Agenda Item FA 14-07

Submitted by the Academic Standards Committee

Definition of the Credit-Hour

03/06/14: Passed

03/14/14: Approved


The University is preparing for our 5th year SACS reviewOur 5th year interim report is due in March of 2015. 


SACS requires the following for section 4.9 of our 5th year report:

  1. A definition of the Credit Hour used by the institution
  2. A description of the processes and criteria used to calibrate documented student learning to the amount of academically engaged time for the typical student.
  3. An explanation of when do we differ/diverge from common practice, how, and why?

According to SACS The FifthYear Follow Up Report addresses issues identified at the completion of the institution’s last visiting committee review that required monitoring for verification of continued compliance with a standard.”  


As a member of the Institutional Effectiveness Committee, Faculty Association President has been tasked with assisting complete section 4.9 of the report dealing with UNF’s definition of credit hours. FA President Gordon Rakita asked the Academic Standards Committee to develop a credit-hour definition and provided the committee with a variety of documents to aid in the process. Additionally, the Academic Programs Committee was also asked to provide input. After discussion with the Academic Programs Committee members, the Committee determined that the process and criteria used to calibrate documented student learning to the amount of academically engaged time for the typical student, and the language should be established at the College level, given the specific expertise required for each discipline.


The Academic Standards committee to develop a UNF credit hour definition.  The Committee considered all information and unanimously adopted and approved the definition below:


  Definition of the Credit-Hour


In defining a credit hour, UNF recognizes established practices on scheduled instructional time or equivalent per credit hour and the Federal definition and Carnegie unit recommendations.


     1.     For courses taught in a traditional classroom format, a credit hour is normally granted for completion of at   least one 50 minute session of classroom instruction per week for 15 weeks, or the equivalent time per semester, and a minimum of 2 hours per week for 15 weeks of out-of-class student work, or the equivalent time per semester.

    2.   Alternatively, a credit hour may be granted for at least an equivalent amount of work as required in item 1 above for other academic activities or instructional modes of delivery, such as distance education, hybrid courses, laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.