Credit Hours and Transfer

Definition of Semester Credit Hour and Length of Semester Term

  • Read the entire directive:
  • An ad hoc group was formed to examine the Ohio Board of Regents' existing definition of the duration of a semester. The group recognized that federal financial aid regulations already provide a definition and recommends using that established national guideline. The group also concluded that the current definition of a semester credit rests implicitly on the concept of the credit hour more than on the number of weeks or days in a semester. Consequently, the group preconceived its task as defining the semester credit hour and proceeded using the following guidelines:
  • An institution's semester calendar will not violate any accreditation regulations, federal guidelines, etc.
  • An institution's semester calendar will facilitate the attainment of The University System of Ohio goals, including the transfer process.
  • A semester credit hour will mean the same throughout The University System of Ohio.
  • Because the credit hour is the basis on which all degrees are awarded and credits are transferred among schools within and outside of Ohio, the definition of the credit hour should be consistent with current practice. At the same time, the definition should be flexible enough to accommodate alternative modes of instruction that may not yet exist. We believe that the following definition achieves both those goals.

Semester Credit Hour Definition

  • One semester credit hour will be awarded for a minimum of 750 minutes of formalized instruction that typically requires students to work at out-of-class assignments an average of twice the amount of time as the amount of formalized instruction (1,500 minutes). It is acknowledged that formalized instruction may take place in a variety of modes.
  • While awarding semester credit hours typically occurs for instruction delivered in accordance with an institution's standard semester calendar, it may also occur for instruction that may not follow the typical pattern of an institution's standard semester calendar as long as the criteria for awarding such credit is met.

Semester Length Definition

  • The length of a semester shall consist of no fewer than 15 calendar weeks and no more than 17 calendar weeks of instructional time. The inclusion of breaks or holidays within any particular semester shall be at the discretion of the institution so long as the institution is in compliance with the criteria that defines a week of instructional time, and is in compliance with the criteria for awarding semester credit hours.
  • Concluding Note: The ad hoc group wishes to echo the Ohio Board of Regents' memo of February 4, 2000, defining the length of academic terms. It stresses both the need for flexibility required by new modes of instruction and scheduling and the need for consistency in transferring credit among institutions and equity in awarding subsidy. Ultimately, the responsibility for protecting the academic integrity of curricula, programs, and schedules rests upon the judgment of the chief academic officers of Ohio's colleges and universities within The University System of Ohio.

Further clarification: The Ohio Board of Regents has defined one semester credit hour as 750 minutes of instruction. Sinclair’s semesters will be comprised of 15 weeks of instruction (and one week of evaluation).

The number of credits which should be awarded for the completion of courses in associate degree programs is determined as follows:

Classroom hour: 50 minutes of formalized instruction.

One credit shall be awarded for each classroom hour scheduled in the standard week of the semester.

Laboratory hour: 50 minutes of educational activity with students conducting experiments, perfecting skills, or practicing procedures under the direction of a faculty member.

One credit shall be awarded for three lab hours per standard week for which little or no out-of-class study is required.

One credit shall be awarded for two lab hours per standard week if supplemented by out-of-class assignments which would average one hour of out-of-class study.

Clinical laboratory hour: (applies only to health technology programs) 50 minute period during which students are assigned to lab sections which meet at a health-related agency and are directly supervised by faculty.

Credit hours are awarded on the same basis as laboratory hours.

Directed practice hour: (applies primarily to programs in health technologies) 60 minute period during which a student is assigned to practice experiences under constant supervision at an external agency. Faculty member coordinating the experience conducts at least one lecture session each week for participating students, provides the final grade and visits the students at least once a week.

One credit hour shall be awarded for five clock hours per week.

Practicum hour: on or off campus work experience integrated with academic instruction, coordinated by a faculty member who visits the student at least once biweekly, provides the final grade, and teaches at least one class on campus. Students enrolled in a practicum shall also be enrolled in an on-campus seminar.

One credit hour shall be awarded for seven clock hours per week.

Cooperative work experience: on or off-campus paid employment that augments formal classroom instruction. It is coordinated by a faculty member who visits the job site at least once during the semester and assigns the course grade to the student after consultation with the employer. Each student must be enrolled in an on-campus seminar.

One credit hour shall be awarded for ten clock hours of cooperative work experience per week.

Field Experience: planned, paid work activity which relates to a student’s occupational objectives. With permission of faculty, replaces elective or required courses in a student’s associate degree program. Coordinated like cooperative work experience.

One credit hour shall be awarded for twelve clock hours of Field Experience per week.

