The following definitions will help you interpret college regulations and understand academic requirements:
Credit hour: A credit hour is a unit of measure that gives value to the level of instruction, academic rigor and time requirement for a course taken at an educational institution. At its most basic, a credit hour is a proxy measure of a unit of student learning. The definition of a credit hour will establish a basis for measuring eligibility for federal funding. Alternative methods of measuring student learning may be utilized as long as they result in institutional equivalencies that reasonably approximate the definition of a credit hour for federal purposes.
Concordia complies with the 2011 federal definition of the credit hour as stated in 75 FR 66832 Regulation 600.2, Program Integrity Issues:
Federal Credit Hour Definition: A credit hour is 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 15 weeks for one semester or trimester hour of credit, or 10-12 weeks for one quarter hour of credit, 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 activities as established by an institution, including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading toward to the award of credit hours. (Higher Learning Commission, 2011)
The above federal definition includes several important components that Concordia has further defined below:
- An hour of instruction:
- One credit hour of instruction is 50-60 minutes of scheduled academic engagement.
- The number of weekly hours of instruction is defined by the number of credit hours for the course.
- For each hour of faculty-directed instruction, there should be a minimum of two hours of additional student academic work each week.
- A week of instruction:
A week of instruction must contain at least one day of scheduled academic engagement.
- A semester of instruction:
A semester of instruction contains approximately 15 weeks of instruction or equivalent academic engagement.
- Equivalent academic engagement:
- Equivalent academic engagement may be substituted for scheduled classroom instruction when appropriate and as long as the learning outcomes and/or requirement for number of hours and weeks of instruction are met.
- Equivalent academic engagement may include laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, independent study, music lessons, and other academic work that leads to the awarding of credit hours and meets the federal and institutional requirements.
- Alternate delivery formats: Classes that do not have the required face-to-face contact time (for example, asynchronous or hybrid courses) meet the credit hour standard by accomplishing one of the following criteria:
- The course meets the same learning outcomes as a face-to-face version of the same course and has been reviewed by the department/program.
- The course has been evaluated by the department/program and curricular committees, and the department/program and committees have approved the credit to be awarded. Approval must be documented.
Grades: Grades are indicated by letters, using the traditional method of describing the quality of work in a course. See the following chart for how letter grades are interpreted in terms of quality and grade points. Policy for assigning grades is at the discretion of the individual instructor.
Change of Grade: Once a grade is recorded on a student transcript, it becomes part of the institutional record and can be changed only to correct an error in the original grade computation or in cases where there has been a violation of academic integrity. A grade change cannot be made because required (or additional) coursework has been turned in after the end of the term. A grade change can be made by the instructor of record for a course or be made with approval of the chief academic officer, if the instructor of record is not available. A change of grade may not be made more than one year after the grade was officially recorded in the Registrar’s Office.
A student who wishes to appeal a grade may appeal to the department chair or program director, who, in consultation with the faculty member and one or two other faculty members agreeable to the student, will determine whether the grade should be changed. Appeals must be submitted no later than midsemester following the semester in which the grade was assigned. Students seeking an appeal of the academic department/program decision may bring a petition to the dean of the college or designee.
Grade Points: Grade points are the numerical measure of the quality of work. Each grade received is assigned the value indicated on the chart below. The grade points earned in a single course are determined by multiplying the numerical equivalent of the letter grade by the number of semester credits for the course.
|S||passing grade (S-U course)||01|
|U||failing grade (S-U course)||01|
|IP||in progress||0 1|
Grades that do not affect the grade point average.
Grade Point Average (GPA): The Concordia College cumulative grade point average is determined by dividing the total number of grade points earned in all Concordia courses by the total number of semester credits attempted while at Concordia. A GPA of 2.0 is the same as a C average, 3.0 is a B average, etc. Transfer grades are not included in the Concordia College GPA calculation.
Incomplete Grade: A grade of I is a temporary indicator that your work is satisfactory as far as completed and that credit may be earned upon completion of all course requirements. The grade of I is issued only when you have missed examinations or failed to complete course assignments because of serious and prolonged illness or other unavoidable emergencies. It is your responsibility to consult the teacher and initiate the grade of I and the makeup work. If justified, an I grade is awarded by the instructor. The instructor will indicate course requirements to be completed, date by which requirements will be completed and received by the instructor (no later than the eighth week of the following semester), and the course grade which will be recorded should the student fail to meet all conditions of the agreement.
If an I has been automatically converted to an F or another assigned default grade, the student may request to complete the necessary coursework. This may only be permitted at the instructor’s discretion and must be completed within one year, which is in accordance with the grade change policy. The student may not complete coursework after that time.
If three or more incompletes have accumulated, permission to enroll in any new courses the following semester will be withheld until you have met with a member of the Student Academic Performance and Procedures Committee to discuss and establish a plan for removing the incompletes and until substantial progress has been made in finishing the incompletes. The final dates for removal of incompletes and conditions are given in the college calendar; they are the dates after which the registrar cannot accept revisions of I grades given the preceding semester.
In Progress Grade: A grade of “IP” is a temporary indicator that credit may be earned upon satisfactory completion of the coursework.
Major: In order to graduate from Concordia, students must complete a specified amount of work in an approved major area of study and must maintain at least a C average (2.0 GPA) in these courses. A minimum of 50 percent of the major requirements must be Concordia coursework. Concordia coursework includes all delivery methods including on-campus, online, and study away courses for which a student registers and pays tuition at Concordia. Each major must contain at least 24 distinct semester credits regardless of the size of the major. A student cannot double major or major and minor in two areas with the same programmatic prefix.
Minor: A minor is not required for graduation. A minor, like a major, is in a concentrated field but requires fewer semester credits. Minors are available in most areas where a major is given and in some areas for which a major is not offered. Requirements for minors are also listed in the department entries. At least a C average (2.0 GPA) must be maintained and a minimum of 40 percent of the minor requirements must be Concordia coursework. Concordia coursework includes all delivery methods including on-campus, online, and study away courses for which a student registers and pays tuition at Concordia. Each minor must contain at least 12 distinct semester credits.
Undergraduate Certificates: An Undergraduate Academic Certificate Program is a grouping of three to four courses (3 to 4 credits each) and 12-16 credits total in a focused topic. A certificate is not required for graduation. A minimum of a C average (2.0 GPA) must be maintained in an Undergraduate Academic Certificate Program. At least 8 credits used to complete an Undergraduate Academic Certificate Program must be unique from any major, minor, or other Undergraduate Academic Program Certificate.
Part of Term: Terms may be divided into Parts of Term. Part of Term II and Part of Term III in the fall and spring semesters are each held over an eight-week period.
Senior College Credit: This is credit given for a course numbered 300 or above.