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Category:
Academic Affairs



Responsible Office:

Policy Title:
Credit Equivalency for Non-Credit Instruction

Document Number:
1303

Effective Date:
September 01, 1991


This policy item applies to:
Community Colleges
State-Operated Campuses
Table of Contents
Summary

Policy
Definitions
Other Related Information
Procedures
Forms
Authority
History
Appendices


Summary

The calculation of equivalent workload credit for non-credit instruction is permissible for all State University of New York (University) campuses for academically required non-credit courses, and non-credit remedial or developmental courses. For community colleges, equivalent credits are also to be calculated (for New York State aid) for non-credit vocational preparation courses which are not a vocational or recreational in nature.

Over the last several years, new technologies have greatly enhanced the variety of teaching methodologies in all aspects of education. These technologies are especially adaptive to the delivery of non-credit programs, particularly in English language skills and mathematics, as well as other areas of instruction. Learning centers (including developmental or remedial learning centers) where students with special learning needs may work at their own pace have become commonplace on campus. These learning centers sometimes replace or supplement typical classroom studies. Both of these modes of instruction – the classroom approach and the learning center method – require the supervision and guidance of the student by a qualified instructor. However, it is recognized that the structured nature of classroom instruction is in distinct contrast to the individualized guidance provided by the instructor in the learning center.

Given the difference in teaching modes and in light of audit questions recently relating to these courses, it is appropriate that the difference in credit hour equivalency be clearly established for these learning situations.

The purpose of this policy is to clarify the (equivalent) credit to contact hour relationship for non-credit courses and reaffirm the conditions for their inclusion in official full-time equivalent workload (FTE) counts to qualify for New York State aid.


Policy

A. Classroom Instruction

Certain educational activities are structured as typical classroom courses and are usually included in the curriculum as standard offerings (e.g., English 001, Mathematics 001, etc.). The placement of students in such courses is sometimes made pursuant to some type of testing program required of entering students.

Other than the level of material covered, these courses are similar to college-level courses in that they are regularly scheduled and have a planned curriculum designed to meet certain educational objectives. As such, these courses (including developmental or remedial courses) will be accounted for on a standard one-for-one basis when equating contact hours to credit hours. A course which meets 3 hours per week for a semester generates 3 credit hours of credit equivalency; 15 contact hours generates 1 credit hour of credit equivalency.

B. Laboratory Instruction

As in many credit courses, some non-credit courses require a laboratory component where the skills learned in the classroom are applied. The laboratory is typically related to a lecture and the mode of learning is within a group activity. Non-credit labs will be counted on a 3:1 basis (e.g., a 3 contact hour lab will generate 1 hour of credit equivalency over the semester); or 45 contact hours of lab generates 1 credit hour of credit equivalency.

C. Learning Centers

Learning centers are available for the individualized instruction of the student and are under the supervision of instructional employees (e.g., faculty or teaching assistants) who are qualified to carry out teaching functions in accordance with college policies. Students must be referred (written referral) to the learning center by faculty or counselors. In many cases, the learning program may be a prepackaged, self-paced activity involving audio tapes, video tapes, computer software packages or a combination of these. The length of the program will vary depending on the material to be covered and the pace at which the student is able to learn.

D. Instructor’s Role

While the supervising instructor's role is less than in the typical classroom situation in that the instructor may not have a single prescribed curriculum to follow or a daily lesson plan to develop and implement, there is a much more direct instructional role than in a laboratory. Likewise, the student typically has specific learning objectives rather than the performance of a set of laboratory skills. Because of the variability of individual programs, an auditable record of clock hours spent, both in total and by each student, will be required. The intent is to establish a record for each student who uses the learning center, and provide a listing of time devoted to learning activities. Learning centers will be counted on a 2:1 basis (e.g., 30 contact hours of 60 minutes each in the center will be equated to 1 hour of credit).

E. Practice Centers

Colleges typically have resource centers containing personal computers, audio and video tapes, and other such learning aids for use of students to practice concepts and theories learned in the classroom. While these centers may be monitored for security purposes, individual assistance and instruction are secondary. These facilities are for casual use and are there for students as needed. No New York State FTE aid is allowable.


Definitions

There are no definitions relevant to this policy.


Other Related Information

Administration of Credit-bearing Off-campus Instructional Activities

 

Developmental/Remedial Courses


Credit/Contact Hour




Procedures

There are no procedures relevant to this policy.


Forms

There are no forms relevant to this policy.


Authority

Memorandum to Presidents from the office of the provost and vice chancellor for academic programs, 91-2, dated April 18, 1991.


History

There is no history relevant to this policy.


Appendices

There are no appendices relevant to this policy.