Credit Hour Definition

A semester hour (s.h.) is the unit of measure used at Graceland University to signify the amount of work that is associated with successful completion of a course.

Awarding semester hour credit is based upon evidence of student achievement. Student performance is measured as it relates to the prescribed learning outcomes of the course.

Graceland University offers courses in a variety of instructional modalities, including:

  • Face-to-face, blended, and online instruction
  • 3-week, 8-week, and 15-week terms

Regardless of the length of term or the mode of instruction, it is expected that a student who is prepared for college-level work and reasonably motivated to succeed will spend a minimum of 37.5 hours per semester hour credit in course-related activity. This includes actual classroom instruction time, exams (preparing and taking exams), class preparation (e.g. reading and written assignments, project work, etc.), and other class-relevant activities (e.g. lab hours, field trips, etc.).

Traditional face-to-face classes are reasonably expected to meet in a face-to-face environment a minimum of 680 minutes per credit hour, e.g. for a three (3) semester hour course.

  • 41 fifty-minute face to face sessions plus final exam time (semester-based class) or 28 seventy-five-minute face to face sessions plus final exam time (semester-based class).
  • 8 four-hour face to face sessions (8-week subsession in trimester), or 14 three-hour face to face sessions (3-week sessions)

As described above, online classes will meet according to the model described herein, e.g.: spend a minimum of 37.5 hours per semester hour credit in course-related activity. This includes actual classroom instruction time, exams (preparing and taking exams), class preparation (e.g.: reading and written assignments, project work, etc.), and other class-relevant activities (e.g.: lab hours, field trips, etc.). Exceptions to this may be granted by the appropriate Academic Dean.

In order to demonstrate compliance with U.S. Department of Education regulations and standards established by the Higher Learning Committee, all Graceland University instructors will create a good faith estimate of the learning time associated with each course they teach.

Effective with the Spring 2012 terms, the estimates of learning time will be submitted to the Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness and published in a master syllabus to be maintained in the office of the appropriate Dean for all courses offered.