Clock to Credit Hour Conversion
ACICS Advisory, March 2011
CLOCK TO CREDIT HOUR CONVERSION
Effective July 1, 2011, the U. S. Department of Education will require institutions offering vocational training programs to apply new formulas in converting clock hours to credit-hour equivalencies. Undergraduate programs which meet the Department’s definition of “clock hour programs” must use the new clock-to-credit hour conversion. (For the definition of “clock hour programs” see 34CRF §668.8(k) and for clock to credit hour conversion details, please read Federal Register, October 29, 2010, §668.8(l)(2) Eligible Program.) Under these new conversion formulas, programs that are 720 clock hours in length, for example, will no longer be eligible for 24 semester credits of Federal Title IV, HEA student financial aid. Only programs that are 900 clock hours in length will be eligible for this amount of aid. The new formulas given below and related regulations will be used in determining program eligibility for financial aid:
One semester/trimester credit hour is equal to at least 37.5 clock hours of instruction, including a minimum of 30 clock hours of classroom or direct faculty instruction. The remaining 7.5 clock hours may include acceptable and documented student work outside of class and/or instructional hours.
One quarter credit hour is equal to at least
25 clock hours of instruction, including a minimum of 20 clock hours of classroom or direct faculty instruction. The remaining 5.0 clock hours may include acceptable and documented student work outside of class and/or instructional hours.
An institution may use the clock hours of instruction currently in place if the institution’s accrediting agency recognizes student work outside of class as additional clock hours which combined with the instructional clock-hours is at least 37.5 clock hours for 1 semester/trimester credit hour or 25 clock hours for 1 quarter credit hour.
Accrediting agencies are required to develop policies and procedures to validate institutional compliance with these standards and are also required to notify the Department if an institution demonstrates “systemic” or “significant” noncompliance.
A new Clock to Credit Hour Conversion Application allows institutions to submit for ACICS review and approval the institution’s plans to comply with the new formulas for currently approved programs. including recognition of acceptable out-of-class work.
Important: It is the responsibility of the institution to secure full information from the Department of Education and to comply with regulations affecting eligibility for Federal Title IV, HEA student financial aid programs. ACICS instructions and guidelines are subject to change as Council considers further implementation advisories from the U. S. Department of Education.