Credit Hour Definitions

Ohio Christian University generally follows the Federal Definition of Credit Hour as measured in seat time and equivalent learning.  The traditional program relies primarily on the seat time measurement of credit hour, while the non-traditional program relies on the learning outcomes equivalent to those in standard courses. 

 Traditional Classes

Most courses follow the Federal Definition for hours of class time, with two hours of homework expected for every hour spent in class: Courses during the fall and spring semester run for 14 weeks.

  • One Credit Hour: Meets for 55 minutes per week
  • Two Credit Hours: Meets for 110 minutes per week
  • Three Credit Hours: Meets for 160 minutes per week, usually 80 minutes twice a week but some courses meet only once a week
  • Four Credit Hours: Meets for 220 minutes per week

In the summer, classes are condensed to three weeks, but the the same amount of classroom time is offered.

Non-Traditional Classes (Face to Face and Online)

Courses for adult learners (on site and online) can be accelerated because adults come with experiences and skills enabling them to focus on one class at a time and accomplish equivalent learning in a shorter amount of time.  The majority of undergraduate courses are three credits that meet four hours per week for five weeks. A few courses are worth one credit and meet three weeks or two credits and meet four weeks. Some of the quantitative courses are three credits and meet six weeks.  The Council for Accelerated Learners has over 200 schools that follow a similar practice, most of which are also regionally accredited.    Based on curricular expectations (including interaction with instructors, group work, and individual assignments and study) students are expected to be engaged a minimum of 12 hours per week for a 3-credit hour course.  For many courses the engagement time is much higher since it takes students longer to achieve the  learning objectives.

The majority of graduate courses are three credits that meet six weeks. A few courses are worth one credit and meet three weeks.  The average expected engagement per formal week of the course is 15 hours for a 3-credit hour course.

Hybrid Classes

Hybrid classes are half face-to-face and half online. Therefore, for a three-credit traditional class, students meet once per week for 80 minutes. The remainder of students’ work (e.g., discussions, group work, homework) is accomplished online or independently. The learning outcomes for these courses are the same as for equivalent classes offered face-to-face.

Credit by Examination

The University accepts undergraduate credit for knowledge demonstrated by examination. Determination of number of credits is made by the recommendation of the certifying agency. Credit is accepted for:

  • The College Level Examination Program (CLEP), a national set of exams on selected topics, offered on a regular schedule. 
  • The DSST tests, a national set of exams approved by the American Council on Education. 
  • The Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education (DANTES) tests, worldwide education supported for the Department of Defense.

Prior Learning Assessment

Students can earn credits through a portfolio process.  These credits can come from a number of different sources, including workshops, seminars, self-study, non-credit classes, training programs, and work experiences.  The University evaluates and grants appropriate credits for the student’s learning (not just the experience) from these sources.  More details are in the Catalog.

Directed Studies

Directed studies are available to traditional and AGS students when a regularly-offered course option is not conducive to the student’s schedule or insufficient number of students are enrolled.  Courses contain the same learning outcomes and assignments as the standard course; however, the facilitator modifies it to fit a one-on-one tutoring model. 

There is no fixed requirement for the amount of faculty and student interaction. Onsite, faculty instruction is accomplished face-to-face, through telephone conferences, or by email. Students make up participation points that would have been earned in the classroom through additional assignments. Faculty interact with the student through the learning management system, through telephone conferences, or by email. Students make up discussion points that would have been earned through peer discussion through additional assignments.

Internships and Practicums

Several programs include a practicum and/or internship. They require the same amount of student engagement time as a traditional course.  The practicum allows a student to observe a professional setting, and students often give some assistance alongside a professional in the field. The internship is often a stand-alone course in which a student is involved in a greater professional role within an organization.  

For a 3 credit hour practicum, the student will serve approximately 84 hours (6 hours per week for 14 weeks), at a professional site.  In addition there will be meetings with a mentor, reflection assignments and other activities to bring the total engagement time to at least 114 hours.  

Sponsored Pastoral Training

Adults entering with completed home study credits, authenticated by their denomination or church leadership, and combined with active ministry experience, may receive one undergraduate credit hour for each course completed. SPT credit is used for general elective credit at the undergraduate level only.

In addition to transcripted course work, receipt of credit hinges upon the student’s participation in Christian Ministry on the following basis:

  • Less than 1 year experience, the total number of credits accepted would not exceed 3
  • 1 to 3 years experience, the total number of credits would not exceed 12
  • More than 3 years experience, the total number of credits would not exceed 24 (for bachelors-level only)

Teacher Education Internship

As required by the State of Ohio, student teachers lead a classroom six hours per day for twelve weeks, in addition to preparation time, and meetings with the supervising teacher and University professor.  They receive twelve semester hours of credit.

Independent Study

Independent study courses require the same amount of student engagement per credit hour as other courses.  Faculty interact with the student through the learning management system, through telephone conferences, or by email. It is expected that students do 3 hours of work per week per credit hour awarded.