Academic Programs

Academic Philosophy

Dunwoody College teaches problem solving and critical thinking along with practical, real-world skills that are much sought after by business and industry. It’s a rigorous style of hands-on, applied learning that requires discipline and personal responsibility. The emphasis is on understanding the basic theory and skills in lecture courses and then getting practice applying those skills in hands-on lab work with labs and shops that use equipment and processes that mirror what is found in industry.

The College also fosters such values as work ethic, teamwork, and punctuality. It prepares graduates to enter the diverse, performance-oriented, and modern workplace by requiring students to take Arts & Sciences courses in addition to technical curriculum.

This applied approach to learning has been part of Dunwoody since its founding in 1914 and was championed by the College’s first director Charles Prosser, who is known as the father of vocational education in the United States.

Degree Offerings

Dunwoody offers certificate, Associate in Applied Science, and Bachelor degree programs.

Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) and Certificates

Dunwoody offers a variety of two year AAS degrees which include technical and Arts & Sciences courses and prepare students for a career in a specific industry. A variety of certificate programs are also offered some of which are stackable.

Baccalaureate Degrees

Dunwoody offers bachelor degree completion programs as well as stand-alone Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Architecture.

Alternate Course Formats

Various delivery methods can be used for some Arts & Sciences and technical courses. Students may need to connect with the instructor on the first day of the course in order to determine access, navigation, participation, and course requirements. Students are expected to adhere to time frames as dictated by the course syllabus. Standard drop/add deadline and time frames for withdrawing apply to all types of delivery.

Directed study is granted only under specific circumstances.

Statutory Requirements

Federal Program Integrity – 2011

Definition of a Credit Hour (600.2)

"(1) One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and 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 the 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."

For Certificate Programs eligible for clock-to-credit hour conversion [668.8(k)(1)&(l)] "A semester hour must include at least 37.5 clock hours of instruction." Exception provided allowing a lesser rate of conversion based on additional student work outside of class. The institution’s student work outside of class combined with the clock hours of instruction must meet or exceed the numeric requirements of the standard conversion minimum. If the exception is implemented, the conversion parameter for hours in class is reduced to “A semester hour must include at least 30 clock hours of instruction."

General Principles

  1. The academic year will be two 18 week semesters and one 9 week summer session
    • An 18 week semester can include 18 weeks of general instruction.
    • Within the 18 weeks is included time for experiential learning activities such as the Phoenix Challenge for Printing and Skills USA competition open to all Dunwoody programs and students.
  2. The credit hour will be calculated on a 50 minute nominal hour. Scheduling of classes will be made on a 55 minute clock hour to accommodate for instructional time lost due to the scheduled holidays within an academic year.

Credit Allocation by Category

The following categories will be used to assign credits 

Category Delivery Methods Definition
Lecture Face-to-Face, Distance, Hybrid1 One credit equals one nominal hour in combination of face-to-face or distance/hybrid instruct ion with a minimum of two nominal hours of out of class student work (homework and application) each week for approximately 18 weeks for one semester for a total of 54 Clock Hours.
Laboratory Laboratory, Studio, Seminar One credit equals three nominal hours of laboratory/studio work (1:54) with little or no out of class student work each week for approximately 18 weeks for one semester or 54 Clock Hours or One credit equals two nominal hours of laboratory/studio work (1:36) with a minimum of one nominal hour of out of class student work each week for approximately 18 weeks for one semester for a total of 54 Clock Hours.
Experiential Practicum, Capstone, Internship, Clinical, Directed Study, Travel Study One credit shall be awarded for a minimum of 54 Clock Hours in combination of experiential learning, instruction and out of class student work as indicated on the course syllabus.
Combination Lecture/Lab, Lecture/Studio, Lecture/Practicum, Etc. Consistent with Dunwoody’s Instructional Delivery Model, a combination of the categories may be used. In some cases, laboratory or studio may replace homework time, allowing in class time for application and competency demonstration

Dunwoody Instructional Delivery Model

Dunwoody College of Technology has a long history of applied, hands on learning. Although a variety of instructional delivery methods are used to meet the students’ instructional needs, the most common delivery method is still hands on application. The standard instructional model is lecture followed by application with demonstrated competency. As such a combination of lecture/lab is the most common form of delivery.

Definition of Delivery Methods


A lecture is formal instruction, conducted on or off campus by the instructor, applying any combination of instructional methods. This definition is applicable only when the course organization requires that the instructor bear the primary responsibility for the instructional activity and is directly involved with all students in the class. Students are expected to work on out-of-class assignments on a regular basis over the length of the course.


Department of Education Definition

Distance education means education that uses one or more of the following technologies:

  1. to deliver instruction to students who are separated from the instructor
  2. to support regular and substantive interaction between the students and the instructor, synchronously or   asynchronously

The technologies used may include:

  1. the internet
  2. one way and two way transmissions through open broadcast, closed circuit, cable, microwave, broadband lines, fiber optics, satellite, or wireless communications devices
  3. audio conferencing
  4. videocassettes, DVDs, and CD-ROMS, if the videocassettes, DVDs or CD-ROMs are used in conjunction with any of the technologies listed in clauses (1) through (3)
Higher Learning Commission Definition of Course and Program

Distance-delivered courses are those in which all or the vast majority (typically 75% or more) of the instruction and interaction occurs via electronic communication, correspondence, or equivalent mechanisms, with the faculty and students physically separated from each other.