Note: A maximum of 9 semester hours may be earned in a practicum, a field experience, or a cooperative work experience or any combination of the three over the associate degree program.

Ensuring transferability:

Every effort should be made to maximize transferability of credits. It is recommended that department chairs and faculty collaborate with their counterparts at Wright State University and other four year institutions of interest to our graduates when planning curriculum redesign. It will also be essential that TAG and C-TAG courses and programs receive full consideration.

Transfer of Credit

To make sure that credits from another institution transfer efficiently to Sinclair, follow these steps:

  1. Request Official Transcripts contact all previously attended colleges/universities and request that official transcripts be sent directly to:
    Sinclair Community College
    Registration & Student Records
    444 West Third Street
    Dayton, Ohio 45402
    Upon receipt of a student’s transcript, the Sinclair Student Records department will notify the student via U.S. mail. Within 15 business days of receipt the Student Records department will equate the transferred courses to Sinclair courses. When this is complete, a full report of these equivalencies will be sent to the student in the mail.
  2. Meet With An Academic Advisor Students then meet with an academic advisor, Third Floor, Building 11, Room 11346, or call (937) 512-3700 to schedule an appointment for an explanation of how credits transfer. Advisors will work with students to determine which courses to take for the degree programs. If all transcripts have not been received by Sinclair prior to meeting with advisors, students are encouraged to bring an unofficial transcript from previously attended college(s).
  3. Register For Classes Conditions for Transfer Admission1. Ohio residents with associate degrees from state assisted institutions and a completed, approved Transfer Module shall be admitted to a state institution of higher education in Ohio, provided their cumulative grade point average is at least 2.0 for all previous college level courses. Further, these students shall have admission priority over out-ofstate associate degree graduates and transfer students.
  4. When students have earned associate degrees but have not completed a Transfer Module, they will be eligible for preferential consideration for admission as transfer students if they have grade point averages of at least a 2.0 for all previous college level courses.
  5. In order to encourage completion of the baccalaureate degree, students who are not enrolled in an A.A. or A.S. degree program but have earned 60 semester or 90 quarter hours or more of credit toward a baccalaureate degree with a grade point average of at least a 2.0 for all previous college level courses will be eligible for preferential consideration for admission as transfer students.
  6. Students who have not earned an A.A. or A.S. degree or who have not earned 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours of credit with a grade point average of at least a 2.0 for all previous college level courses are eligible for admission as transfer students on a competitive basis.
  7. Incoming transfer students admitted to a college or university shall compete for admission to selective programs, majors, and units on an equal basis with students native to the receiving institution. Admission to a given institution, however, does not guarantee that a transfer student will be automatically admitted to all majors, minors, or fields of concentration at the institution. Once admitted, transfer students shall be subject to the same regulations governing applicability of catalog requirements as native students. Furthermore, transfer students shall be accorded the same class standing and other privileges as native students on the basis of the number of credits earned. All residency requirements must be completed at the receiving institution.

Acceptance of Transfer Credit
To recognize courses appropriately and provide equity in the treatment of incoming transfer students and students native to the receiving institution, transfer credit will be accepted for all successfully completed college level courses completed in and after fall 2005 from Ohio state assisted institutions of higher education. Students who successfully completed A.A. or A.S. degrees prior to fall 2005 with a 2.0 or better overall grade point average would also receive credit for all college level course they have passed. (See Ohio Articulation and Transfer Policy, Definition of Passing Grade and Appendix D) While this reflects the baseline policy requirement, individual institutions may set equitable institutional policies that are more accepting. Pass/fail courses, credit by examination courses, experiential learning courses, and other non-traditional credit courses that meet these conditions will also be accepted and posted to the student record.

Responsibilities of Students
In order to facilitate transfer with maximum applicability of transfer credit, prospective transfer students should plan a course of study that will meet the requirements of a degree program at the receiving institution. Students should use the Transfer Module, Transfer Assurance Guides, and Course Applicability System for guidance in planning the transfer process. Specifically, students should identify early in their collegiate studies an institution and major to which they desire to transfer. Furthermore, students should determine if there are language requirements or any special course requirements that can be met during the freshman or sophomore year. This will enable students to plan and pursue a course of study that will articulate with the receiving institution’s major. Students are encouraged to seek further information regarding transfer from both their advisor and the college or university to which they plan to transfer.

Appeals ProcessFollowing the evaluation of a student transcript from another institution, the receiving institution shall provide the student with a statement of transfer credit applicability. At the same time, the institution must inform the student of the institution’s appeals process. The process should be multi-level and responses should be issued within 30 days of the receipt of the appeal.