Saint Paul College Policies & Procedures - Assignment of Credit Hours

​Part 1. Policy Statement

The purpose of this policy is to ensure Saint Paul College’s assignment of credit hours is consistent with the federal definition of the credit hour and with the Higher Learning Commission Policy 3.10, CREDITS, PROGRAM LENGTH AND TUITION, and conforms to the commonly accepted practices in higher education. This policy is limited to courses, or assessments, that result in the award of college credit as defined by the federal Department of Education. The policy does not apply to non-credit Customized Training courses.

Saint Paul College’s assignment of credit hours shall conform to commonly accepted practices in higher education as defined in this policy. The exact method of implementation shall be determined by the Academic Affairs and Standards Council (AASC).

Part 2. Definitions

The following definitions apply to this Policy.

Subpart A. Minnesota State Procedure 3.36.1 – Academic Programs defines a college credit as:

  1. 1. 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 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 leaving to the award of credit hours.
    3. cInstitutionally established reasonable equivalencies for the amount of work required in paragraph (1) of this definition for the credit hours awards, including as represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement.
  2. Or, for a program that is subject to a clock/credit hour conversion, the lesser of
    1. Clock hours in the credit-hour program divided by 37.5 clock hours of instruction, or
    2. Minnesota State approved credit hour.

Subpart B: Alternative Modes of Delivery.

Alternative modes of delivery refers to any course that is provided through modes other than the traditional face-to-face (FTF) model of one hour per week per each credit hour. This includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Accelerated. Courses with the same seat time as the traditional FTF model but in a more compressed time than a traditional semester length. May be termed late start or early end.
  2. Hybrid (blended). For courses with reduced seat time and the remainder of the instructional time provided through distance education. These courses have the same outcomes as traditional FTF courses.
  3. Online (Distance). For course where instructors interact with students completely through distance delivery.
  4. Independent Study. Courses with similar hours as a traditional course per credit with specified learning outcomes.
  5. Internships/Practica. Courses with similar hours as a traditional course per credit with specific identified learning outcomes.
  6. Clinical Rotations. Educational experiences that meet the same minimum hours as a traditional course per credit with specified learning outcomes. Time frames may be dictated by an accrediting agency.
  7. Studio. Educational experiences defined as 2 hours of contact time per credit with additional time spent outside of class to complete projects and/or assignments. Defined outcomes are equivalent to a traditional FTF class.
  8. Credit for Prior Learning. Credits assigned after demonstration that course outcomes have been completed and documented. Refer to Minnesota State Board Policy 3.35​.

Part 3. Course Credit Assignments

Subpart A. Establishment of new courses. Each new credit course shall be brought through the curriculum approval process of the Academic Affairs and Standards Council (AASC) as though it were a traditional FTF course. Each course proposal shall include the subject, course number, course title, course descriptions, prerequisites, co-requisites, total credits, lecture/lab breakdown, academic content, and course outcomes and competencies as they relate to program and/or discipline goals, the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC), and the Saint Paul College Common Learning Outcomes (CLOs). The academic content and outcomes are common to all faculty members who teach the course. Credits requested shall conform to the federal credit hour definition as specified in Part 2. Subpart A.

Subpart B. eDissemination of information to faculty. It is the responsibility of the Dean or designee (e.g., faculty chair) to direct faculty members to the Common Learning Outcomes

(CLO). As a minimum, all faculty are expected to follow the CLOs identified with their course.

Subpart C. Dissemination of information to students. Common course outlines shall be available to students through the College website.

Subpart D. Delivery of courses. All faculty teaching the same course are expected to address, at minimum, the learning outcomes outlined regardless of mode of delivery.


Reference: Minnesota State 3.36.1; Federal Register Department of Education §34 CFR 600.2

Date:081718 Rev.1

Review Date: 081723​

Review Date


Policy Status