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Policies | Credit Hour Policy

This policy statement conforms to federal regulations and Middle States requirements on the assignment of credit hours for academic work.

Trinity observes the credit hour as defined by the Carnegie unit on the semester system, a generally accepted standard in higher education.  According to this measure, one credit hour represents the equivalent of one 50-minute hour of instruction time over the course of a week (for the duration of a 15 week semester), with expectations of out-of-class time at twice in-class hours.

Trinity Credit Hour Summary:  In a traditional class (lecture, recitation) a semester credit hour is earned for fifteen 50-minute sessions of classroom instruction (contact hours) with two hours of outside study (homework, reading assignments, class preparation).  Traditional lecture classes are typically offered as 3-credit courses meeting three days a week for 50 minutes, two days a week for 75 minutes, or one day a week for 150 minutes.  Trinity also applies this credit hour measure to studio art, gospel choir, and physical education classroom courses (not sports).

Courses involving practical application (such as natural sciences or mathematics) may carry 4 credit hours, which comprises 150 minutes of class time plus laboratory time (one hour and a half for mathematics courses and three hours for natural sciences).

For studio music instruction, weekly half-hour lessons carry one credit; weekly hour lessons carry two credits, with the expectation that practice time will make up time to the Carnegie unit.  A maximum of eight credits of FNAM (Applied Music) courses may be counted toward the 128 credits necessary for graduation. http://www.trinitydc.edu/catalog-15-16/policies-cas/#IV.I

In athletics, students may earn one credit for meetings that follow established practice schedule and intercollegiate competitions during the 15-week semester. Only three credits of athletics may be applied toward a Trinity degree. http://www.trinitydc.edu/catalog-15-16/policies-cas/#IV.H

For practica and internship courses at the baccalaureate level, students must complete a minimum of 100 hours of on-site practicum or internship work across the semester.

Pre-licensure nursing and OTA course policies that differ from institutional policy are approved through Trinity’s faculty governance process. NHP programs submit change requests to the NHP CAP. NHP CAP credit to contact hour ratios are subsequently submitted to UCAP and Trinity’s Provost for final approval.

The School of Nursing and Health Professions offers four programs in the hybrid format.   These programs follow the credit to contact hour guidelines noted in the chart below.

Credit Hour : Contact Hour Ratio
Didactic 1 credit = 60 minutes
Laboratory 1 credit = 180 minutes
Clinical or Fieldwork 1 credit = 180 minutes

For EDU internship classes: In student teaching courses (3 credits), students must total 420 hours of student teaching to be eligible for licensure. In all Counseling programs, students participate in a three-semester clinical rotation. Practicum comprises100 clinical hours, plus 150 minutes in classroom each week for 15 weeks; Internship 1 comprises 300 clinical hours, plus 150 minutes in classroom each week for 15 weeks; Internship 2 comprises 300 clinical hours, plus 150 minutes in classroom each week for 15 weeks. In the Educational Administration program, students also participate in Internships each semester: Internship I comprises 90 clinical hours, plus 90 minutes in classroom each month (for five sessions) and Internship II, III, and IV comprise 90 clinical hours each semester.

Trinity awards TELL (Trinity Experiential Life-Long Learning) credits in its School of Professional Studies (undergraduate programs).  Trinity’s TELL program follows best practices outlined by The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL). http://www.trinitydc.edu/sps/tell-rationale-criteria/


For questions about Trinity policies, please contact the Academic Affairs, Human Resources, or President's Office as appropriate.

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