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Handbook of Operating Procedures
Chapter 2 - Faculty and Academics
Publication Date: October 11, 2012
Responsible Executive: VP for Academic Affairs


2.51 Semester Credit Hour


I. POLICY STATEMENT


A semester credit hour is a unit of measure of instruction that awards a student one unit of credit for the equivalent of three hours of student work (one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and two hours of outside of the classroom student work) per week over a sixteen-week long semester including the final examination period.


II. RATIONALE


A semester credit hour gives value to the academic rigor and time requirements for a course offered and taken at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). It establishes a measure for faculty workload, measures the quantity of student learning, and reasonably approximates the minimum amount of student work reflecting the amount of effort by students expected for courses.


III. SCOPE


This policy applies to all UTSA faculty members teaching and students enrolling in UTSA classes offered for credit.


IV. WEBSITE ADDRESS FOR THIS POLICY


http://www.utsa.edu/hop/chapter2/2-51.html


V. RELATED STATUTES, POLICIES, REQUIREMENTS OR STANDARDS


UTSA or UT System Policies or the Board of Regents' Rules and Regulations

  1. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Rules, Chapter 13, Subchapter A, Section 13.1 (24)

Other Policies & Standards

  1. United States Department of Education, 34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 600.2.

VI. CONTACTS


If you have any questions about HOP policy 2.51, Semester Credit Hour, contact the following office(s):

Undergraduate Courses Questions:
The Office of the Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Studies
210-458-5191

Graduate Courses Questions:
The Office of the Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School
210-458-4331


VII. DEFINITIONS


A Carnegie semester unit of credit for students is equal to a minimum of three hours of work per week for a 16-week semester.

Contact Hour:  One contact hour is equal to a 50-minute period of classroom or direct faculty instruction.

Semester Credit Hour:  Students are awarded credit for classes based on: (a) the number of contact hours in class, and (b) the number of out-of-class hours of student work. UTSA uses Carnegie units to measure credit awarded to students for course work.

  • For lecture classes, a semester credit hour consists of the equivalent of at least one contact hour per week and two hours per week of out-of-class student work. Hence, a standard three-semester credit hour lecture class meets for a total of at least 48 contact hours for a semester. The student is also expected to expend at least an average of six hours of outside of the classroom effort per week for each three credit hour class.
  • For laboratory classes, one semester credit hour consists of the equivalent of a minimum of three contact hours of laboratory work per week for 16 weeks.
  • Online, hybrid, and individual instruction classes should make adjustments so that the total number of hours of work required by students is equivalent to that of a traditional face-to-face class.
  • For classes offered in a shortened format, the total number of contact hours and the total number of out-of-class hours of student work should be the same as if the classes were scheduled for a full 16-week semester.

VIII. RESPONSIBILITIES


  1. Faculty member
    1. Faculty members are responsible for ensuring that classes meet for the required number of contact hours each week and for assigning student learning activities outside of the classroom that will reasonably approximate the amount of hours of student work required by this policy to be performed outside of the classroom. The time that students spend studying and preparing for the classes are considered part of the outside of the classroom requirement.
  2. Department Chair
    1. The department chair is responsible for scheduling courses so that the required number of contact hours is met and for promoting compliance by faculty with the requirements of this policy.
  3. Office of the Registrar
    1. The Office of the Registrar is responsible for verifying that courses are scheduled for the required number of contact hours.

IX. PROCEDURES


The department chair will collaborate with the Office of the Registrar to ensure that courses are scheduled so that they meet for the required number of contact hours. Collaborating with the Office of the Registrar is especially important for courses offered in formats other than the traditional long semester, and especially for courses offered through a shortened format such as the summer terms, including mini-semesters.


X. SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR IMPLEMENTATION


None


XI. FORMS AND TOOLS/ONLINE PROCESSES


None


XII. APPENDIX


None