Credit Hour Policy
Unit of Credit and Course Load
Mineral Area College follows state regulations and federal law in determining the length of credit hours. One credit hour is based on 750 minutes of instruction in lecture courses and at least 1,500 minutes of instruction in laboratory activities. Each hour of scheduled classroom work requires two hours of outside work to accomplish the course’s learning outcomes.
Based on this measurement, one unit of credit may be earned in a lecture course which meets for 50 minutes once a week during a 15-week semester. A three credit-hour course, such as English Composition I, meets for three 50 minute periods per week for 15 weeks and requires six hours of work outside of class each week.
In a course having a laboratory component, one credit is granted for two or three hours in a lab each week during the semester. For example, Introductory Chemistry is comprised of three lecture hours and four lab hours for a total of five credit hours. For a 15-week semester, the lecture component meets twice a week for an hour and fifteen minutes and the lab component meets twice a week for an hour and fifty minutes. A five credit hour course would require ten hours of work outside of class each week.
Distance Education Courses: Web Courses and Hybrid Courses
Web and hybrid courses adapted from traditional courses cover the same student learning outcomes as the in-person course and use comparable assessments. The ratio of faculty instruction to out-of-class student work will vary according to the modality, but will still follow the guidelines for amount of time spent on coursework as noted in the definition of in-person courses which means students should expect to perform three hours of academic work per course credit hour.
Courses that are strictly web or hybrid delivery are assigned credit hours based on the amount of time required to complete course tasks in relation to accomplishing the course’s learning outcomes. Each course credit hour should require at least three hours of academic work per week. Faculty are responsible for estimating times for tasks to determine and to rationalize the appropriate credit hour length for the course.
A full-time course load consists of 12 credit hours in the fall or spring semesters. Students who wish to complete their degree within two years without enrolling in summer courses are advised to take a minimum of 16 hours each semester. A full-time course load is 6 credit hours in the summer semester.
Students should be aware that, on average, at least two hours of outside preparation are needed for each hour of scheduled classroom time. Therefore, students who plan to enroll for 16 semester hours should plan to spend at least 32 hours per week for study outside of class.