Distance-delivered programs are those certificate and degree programs in which 50% or more of the required courses may be taken as distance-delivered courses.

Dunwoody Definition for Distance Learning

Distance Learning Program = 50% or more of the total program content (total hours and courses) delivered via distance learning. This means that 50% or more of the content delivered in the program is delivered to students who are separated from the instructor and technology is used to support regular and substantive interaction between the students and the instructor, synchronously or asynchronously. The same 50% or more rule applies to courses where 50% or more of the course content is offered through the use of technology with the student separate from the instructor, with interaction supplemented by technology.

50% or more of a course/program with the instructor/student separated = distance learning

49% or less of a course/program with the instructor/student separated = not distance learning


Hybrid courses will have a mix of distance and face-to-face instruction. The hybrid classification directs that the students and instructor are in the same physical space for more than 50% of the instructional time with the remainder of the instructional time provided through distance education as defined above.


A laboratory is an educational experience where students conduct experiments, develop skills, or practice procedures under the supervision of a faculty member.


A studio is an educational environment where students work on individual or group projects under the guidance of a faculty member. Projects may vary in scope, content and length.


A seminar has the function of bringing together a group of students, under the guidance of an instructor, for recurring meetings, focusing each time on a particular subject related to their program’s field of study. Active participation by the student is required. The seminar provides an opportunity for readings or practical problems to be discussed, debated or questioned.

Experiential Delivery Methods

These delivery methods take place at an alternative facility or off campus, such as an internship, travel study or clinical, and cannot comprise more than 25% of the overall program requirements, which includes both Technical and Arts & Sciences courses.


A practicum is an educational experience replicating what a student would do on-the-job; applying previous or concurrent knowledge guided by an instructor where the student demonstrates content proficiency of a specific area within a program of study.


A capstone is a major project related to a student’s area of study that demonstrates a student’s overall content knowledge of the program outcomes. The student has a faculty member set as the advisor for the project.


An internship is a supervised educational work experience, located on or off campus at a work site where a faculty member monitors and provides final assessment.


A clinical applies only to Health Sciences & Technology programs. This type of credit is awarded to a student assigned to a clinical experience off-campus in which the student is under constant supervision by a clinical instructor. The clinical experience will typically be in a healthcare setting such as a hospital, clinic or nursing home. The clinical instructor may be a practicing clinician in the field of study or faculty member of the College. Students should receive individual instruction and critique in their performance. The faculty member coordinating the clinical experience provides the final grade for each student based in part on input from the clinical instructor.


A directed study is a course in which the student must meet a specific set of objectives (leading to the successful completion of a course competency) agreed upon by the instructor and the student. The course requires one-on-one instructional conferences.


Travel study is an educational experience that combines travel and cultural study as a main competency within the student’s program of study.

Core Abilities

Dunwoody College of Technology believes that there are certain abilities and attributes every student graduating from a Dunwoody program should demonstrate regardless of their field of study. They are integral to success in the workforce and emulate the overarching mission, vision and values of the College. These abilities and attributes will be taught, encouraged, and assessed throughout their program of study, both in Arts & Science and Technical classes. Every Dunwoody graduate will be able to:


Criteria include:

  1. Perform technically appropriate computations
  2. Calculate using information from graphs and charts
  3. Compute applied calculations
  4. Conduct measurements properly
  5. Use formulas to conduct calculations

Communicate Effectively (Tied to All Values)

Criteria include:

  1. Demonstrate active listening skills
  2. Consider audience and adapt communication
  3. Use technology to communicate effectively
  4. Write/render clearly, concisely, and accurately
  5. Speaks clearly, concisely, and accurately
  6. Use non-verbal responses in a professional manner
  7. Produce accurate technical documentation
  8. Apply correct source citations


Criteria include:

  1. Take responsibility for his/her own learning and actions
  2. Choose ethical courses of action
  3. Complete quality work without supervision
  4. Exhibit respect for people and property
  5. Demonstrate civic responsibilities
  6. Demonstrate professional behavior
  7. Cope with change effectively


Criteria include:

  1. Analyze observed data in a creative way to make decisions
  2. Apply scientific process to solve problems
  3. Refine plans based on feedback
  4. Combine ideas or information in new ways
  5. Identify goals, generate alternatives, gather information, weigh pros and cons, and choose best alternative


Criteria include:

  1. Use tools associated with your discipline proficiently
  2. Exhibit flexibility and receptivity through changing technologies
  3. Distinguish when technology is useful or not useful in your career field


Criteria include:

  1. Demonstrate respect for the opinions, customs, and individual differences of others
  2. Display an appreciation for various forms of cultural expressions
  3. Appreciate social contributions by people of diverse populations


Criteria include:

  1. Contribute to a group with ideas, suggestions and effort
  2. Work toward agreements  which involves exchanging resources
  3. Understand group dynamics
  4. Take individual ownership in a collaborative environment
  5. Provide and accept constructive feedback

Academic Plan

The academic plan is a degree progress tracking tool that displays both Arts & Sciences and Technical course requirements for a program, of which the student is currently enrolled. The academic plan shows what has been completed, what is in progress, and what is left to do in order to satisfy academic requirements for graduation.

The academic plan also has a ‘What If’ feature, that allows for a student to view how completed courses will satisfy requirements of other programs, of which the student may not yet be enrolled.

Students should monitor their progress toward their declared degree or certificate path using the academic plan on my.dunwoody. This plan may also be used by faculty, program managers/deans, and Student Affairs advisors in advising sessions.