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Credit Hour Definition

In accordance with Federal Government guidelines, Westfield State University defines the credit hour as:

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 additional hours of 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.

In accordance with federal guidelines and commonly accepted practices in higher education, Westfield operates on a 50-minute hour for definition (1) as it relates to direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two additional hours per week for definition (2) as it relates to other non-direct instructional activities (laboratory, studio, etc…).  Please see the policy on “Internship, Practicum, and Field Placements” which defines the minimum required student participation hours necessary for credit hours to be earned.

Approved All-College Committee December 1, 2011

Approved University President December 3, 2011