Number: 615



  The credit hour is the basic unit of academic credit.  Amberton University defines a credit hour in terms of work expected of students in the achievement of established learning outcomes.  As traditionally defined, a credit hour has two components - direct faculty instruction and student work outside of class throughout the term of the session.  All Amberton University courses are three credit hours.  For on-campus courses, students will receive approximately four hours of direct faculty instruction per week for ten weeks and will complete at least three hours of work outside of class for each hour spent in class, for a total of approximately 140-160 clock hours over the length of the session.  Distance learning courses and shorter intensive courses will have the same learning outcomes, comparable assignments, assessments, and expectations of student achievement as traditional campus based courses as evidenced by course syllabi. 


Amberton University campus based courses meet for approximately four hours one time per week over the course of a ten-week session.  Saturday classes meet for four hours every other week for ten weeks and include an online component.  These courses follow a blended course delivery format of campus based and online instruction.


Amberton University’s definition of a credit hour is comparable with the Federal Definition of the Credit Hour and follows the SACSCOC’s Credit Hours Policy Statement:


Federal Definition of the Credit Hour:  For the purposes of the application of this policy and in accord with federal regulations, 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. Not less than one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours out of class student work each week 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


2. At least an equivalent amount of work as required outlined in item 1 above 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.



In keeping with SACSCOC’s guidelines for flexibility in the interpretation of this policy, Amberton University takes into consideration the learning needs of the adult student, including alternative delivery methods, diverse learning styles, academic calendars, and application oriented programs in determining the amount of work expected of students in mastery of course competencies. 




Quantifying instructor contact hours for online courses is more difficult to measure than traditional campus based courses.  Therefore, Amberton University uses commonly accepted higher education distance learning practices to ensure the credits awarded for completion of distance learning courses are of the same standards as credits awarded for campus courses.  These practices include maintaining the same student learning outcomes, comparable assessments, faculty course development, and awarding credit for successful completion of assignments that are the same or comparable to on-campus courses.