Credit Hour Definition

The Alabama Community College System requires all institutions in the System to operate on a semester system. Semester hours of credit are based on the average number of hours of instruction weekly during a 15-week period, with an hour of instruction defined as not less than 50 minutes of instructor/student contact. A semester system is defined as a fall semester, spring semester, and a summer term.

Coastal Alabama Community College determines that one semester credit hour will be awarded for a minimum of 750 minutes of formalized instruction during a semester that typically requires students to work at out-of-class assignments an average of twice the amount of time as the amount of formalized instruction (1,500 minutes). The College’s credit hour definition also aligns with the federal government regulation 34 CFR 600.2 which stipulates that a credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is not less than one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester hour of credit.

Coastal Alabama Community College follows the Alabama Community College System Board of Trustees Policies which are published on the Alabama Community College System Course Directory. This Course Directory is used by all institutions in the Alabama Community College System to determine the amount and level of credit hours awarded for all coursework whether taught in a traditional or online format. These state mandated policies dictate the credit hours utilized for all courses including courses with theory, lab, and clinical components and co-op and internship courses. To ensure standardization across all locations and delivery methods, the College uses standardized textbooks and ensures state mandates and policies through the use of standardized College syllabi which follow the common course directory, state mandated syllabi, and approved plans of instruction.

Coastal Alabama Community College adheres to the policies and guidelines that are approved by the Alabama Community College System Board of Trustees and regulated by the Alabama Community College System regarding the level of credit awarded for courses taught at all colleges within the Alabama Community College System, regardless of the format or mode of delivery, including distance education/online courses.