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Maximum Credit Load - Undergraduate

Approved by Faculty Senate: 3-14-2014

Effective: 14-15 catalog

 

1. Purpose

This policy ensures that no bachelor’s degree candidates registers for a number of credits that cannot be successfully completed in a single semester.

2. Reasons

2.01 Higher Learning Commission goal: HLC monitors the number of students who take more than normal credit loads.  HLC also verifies that the amount of in-class and out-of-class work required per credit follows good practice.[i]

2.02 Institutional goal: Fort Lewis strives to offer rigorous courses.  Rigor requires, among other things, a serious level of student engagement outside of class.  The standard benchmark for rigorous courses is two hours outside of class for every hour inside of class.  So a 15 credit load would be about 45 total hours of work per week.  Given this assumption, it is unreasonable to expect a student to complete more than 22 credit hours in a term (i.e. 66 total hours each week).

3. Policy

No bachelor’s degree candidate may register for more than 18 credits at Fort Lewis College in a Fall or Spring semester or 12 credits at Fort Lewis College in a Summer semester (any combination of sessions 1 to 5) unless approved by the advisor of record.  Approval by advisor of record allows a bachelor’s degree candidate to register for up to 22 credits at Fort Lewis College in a Fall or Spring semester or 16 credits at Fort Lewis College in a Summer semester (any combination of sessions 1 to 5).

4. Definitions

4.01 Bachelor’s Degree Candidates- Undergraduate students pursuing their first bachelor’s degree and post-baccalaureate students pursuing a second or subsequent, non-duplicative, bachelor’s degree who are attending less than half time, half time, three quarters time, or full time.

5. Implications

5.01 This policy will delay graduation for students planning on taking more than 22 credits in a regular term or 16 credits in a summer term.

6. Procedure

6.01 Currently, the Banner system prevents any student from registering for more than 18 credits.  However, upon receiving approval from an advisor, the registration cap will be raised from 18 to 22 for that particular student.  Currently, the advisor approval process is manual and requires a form signed by both student and advisor.  Eventually this process will be automated where an advisor can check a box in WebOPUS that raises the registration limit automatically.

6.02 The maximum credit policy may not be appealed or waived.



[i] This information was provided by Karen Solinski, VP for Legal and Governmental Affairs for HLC at a session entitled “Preparing for the Credit Hour Review,” on April 9, 2013 at a Higher Learning Commission conference.