two students walking outside a building on campus

Definition of Student Credit Hour

Washburn University conforms to the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) proposed definition of a student credit hour which states: “For every credit hour awarded for a course, the student is typically expected to complete approximately one hour of classroom instruction, online interaction with course material, or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two additional hours of student work each week for approximately 15 weeks for one semester or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time.” This credit hour definition is to be included in the Master Syllabus attached to each course syllabus. However, not all academic activities precisely match this definition (e.g., internships, student teaching, laboratory work, online courses, study abroad, and independent study). In such credit-bearing activities, the amount of student work required per credit hour will match as closely as possible the standard definition as defined above.

  1. Internship/Externship/Practicum
    1 Credit Hour = A minimum of three hours per week engaged in the supervised field placement for 15 weeks or equivalent over the course of a term for the average student.
  2. Independent Study
    1 Credit Hour = Meet with faculty member and/or engage in related academic activity for 3 hours per week for 15 weeks or equivalent over the course of a term for the average student.
  3. Study Abroad
    Students who enroll for semester- or year-long study abroad experiences are awarded credit based on the standard definition of a credit hour provided by CHEA.
  4. Faculty-Led Travel Course
    A faculty-led travel course is a credit-bearing course in which the majority of the academic work is accomplished through group study and travel external to the Washburn University campus. Normally, short-term programs are arranged for 1 to 3 credit hours. Typical activities included in determining the credit hours awarded for faculty-led travel courses are: pre-trip academic and cultural awareness sessions; on-site formal/structured learning; immersion activities; cultural interactions; group and individual reflection activities; student presentations; and service learning projects. Determination of the number of credit hours granted is based on the standard definition of a student credit hour espoused by the university (completion of approximately one hour of classroom instruction, online interaction with course material, or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two additional hours of student work each week for approximately 15 weeks for one semester or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time).
  5. Online/Hybrid Class
    Online and hybrid courses must meet the same credit hour requirements as face-to-face courses. Online and hybrid courses must account for a minimum of 3 hours per week per credit hour for 15 weeks or equivalent over the course of a term for the average student. Course hours should involve faculty-led activities and engagement pertinent to the content of the course. Outcomes and assignments across multiple modes of teaching must be equivalent.
  6. Laboratory Course
    1 Credit Hour = A minimum of two (2) class hours of work each week in a laboratory under the supervision of a lab supervisor/instructor and an expectation of one (1) class hour of additional out-of-class student work each week.
  7. Credit for Prior Learning
    Credit for Prior Learning is awarded in accordance with the HLC criteria for accreditation, American Council on Education (ACE) and the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) Standards, and the CPL quality check list as recommended in the Kansas Credit for Prior Learning Handbook (April, 2016)

Note: As studio and ensemble work varies between fine art disciplines, assignment of credit hours should be according to discipline standards and/or accreditation criteria while meeting the main CHEA standard adopted by the University.