The institution publishes and implements policies for determining the amount and level of credit awarded for its courses, regardless of format or mode of delivery.  These policies require oversight by persons academically qualified to make the necessary judgments.  In educational programs not based on credit hours (e.g., direct assessment programs), the institution has a sound means for determining credit equivalencies.  



    Compliance     Non-Compliance     Partial Compliance




North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University has a Course Credit Hour Policy, which provides guidance for determining the amount and level of credit, regardless of format or mode of delivery.  This policy is published with other Approved Academic Policies on the university’s intranet—Aggie Hub.


This policy is consistent with UNC Policy 400.1.6, and provides clear guidance on the ratio of contact time to credits awarded.  The Course Credit Hour Policy addresses face-to-face courses, online courses and hybrid course—highlighted for the reviewers’ convenience.


The policy includes a framework for the application of the credit-award process by

·         adhering to Carnegie unit for contact time and the approval of academic calendars that follow the required number of contact hours per semester;

·         following this policy and the calendar requirements as part of the Curriculum Review process as undertaken by the appropriate faculty committees and approved by the Provost.

Each approved course includes a course description that shares the credit hours earned in completing the course, as in the example attached, taken from the Undergraduate Bulletin, p. 104.


For online courses the policy states:

Online courses must demonstrate an equivalent amount of work and equivalent

SLOs required of the same faculty: student engagement time and SLOs that define the contact hour: credit hour ratios for the different types of courses defined above. For online courses, examples of equivalent work would include, but not be limited to, active faculty engagement with students such as in discussion boards, taking examinations, listening/looking at audiovisual presentations, reviewing linked web sites, reviewing lectures, chats or any other items that engage the student with the instructor online. The act of logging on, in itself, does not demonstrate active faculty engagement with students (p. 3).

The Distance Education Policy states that

All degree programs and individual degree-related courses offered through Distance Education will undergo the same approval process established for all N.C. A&T courses (p. 3).

Further, the institution follows its Substantive Change Compliance Policy, which specifies necessary steps for approval when there are changes to how credits are assessed and earned.  This includes the percentage of credits earned through distance education, coursework completed at different education levels, and courses completed through contractual relationships.


Faculty are fully engaged in the development and approval of new courses and curricula and in the revision of current courses and curricula, including the determination of credits hours to be earned.  The curriculum approval process begins in the academic department and has several layers of approval in the colleges and the faculty senate, and ends with final approval from the Provost.  The signature page that tops each curriculum approval request shows the broad involvement of faculty and faculty representatives.  Further, faculty are involved in reviewing external credit for possible articulation on the student’s record, unless the articulation is already established through a signed articulation agreement.  Articulation agreements are drafted by department chairs working with their faculty and are approved by their deans. 


Where there is no formal articulation agreement, the Chair for the Department that teaches the subject matter completes and signs the Departmental Transfer Credit Evaluation Form for the course to be transferred.  Also, the Department Chair determines the equivalencies for courses taken through the Greater Greensboro Consortium.  So, the process for determining course credits is supervised by many, ranging from the academic department chair to the Provost, who has final approval.


The roles and responsibilities of Department Chairs are addressed in Section 3.3.5 of Chapter III of the Faculty Handbook and includes “curricular and program development.” As part of this responsibility, Chairs follow university policy on course credit, as well as university policies that limit the number of a transfer credits students are allowed.


The primary level of oversight for determining amount and level of credit awarded for its courses is the department chair, all of who a very qualified for their roles.  In departments with multiple degree programs, the chair is supported in this role by the program coordinator.


Supporting Documents:

1.     Course Credit Hour Policy

2.      List of Approved Academic Policies, including Course Credit Hour Policy

3.     UNC Policy 400.1.6

4.     Undergraduate Bulletin, p. 104

5.     Distance Education Policy

6.     Substantive Change Compliance Policy

7.     Signature Page of Curriculum Approval Packets

8.      Signed Articulation Agreement

9.      Departmental Transfer Credit Evaluation Form

10.     Greater Greensboro Consortium Agreement

11.     Faculty Handbook, Chapter III, Section 3.3.5—Responsibilities of Department Chairs