How are Contact Hours Calculated?
An understanding of the formula for calculating contact hours requires some background and understanding of the types of courses offered at Colorado State as well as the CCHE enrollment reporting guidelines.
First, there are two basic types of courses for which we calculate contact hours. These are identified with a code called "workload type". The workload type definitions follow:
E designates a workload type of "enrollment". This means that ALL students enrolled in a particular section are always enrolled for the same amount of course credits and calculations for credit hour production may be derived my multiplying the course weekly credit hours by the number of students enrolled.
S designates a workload type of "student". This means that students enrolled in a particular section MAY be enrolled for varying amounts of course credit. In order to calculate credit hours for a course with variable credit the proper method is to add the credit hours from each student's record to arrive at a total.
Second, it is important to note that IR calculates contact hours only for those sections and FTE enrollments that we are reporting to CCHE as state-funded RI FTE enrollments. Non-RI students and sections (such as Continuing Education sections) do not have contact hours calculated.
Third, all enrollment numbers used in contact hour
calculations are census date enrollment numbers. If one looks at other datasets extracted at a different point in time the same formulas would yield different results due to students that add or drop the section.
CCHE defines "contact hours" as that time in which the student is involved in direct face-to-face instructional contact with the faculty member(s) teaching a particular section. The CCHE definition for a base contact hour is 750 minutes of section meeting time. In order to calculate the contact hours one needs to calculate the total number of minutes (during a semester) that the students are being instructed by a faculty member.
Calculating contact hours is done differently according to the workload type of a particular section, and any available scheduled meeting times for that section. The first priority for calculating contact hours is to use the actual scheduled meeting time information for the section. Not all types of sections have scheduled meeting times, but if meeting times are available and assigned to a section the contact hours are calculated using the following information about the section:
- section begin date
- section end date
- scheduled meeting days
- section begin time
- section end time
- number of RI students enrolled at census date
In an example course below the contact hours are calculated: