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Comment: Policy restructure and change to create separate class attendance policy.

See also Non-Traditional and Distance Learning Policy.

Class Meetings

The class schedule indicates the required amount of time for each class to meet. The teacher has the privilege of minor variations in the amount of time spent in class but should confer with the department chair/program director or respective dean’s office if regular or substantial deviations from the announced schedule are desired. 

The class schedule is designed to meet federal and state credit hour requirements, and in general provides for 50 minutes of classroom/instructional activity per week per credit/semester hour (e.g., 150 minutes per week for a 3 credit hour (semester hour) 15-week semester course). The class schedule’s design requires that courses meet during the final exam period (100 minutes) in order to achieve the required number of instructional hours.

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Policy

Eastern Mennonite University uses the Carnegie unit to measure semester credit hours awarded to students for course work. A semester credit hour is often measured by the number of hours of academic engagement and preparation (study/homework). At the undergraduate level, the assumption is that students put in 2 hours of study preparation per 1 hour in classroom/instructional activity. Thus, for The graduate assumption is 2.5-3 hours of preparation per hour in classroom/instructional activity.

For courses offered during a regular semester that lasts at least 15 weeks of instruction, a semester credit hour is defined as 15 50-minute periods of academic engagement plus the associated undergraduate or graduate expectation for preparation time. Based on this framework,

  • for one undergraduate credit hour a student is expected to engage

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  • in classroom/instructional activity for 750 minutes or 12.5 hours and engage in additional study for 1,500 minutes or 25 hours; in total this represents 2,250 minutes or 37.5 hours of engagement per credit hour.

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  • for one graduate credit hour a student is expected to engage

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  • in classroom/instructional activity for 750 minutes or 12.5 hours and

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  • engage in additional study for 1,875-2,250 minutes or 31.25-37.5 hours; in total this represents 2,625-3,000 minutes or 43.75-50 hours of engagement per credit hour.

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The university assumes that students will participate in campus-wide learning via the convocation program (required as part of the undergraduate core curriculum), the Academic and Creative Excellence (ACE) Festival, and Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) Study Day as part of the instructional activity that contributes to their overall academic engagement. In particular, participation in the ACE Festival and MLK Study Day is expected and often required as part of the learning activities outlined in course syllabi.

The tables below provide in-class, out-of-class and total engagement expectations for a variety of course scenarios. Note that for EMU programs in Lancaster, PA, Pennsylvania standards require 14 hours of class time per credit hour, excluding final examinations.

View file
nameEMU Credit Hour Calculations Tables.pdf
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EMU Credit Hour Calculations.xlsx

The above university credit hour policy is consistent with the Federal definition of a credit hour articulated as follows:

“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

  1. Not less than one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours out of class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or trimester hour of credit, or ten to twelve 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 outlined in item 1 above 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.”

(SACSCOC Credit Hours Policy Statement)

Class Meetings

The class schedule indicates the required amount of time for each class to meet. The teacher has the privilege of minor variations in the amount of time spent in class but should confer with the department chair/program director or respective dean’s office if regular or substantial deviations from the announced schedule are desired. 

The class schedule is designed to meet federal and state credit hour requirements, and in general provides for 50 minutes of classroom/instructional activity per week per credit/semester hour (e.g., 150 minutes per week for a 3 credit hour (semester hour) 15-week semester course). The class schedule’s design requires that courses meet during the final exam period (100 minutes) in order to achieve the required number of instructional hours.

Final Exams

Classes meet on regular schedule through the last class period. For the undergraduate program final examinations are to be given at the time designated by the university registrar in the final examination schedule prepared each year. The teacher or another faculty member is to be present while an examination is in progress.

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Payments due faculty for administering final examinations out of schedule are paid on June 30. The professor receives 75% of the student charge. See the Non-traditional Learning Policy outlining equivalency of activities to classroom instruction in the case of distance learning.

Class Attendance

Undergraduate

If a student who is not on the official class list attends class or if a student on the roster does not report to class, the teacher should notify the Registrar's Office as soon as possible.

For optimal learning students are expected to attend class regularly. Attendance policies should be clearly stated on each course syllabus. Faculty should review consequences of poor attendance at the beginning of the semester. Specific attendance policies in upper level and graduate courses are left to the discretion of the respective teacher.

Faculty should be alert to students' absences. After a student has accrued two absences, the faculty member should contact the student to discuss the situation. At the third absence the faculty member should report the absences to attendance@emu.edu. Persons receiving e-mail at this address include the assistant dean/coordinator of student success, director of housing and residence life, director of student-athlete well-being, and the director of retention. For students who continue to accrue absences, faculty members should also report additional absences to attendance@emu.edu. Any student not attending class for two consecutive weeks may be administratively withdrawn from the course. Faculty are requested to keep an accurate record of attendance as a specific “date of last attendance” is required to assure proper levels of tuition and aid refunds.

An undergraduate student considering withdrawal during the semester is asked to counsel with the vice president for student life. Faculty members are urged to report to student life cases where an undergraduate student is considering withdrawing.

Graduate

Graduate students considering withdrawal during the semester are asked to counsel with their respective program director. The program director will assist the student with the proper procedures for official withdrawal from the university. Seminary students considering withdrawal are asked to counsel with the associate dean or the dean of the seminary.


Revised for clarification July 2019
Revised March 2020
Updated and approved by Provost's Council, March December 2020