Credit versus hours

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Abner, Nov 18, 2005.

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  1. Abner

    Abner Active Member

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    How many credits does 81 hours equal? Please advise.



    Thanks,


    Abner
     
  2. decimon

    decimon Active Member

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    Credit hours or quarter hours?

    Credit hours = there ya go.

    Quarter hours = 2/3 of there ya go.
     
  3. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

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    The definition of a credit uint is proved on page 121 of the WASC Handbook.
    http://www.wascsenior.org/wasc/Doc_Lib/2001%20Handbook.pdf

    One semester unit is 40 to 45 hours of class work and preparation.

    So depending on how your hours are obtained you should get about 2 semester units of credit.

    (If these were all classroom hours then you might get up to 5.4 semester units.)
     
  4. decimon

    decimon Active Member

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    You'll likely have to be more specific to get a definitive answer.
     
  5. DesElms

    DesElms New Member

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    Agreed.

    Do you mean 81 clock hours?

    If so, then are you asking how many hours of college credit (expressed, I presume, as both semester-credits and quarter-credits... just to cover all bases) one can earn after 81 clock hours of work?

    If so, are those 81 clock hours sitting in the classroom, or doing homework/preparation, or a combination thereof (and, if a combination, what's the ratio of classroom time to homework/preparation time)?

    And, of course, I assume that, no matter what the ratio, we're talking about 81 hours of bona fide, rigorous, legitimate, college-level work of regionally- or nationally-accredited caliber... right?

    No one can really offer any realistic answers until those things are known... though it seems like Ian's about figured it out.

    That said, assuming the answers to all of the above are either "yes," or "sitting in the classroom," as appropriate, then I had always heard that the numbers went something like this:
    • A "clock hour" is defined as a minimum of 50 minutes of instruction during a 60 minute period.
    • A "quarter" (or "trimester") is an academic period of 10 to 12 weeks; three per regular, late-August-to-mid-May school year, excluding summer sessions or intensives.
    • A "semester" is an academic period of 15 to 18 weeks; two per regular, late-August--to-mid-May school year, excluding summer sessions or intensives.
    • A "quarter credit hour" or "quarter hour" (or "trimester hour") or "quarter credit" is at least 20 clock hours of classroom (or the distance learning/online equivalent) instruction (theory, practical or laboratory) per quarter (or trimester), not including homework/preparation time. So, 20 clock hours of classroom time per quarter (trimester) = 1 quarter-credit. Dividing clock hours per quarter (or trimester) by 20 = quarter-credits.
    • A "semester credit hour" or "semester hour" or "semester credit" is at least 30 clock hours of classroom (or the distance learning/online equivalent) instruction (theory, practical or laboratory); not including homework/preparation time per semester. So, 30 clock hours of classroom time per semester = 1 semester-credit. Dividing clock hours per semester by 30 = semester-credits.
    • The ratio, therefore, of clock-hours-per-quarter-credit to clock-hours-per-semester-credit is 20:30 or 2:3 or 1:1.5; or, as a decimal, .67, or approximately two-thirds semester-credit to one quarter-credit, as decimon said.

      EDIT: Oops! I got "semester" and "quarter" reversed in my head as I typed the latter, behind the semi-colon, in the immediately above. I've now fixed it. My bad. Sorry.
    So, if Abner's 81 clock hours are, indeed, classroom hours, then:
    • 81 clock hours ÷ 20 = 4.05 quarter-credits (should be rounded down to 4)
    • 81 clock hours ÷ 30 = 2.7 semester-credits (could be rounded up to 3)
    and, again, in both cases, that's 81 clock hours of classroom time.

    Without knowing the precise ratio of classroom-time to homework/preparation-time, I don't even know where to begin calculating how many credits are equal to 81 clock hours of combined classroom and homework/preparation time. Maybe Ian's numbers are appropriate for that... I dunno.
     
  6. decimon

    decimon Active Member

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    Re: Re: Credit versus hours

    I did? Wow!
     
  7. DesElms

    DesElms New Member

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    Re: Re: Re: Credit versus hours

    Sure! You wrote:
    • Credit hours = there ya go.

      Quarter hours = 2/3 of there ya go.
    which is essentially the same as my "two-thirds quarter-credit to one semester-credit," no?

    Your way was just more folksy... and, therefore, more appealing.

