Credit Guidelines

Critical Elements of Credit Instruction

  • Credit Courses must have defined learning outcomes and have established criteria for successful completion. Assessments will be used to evaluate attainment of outcomes.
  • Instruction will be delivered by instructors who have been determined to meet qualifications established for the discipline as recommended by the Subject Area Committee (SAC) and approved by the administration.
  • Consideration is given to the relevant academic preparation and prerequisites established as appropriate.
  • Credit courses must be applicable to a degree or certificate (unless approved as a stand-alone occupational preparatory course – see Oregon Community Colleges and Workforce Development Handbook). Courses that are below 100‐level may not always be applicable to a degree or certificate but may serve as a prerequisite for a course that is applicable to a degree or certificate.

Establishing and Revising Credits in Courses

New credit courses and any change in course credit or clock hours are recommended by the SAC, the SAC Administrative Liaison, the Curriculum Committee, and Deans of Instruction for approval by the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs. Credit is based on in-­class or equivalent hours and student out-of-class work. PCC operates in the quarter system, in which one credit is based on, or equivalent to, 30-­36 hours of academic engagement. When equating clock or contact hours to credit hours, one credit in the following types of courses is represented by:

  • Lecture - 10 to 12 clock hours of instruction plus a minimum of 20 hours of out-­of-class student work
  • Lecture/lab - 20 to 24 clock hours of instruction plus a minimum of 10 hours of out-­of-­class student work
  • Lab - 30 to 36 clock hours of instruction
  • Cooperative Education/Clinical - 30-36 clock hours of supervised or semi-supervised instruction consisting of work experience in which a college instructor visits the work site periodically but primary supervision is from the employer or other individual contracted to provide the work experience
  • Seminar - 10 to 12 clock hours in class plus a minimum of 20 hours of out-­of‐class student work (Example: Cooperative Education Seminar 280)
  • Independent Study - A minimum of 30 hours of student involvement equals one credit hour

For courses in which instruction is less clearly tied to clock hours, such as courses that might be offered exclusively online, the SAC will present evidence of equivalency that reasonably approximates the minimum hours of student engagement.

Definition (from 34 CFR Section 600.2)

Credit Hour: Except as provided in 34 CFR 668.8(k) and (l), a credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally-established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than --

  1. 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 or trimester hour of credit, or ten to twelve weeks for one quarter hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or
  2. At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution, including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.

Policy/Standard Name: Credit Guidelines
Policy/Standard Identifier: C103
Authority: 34 CFR 600.2 (Code of Federal Regulations)
Units responsible for review and update: Registrar, Curriculum Committee
Approval: College President
Responsibility: Vice President for Academic Affairs
Date of Final Approval: June 2011
Effective Term: June 2011
Prior Versions: Yes