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Definition of Credit Hour (POLICY RETIRED 6.22.2022)

Policy Number: 

MTSA defines a credit hour in accordance with federal regulation 34 CFR 600.2, as, “an amount of work that reasonably approximates not less than”:

  1. One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class work each week for approximately 15 weeks for one semester or trimester hour of credit, or 10 to 12 weeks for one quarter hour of credit, or at least the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or
  2. 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.

This is also in compliance with U.S. Department of Education (DOE), definition of a credit hour, as published in the “instructions” for completing Integrated Postsecondary Educational Data Systems (IPEDS) reports on 12-month enrollment and the 2012-2013 Federal Student Aid Handbook. The Glossary accompanying the IPEDS instructions defines a credit hour as:

A unit of measure representing the equivalent of an hour (50 minutes) of instruction per week over the entire term. It is applied toward the total number of credit hours needed for completing the requirements of a degree, diploma, certificate, or other formal award.

MTSA operates on a quarter system, with each quarter having approximately eleven (11) weeks. Credit for classroom work is awarded based on 11 clock hours of instructional engagement to equate to one quarter credit hour of a course. Instructional engagement activities include lectures, presentations, discussions, groupwork, and other activities that would normally occur during class time. Instructional engagement activities may occur in a face-to-face meeting or in a synchronous online class.