Sep 18, 2021  
2018-2019 Student Handbook & University Policies 
    
2018-2019 Student Handbook & University Policies [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Definition Of A Credit Hour Policy AS.002


LU Policy Number: AS.002

Effective Date: 12/14/2015

Approval Date: 12/14/2015

Revised Date: N/A

Additional Authority:

Scope: All Students (COC&CGUS) of Life University

Approval Authority: Provost/EVPAA,

Responsible Authority: Academic Affairs-Student, Academic Affairs-Faculty and Administration, Definitions:

Policy Title


Definition Of A Credit Hour Policy

Policy Statement


A credit hour is a standard measure of the amount of instructional time required to successfully complete a course and is formally defined to conform to accepted practices in higher education and keeping with federal guidelines. The office of the Provost is responsible for the establishment and approval of program credit hour assignments and equivalencies.

Life University’s credit hour definition is consistent with the Carnegie unit and The Council for Higher Education Accreditation and is defined as follows:

A credit hour is 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:

1. For a traditionally delivered course, a Credit Hour is based on the amount of time spent per week in scheduled activities. Each contact hour of classroom work per week for eleven (11) weeks, or its equivalent, is equal to one-quarter credit hour. Two contact hours of laboratory work per week for eleven (11) weeks, or its equivalent, is equal to one-quarter credit hour. A minimum of two contact hours of clinical work per week for eleven (11) weeks, or its equivalent, is equal to one-quarter credit hour. Additional clinical work is expected in professional programs to meet either patient or clinic needs and as directed by clinician of record. Online courses, hybrid, accelerated, and other nontraditional modes of delivery will demonstrate equivalent time and effort. Minimum requirements:

  • One lecture quarter credit hour is equal to 11 contact hours in the course.
  • One laboratory quarter credit hour is equal to 22 contact hours in the course.
  • One clinical quarter credit hour in professional programs is equal to 22 contact hours in the course.

2. In determining the amount of coursework to achieve learning competencies and outcomes, the University may take into account and consideration alternative delivery methods, measurements of student work, academic calendars, disciplines, and degree levels.

3. Courses that have less structured classroom schedules, such as theme courses, Learning Activities, research, seminars, independent studies, internships, practicums, or any other academic work leading to the award of credit hours, at a minimum, should state clearly learning objectives and expected outcomes and workload expectations that meet the standards set forth above.

If a class has to be cancelled due to inclement weather, or illness or another appropriate unavailability of the faculty member, an additional structured instructional activity(s) would be required to meet the equivalency standard.

Procedure(s)


  1. Faculty develop syllabi for the respective course(s), following the guidelines set for course syllabi and any additional guidelines provided by college/department and the credit hour definition accepted by Life University:
    • The course syllabus must document not less than one hour (50 minutes) of instruction, or its equivalency, each week for 11 weeks per quarter for each credit hour.
    • The course syllabus must document an average of not less than two hours of out of class work or preparation each week for 11 weeks per quarter, or adjusted equivalent for other delivery methodologies, for each credit hour.
  2. Each quarter, the division/department head will certify to the Dean that the syllabi being used that quarter follows LIFE’s guidelines for Course Syllabi and the definition of the university’s credit hour.
  3. College Curriculum Committee(s) will review new and revised courses for conformity to these guidelines and commonly accepted practices in higher education

Other Notes


Approved by Academic Affairs via electronic vote 11/09/15. Approved by Academic Council 12/14/15