic Credit (adopted January 25, 2001). 

The Board of Regents Seat-Time Policy states,

"State system institutions have long recognized that college-level learning may be acquired in a variety of settings and can be documented objectively and comprehensively through written or performance examinations and other academically sound procedures. A traditional example used to determine course length has been that three semester hour classes have met for not less than 36 clock hours of instruction. With the growth in recent years in distance education, the introduction of technology in delivering instruction, and the increase in the number of readings/special topic courses and independent study courses, the nature of contact hours has changed and requires greater flexibility. All classes must be of reasonable length and include both content and contact sufficient to maintain high academic quality and standards commensurate with credit hours awarded for a "traditional" three-semester hour lecture class. The basis for such certification of learning is a valid, credible assessment system which reliably determines whether a student possesses clearly identified, standards-based knowledge, skills, and abilities."

Additionally, SUBR has its internal policies and procedures for programs such as its internship program through Career Services.  SUBR students have the option of participating in internships during the semester and receiving credit through a course (please see the course description below).

Course Description Cooperative Education (COOP200, COOP300, COOP400)

The Cooperative Education courses (COOP200-01, COOP300-01, COOP400-01) are courses which a student may enroll in upon acceptance of an offer of employment for a co-op position which is directly related to their major. The student will alternate semesters of work with semester of study, or may engage in parallel employment of working a minimum of 20 hours while going to school. An evaluation of the student is done in the areas of (1) judgment (2) relations with others (3) ability to learn (4) attitude and application toward work (5) dependability (6) quality of work (7) punctuality and attendance; course work and the evaluation is graded by the instructor. The course provides for three academic credit hours and may be used to satisfy the elective curriculum requirement. Upon completion of the course the student is expected to have shown competence in time management, workplace communication, and an understanding of their major through reflection and debriefing conducted by the instructor.

Supporting Documentation
Faculty Handbook
  2016-2020
Board of Regent's Seat Time Policy

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