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Credit Hour Procedures and Methodology

Credit Hour Procedures and Methodology

Chestnut Hill College Credit Hour Procedures and Methodology - September 2022 

Chestnut Hill College (CHC) adheres to the policies and procedures articulated by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) as the Local Education Agency (LEA) defining the credit hour.  

For all courses at CHC, three credit courses equal 42 hours (14 hours/credit) with an additional meeting scheduled during Final Examination week.  All courses are required to meet for their final exam period. 

For faculty teaching classroom-based courses that require alternative instruction, PDE provides guidelines for alternative instruction, which are reviewed by each of the School Deans’ offices and which must be accounted for on the syllabus.  Each syllabus must include alternate activities and the ways in which they will be assessed.  PDE activities are “the equivalent of classroom instruction,” must be directly related to the objectives of the course, must be measurable for grading purposes, and must have the direct oversight or supervision of the faculty member.   

Based on experience in the delivery of instruction at CHC, some examples of guidelines for alternative instruction include but are not limited to: 

PDE activities should not be: 

  • Additional assignments or 

  • Additional reading 

  • Note: students must receive active face-time instruction 

PDE activities can be: 

  • Films,  

  • TED Talks,  

  • online lectures,  

  • documentaries,  

  • individual tutoring from faculty,  

  • practice test administration, 

  • library or field research on a specific topic with a required paper or presentation, 

  • participation in a professional activity with a required paper or presentation, 

  • virtual field trips with guidance from faculty, or 

  • recorded lectures by faculty. 

Alternative instruction is a requirement for all courses that do not have clock hours totaling 42 cumulative hours plus the final exam period.  For example, classes that meet for 14 weeks for three 50-minute or two 75-minute time blocks require seven hours of alternative instruction. 


Additional Guidelines and Circumstances for Credit Hour Methodology 

Faculty are encouraged to create assignments that require a student to invest two hours of out-of-class time for every hour of in-class time. 

Laboratory courses often offer instructional time that exceeds the number of credit hours assigned to the section.  A typical laboratory course will meet three hours for one credit. 

All internships and experiential learning for credit, including student teaching, have a minimum of 42 hours of time associated with the learning experience for each credit hour assigned.   

Alternative learning activities should include experiences outside the classroom or learning management system (LMS), Canvas, whereby the student works independently or in a group on a project designed to address the course objectives.  The instructor is available for consultation and assesses whether the student has achieved the objective of the independent study activity.  Each School sets the appropriate standards for the balance among classroom and LMS activities, technology-infused learning, or independent study.  


Online or Hybrid Instruction 

All online or hybrid courses offered by CHC are developed in conjunction with the Quality Matters standards, which provide a rigorous set of criteria for oversight of instructional activities equivalent to the credit hour and rooted in the evaluation of student achievement of stated learning outcomes.  These are included in the “Guidelines for Online and Hybrid Courses” located on the Faculty tab of the MyCHC portal and revised in December 2019.  Faculty developing or teaching online courses must refer to these guidelines and the practices they set forward in conjunction with teaching any hybrid or online course. 


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