3.17.2 ATCC Credit Hour Policy and Procedure


ATCC credit hours are assigned to conform to commonly accepted practices in higher education. College credit hour assignment complies with the requirements for seeking and participating in Title IV federal financial aid and the accreditation requirements of the Higher Learning Commission. This policy is limited to courses, or assessments, that result in the award of college credit as defined by the federal Department of Education. The policy does not apply to non-credit Customized Training courses.

Federal Definitions of College Credit

An amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than:

  1. One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester 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 this 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.

Delivery Format Specific Policy

Distance Learning – Distance learning courses and hybrid courses that combine distance learning with classroom instruction shall include an equivalent amount of instruction and student work and lead to the same learning outcomes as the same course would if it were taught entirely in the classroom.

Alternative Course Length – Courses taught for terms of shorter or longer duration than fifteen weeks shall include an equivalent amount of instruction and student work and lead to the same learning outcomes as the same course would if they were taught over a traditional semester of approximately fifteen weeks.


  1. After review and recommendation of the college Curriculum Committee, Alexandria Technical & Community College administration is accountable for assigning credit hours that correspond to the quantity of work reasonably expected to be required in order to achieve course learning outcomes.
    1. Individual courses will be approved based on learning outcomes that meet the federal definitions of an approved credit.
    2. All common courses are required to have comparable learning outcomes and assessment of learning that will demonstrate equivalency of the learning expectations. This is achieved through a common standard for course outlines which is managed through Academic Affairs and is published on the college website.
    3. Shop or lab classes are assigned to include two hours of student contact time for each credit and include expectations of learning outside of the scheduled lab that complies with the federal credit hour definition.
  2. Changes in schedules for assigned college classes require approval of college academic administration and will be reflected in ISRS.
  3. All credit courses offered at the college are reviewed annually to be in compliance with this policy.

Approved by: ATCC Leadership Council
Effective Date: 10/18/13
Last Date Revised: 10/18/13