    My way, on the other hand, had more of a stick up its butt. They don't accuse me of being anally retentive for nothing, you know.

    :)

    EDIT: Oops! I see what you're saying now. See my edit note, in gray, like this one, in my earlier post. This changes nothing, of course. Yours was still folksy, and mine still had a stick up its butt.
     
  8. Abner

    Abner Active Member

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    Thanks to all for your responses. To be more clear, I am asking this question for a friend.

    He has 81 Semester Hours toward his degree from the University of Iowa. He asked me if I knew how many credits that equals.


    Thanks,


    Abner
     
  9. decimon

    decimon Active Member

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    Re: Re: Credit versus hours

    I think this is still up in the air, Abner. We now know it's a semester system so you may get the definitive answer if you can find out how many courses he completed.

    81 semester hours suggests 27 three-credit courses.
     
  10. Abner

    Abner Active Member

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    Re: Re: Re: Credit versus hours


    Thanks Decimon. In speaking with him, I believe your estimate of 27 three-credit courses sounds right or at the very least extremely close. I think he really just wanted a kind of general idea in case he starts shopping around for more credit. I am glad I asked because credits versus hours always kind of confused me. It makes a little more sense now.


    Have a good weekend!


    Abner :)
     
  11. DesElms

    DesElms New Member

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    Well, then... that's a different question, altogether.

    Eighty one semester hours is 81 semester credits... that is, if you're on the "semester hour" system, as I described it in my earlier post. And as decimon calculated, that's 27 three-semester-hour courses (out of a total of 40 courses needed for a typical bachelors degree under the semester-hour system). A bachelors degree based on the semester-hour system is only 120 semester hours of credit... so, assuming all his credits are in the right things, your friend is only 39 hours (13 three-semester hour courses) away from completion... which can be knocked-out in a couple of semesters and maybe a summer session.

    If, on the other hand, you're asking how many quarter-credit (trimester) credits are equal to your friend's 81 semester hours, the ratio of semester-hour-credits to quarter-credits 1:1.5 so 81 semester hours of coursework is equal to 121.5 quarter-credits (or just call it 120 to be conservative), which is around 30 four-quarter-credit courses. That means s/he only has 60 quarter-credits to go for a 180-quarter-credit-hour bachelors... which would be 15 more 4-quarter-credit trimester courses.

    Partially in response to that; but mostly 'cause I just want to finish the overall direction I've gone in this thread so that maybe we'll have something to which we can point others when they have questions about this sort of thing in the future, I was thinking about the whole business of calculating how many actual clock hours a given course requires of a person; and, therefore, how many courses a person dares take, depending on his/her circumstances...


    UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS are usually counseled that for each 1-semester-hour of credit:
    1. they will spend 1 clock hour in class per week; and,
    2. they will spend from 2 to 3 clock hours per week studying on their own (homework/preparation).[/list=1]
      So, therefore, for each 3-semester-hour course:
      1. they will spend 3 clock hours in class per week; and,
      2. they will spend from 6 to 9 clock hours per week studying on their own (homework/preparation).[/list=1]So, that's 9 to 12 clock hours per week, per course, for however many weeks long is the semester. If the semester is 16 weeks long, then they'll spend:
        • ((3 x 16) + ((6-to-9) x 16)) = (48 + (96-to-144)) = 144 to 192 clock hours
        per semester. That's from 144 clock hours of a person's life, to maybe 192 clock hours of a person's life, devoted to just one 3-semester-credit-hour undergraduate-level course.

        Full-time students typically take five 3-semester-credit-hour courses (for a total for a total of 15 semester-credit-hours)... which calculates to a grand total per semester of 720 to 960 clock hours of a person's life in order to earn 15 hours of credit. And that's how much they'd need to earn per semester if they expected to finish the 120-semester-hour bachelors degree in the typical four years.

        To put that into some kind of perspective, in a typical 16-week period (one typical semester's-worth of time), the typical full-time employee will work 40 hours per week, or a total over 16 weeks of only 640 hours... which is from 80 to 320 hours less than the hours a typical full-time undergrad student spends on classroom and study time, combined.

