Posted: Thursday, March 21, 2013
Response to Senate Recommendation: Policy on Contact/Credit Hours
At its March 8, 2013, meeting, the College Senate voted to recommend that the president revise the Policy on Contact/Credit Hours as indicated in the language below. The changes are indicated in [UPPERCASE ITALICIZED BOLDFACE TYPE].
Directory of Policy Statements
Policy Number: I:10:00
Date: DRAFT: December 2012
Revised: October 2012
Original: June 1976
SUBJECT: Credit/Contact Hour Relationship
The State University of New York, like most of American higher education, has adopted a variant of the traditional “Carnegie Unit” as a measure of academic credit. This unit is known in the State University by the familiar term “semester credit hour” and is the primary academic measure by which progress toward a degree is gauged. It is recognized that such a unit measures only a part, albeit a major part, of a composite learning experience based on formally structured and informal interactions among faculty and students.
Over the past several years for academic purposes, some faculties have allowed modifications of the classical Carnegie definition of a semester credit hour, which has stipulated that 1 semester credit hour be awarded for 15 sessions of 50 minutes’ duration in classroom lecture-recitation, each requiring two hours of outside preparation by the student. Today there are many types of educational experiences with which credit-hour assignment may properly be associated.
In the interest of accurate academic measurement and cross-campus comparability, the following definitions and practices apply in controlling the relationship between contact and credit hours. These definitions constitute a formalization of current and historical policy in order to ensure consistency throughout the State University of New York. Courses may be composed of any combination of elements described, as for example, a lecture course that also has required laboratory periods or a lecture course having an additional requirement for supervised independent study or tutorial activity.
A semester credit hour is normally granted for satisfactory completion of one 50-minute session of classroom instruction per week for a semester of not less than 15 weeks. This basic measure may be adjusted proportionately to reflect modified academic calendars and formats of study. Semester credit hours are granted for various types of instruction as follows: