Credit to Clock Hour Policy

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 16 week semesters (Fall and Spring), a 3 week J-Term, and one 8 week summer session
    • A 16 week semester can include 16 weeks of general instruction.
    • Within the 16 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 instruction with a minimum of two nominal hours of out of class student work (homework and application) each week for approximately 16 weeks for one semester for a total of 48 Clock Hours.
Laboratory Laboratory, Studio, Seminar One credit equals three nominal hours of laboratory/studio work (1:48) with little or no out of class student work each week for approximately 16 weeks for one semester or 48 Clock Hours OR one credit equals two nominal hours of laboratory/studio work (1:32) with a minimum of one nominal hour of out of class student work each week for approximately 16 weeks for one semester for a total of 48 Clock Hours.
Experiential Practicum, Capstone, Internship, Clinical, Directed Study, Travel Study One credit shall be awarded for a minimum of 48 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.

Distance Education

Credit hours awarded from courses taught via distance education follow the same rules when determining the number of credit hours awarded for all distance education courses. Direct faculty interaction can be achieved in many ways in an online environment. Examples include: use of online meeting tools, online journaling or blogs, discussion-forum posts, online exams/quizzes, recorded lectures or use of voiceover Microsoft PowerPoint presentations, online collaborative study or project-based learning groups, etc.

The following* time estimates will help to ensure credit-hour compliance:

Pedagogical Technique Average Time Per Instance
Quiz 20 minutes each
Exam 50 minutes each
Midterm or Final 60 minutes each
Informal Writing Assignment 15 minutes per page (250 words)
Formal Writing Assignment 30 minutes per page (250 words)
Textbook Reading 8 minutes per page (250 words)
Reading of Linked Article/Paper 10 minutes per page (250 words)
Listen to or Watch Lined Audio/Video 15 minutes each
Listen to or Watch Webinar 50 minutes each
Complete a Guided Lab Expercise 50 minutes each
Complete a Virtual Field Observation 60 minutes each
Complete a Guided Field Observation 60 minutes each
Complete a Game/Simulation 30 minutes each
Complete a Tutorial/Module 30 minutes each
Watch/Make Synchronous Presentations 30 minutes each
Make a Blog Entry 10 minutes each
Participate in a Chat Room or Forum Discussion 30 minutes each
Study or Assignment Group Presentation 40 minutes each
Online Meeting or Office Hours with Instructor 20 minutes each

*chart quoted from Dickinson State University, 2016 HLC Conference

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.

Credit to Clock Hour Addendum

Application Timeframe:  Fall 2021 through Fall 2022

Rationale and Application:

The Electrical Construction & Maintenance Program is externally approved by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry.  Due to this external approval, graduates of the Electrical Construction & Maintenance Program are allowed to apply their hours of formal Dunwoody instruction to one year of credit toward their industry journeyman. The Department of Labor and Industry requires a specific number of hours of instruction be included in the Dunwoody program in order for this approval.  With the conversion from 18 weeks of instruction to 16 weeks of instruction, 45 minutes will need to be added to each day of instruction (4 hours of instruction per week) in order to meet the Department of Labor and Industry instructional hour requirement. This addition of 45 minutes per day will be added to the laboratories.  This addendum will apply to Fall 2021, Spring 2022 and Fall 2022 ELEC courses. Then the new 16 week academic plan will be in full force.