        Four 3-semester-credit-hour undergrad courses (12 semester-credit-hours, total) would take-up from 576 to 768 clock hours of a person's life over 16 weeks. That same person, working full-time (40 hours-per-week) over those same 16 weeks would work 640 clock hours. So, basically, completing 12 semester hours (four 3-semester-hour courses) of undergrad work during one semester is like having a full-time job. If one is capable of working two (2) full-time jobs without wanting to open a vein after a while, then perhaps s/he could work full-time and take 12 semester hours of undergrad coursework in a typical semester.

        Unfortunately, most peoiple can't do that. That's why most undergraduate programs recommend that working students observe these general guidelines:
        • Those working 40 hours per week should take 3 to 6 semester credit hours.
        • Those working 30 hours per week should take 3 to 9 semester credit hours.
        • Those working 20 hours per week should take 6 to 12 semester credit hours.
        • Those working less than 20 hours per week should take 9 to 18 semester credit hours.
        or thereabouts.


        GRADUATE STUDENTS can figure it much the same way as described above, but should calculate using 9 to 12 clock hours per week of study time, instead of the 6 to 9 clock hours that undergrads should use for their calculations.

        That means that a typical graduate student's calculation for a 16-week semester would be:
        • ((3 x 16) + ((9-to-12) x 16)) = (48 + (144-to-192)) = 192 to 240 clock hours
        per semester. That's from 192 clock hours of a person's life, to maybe 240 clock hours of a person's life, devoted to just one 3-semester-credit-hour graduate-level course.

        That's why grad students -- especially if they're working -- are often hard-pressed to take more than one (or maybe two) course(s) per semester; two or three if they're really good; and maybe three or four -- five at the outside -- if they're pretty much full-time students who pretty much don't work at all... and probably aren't married and/or don't have kids, either.

        Three 3-semester-credit-hour grad courses (9 semester-credit-hours, total) would take-up from 576 to 720 clock hours of a person's life over 16 weeks. That same person, working full-time (40 hours-per-week) over those same 16 weeks would work 640 clock hours. So, basically, completing 9 semester hours of grad work during one semester is like having a full-time job. If one is capable of working two (2) full-time jobs without wanting to open a vein after a while, then perhaps s/he could work full-time and take 9 semester hours of graduate coursework in a typical semester. Most people, however, would like to have a life outside work and school. So full-time workers rarely take more than two (2) 3-semester-hour grad courses at a time.

        Okay... I'm all done, now. :)
     
  12. melissa21111

    melissa21111 New Member

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    Just thought I'd let you know you did a great and THOROUGH job explaining this topic!!!!
     
  13. Abner

    Abner Active Member

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    Wow, Thanks Gregg! That what I call a detailed answer! Much appreciated.



    Abner :)
     
  14. Abner

    Abner Active Member

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    I agree Melissa! Gregg is an an excellent resource, a veritable fountain of information! And I am not just saying that to butter him up either.


    Abner :)
     
  15. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

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    You are too!
     
  16. Abner

    Abner Active Member

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    Says the man who can produce a list of hundred schools in a blink of an eye. I fondly like to refer to you as the "Research excavation king"!


    Take care Ted!!!


    Good to hear from you,
    Abner :)
     
  17. BinkWile

    BinkWile New Member

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    I believe you are enquiring about NCU's doctoral programs, which are 81 "credits." They are on a SH system, but since they don't use traditional "semesters" they use the term "credits."

    You can ask them, or look them up on collegeboard, that 2006 ACE guide, etc.

    Additionally, I use the GI Bill for NCU, which has NCU registered as a SH institution.
     
  18. CoachTurner

    CoachTurner New Member

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    Keeping in mind here that sometimes (even often) credits and hours are used synonymously.

    If John Doe has 81 semester hours at Local State University then he can be said to have 81 credit hours that likely transfer to, say, Excelsior College.

    If his 81 hours are on the quarter or trimester system then he'll need to convert them to semester units to transfer to a semester system school.

    Consider, in a traditional and typical 4-year degree program on the semester system (as one might expect from Local State University): 81 semester hours oif credit makes John Doe a second semester Sophomore and just 9 hours (3 classes or so - part of one semester) shy of Junior class level.

    81 semester hours is more than 2/3 of the way through a typical Bachelor's program.

    In a traditional program, John Doe could expect it to take about 3 semesters of full time study to complete his degree with a traditional full time load of 12-18 semester hours per semester.

    In that way, he has completed about 2 1/2 years of college.
     

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