Academic Affairs Policy on Contact Hours

Policy Number: #200

Responsible Executive(s):

  • Provost

Responsible Office(s):

  • Academic and Research

Date Adopted: 12-20-2021

Date Revised: 12-21-2021

A. Purpose

Provide university-wide guidance for the minimum number of instructor contact hours that must be provided within courses.

B. Scope

  • a. This policy applies to all teaching faculty at Regis University
  • b. It applies to all courses.

C. Definitions

Teaching Faculty - Those serving as an instructor of a course including ranked faculty, lecturers, term faculty, affiliate faculty, etc.

D. The Policy

  • a. Each credit hour must equate to 15 instructional contact hours. This aligns with the US Department of Education’s definition (see below) of a credit hour (Example: All three-credit courses must have at least 45 instructional contact hours.) Additional resources will be provided to address courses that fall outside of traditional three-credit hour courses such as labs, internships, and practicums.
    Course Documentation of Credit and Contact Hours All course syllabi (or a comparable student-facing document) must identify the number of instructional contact hours in the course. (Example: This course provides students with at least 45 contact hours which may include synchronous sessions, asynchronous discussions, group work, and quizzes).
  • b. In the event a course is found to provide less than the required 45 hours, the College’s Academic Dean will work with the Department Chair or Program lead to ensure the course is brought into compliance.

E. Related Policies, Procedures, Forms and Other Resources

  • a. Contact Hour Enhancement Ideas (Doc)

F. End Notes

  • a. This policy is in compliance with the U. S. Department of Education’s definition of contact hours per credit.
    Department of Education 34 CFR Parts 600, 602, 603, et al. Program Integrity Issues; Final Rule
    • A. Adding, in alphabetical order, the definition of a Credit hour.
    • B. Revising the definition of Recognized occupation. The addition and revision read as follows: § 600.2 Definitions. - Credit hour: Except as provided in 34 CFR 668.8(k) and (l), 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 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 in paragraph (1) of this definition 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.
      Except as provided in 34 CFR 668.8(k) and (l), a credit hour is —defined by an institution and approved by the institution’s and is based upon an amount of work, a unit of time spent engaged in learning activities, and/or a set of clearly defined learning objectives or competencies.
  • b. This policy replaces the Regis University Credit Hour Allocation and Definitions policy. It was approved by the Provost on June 19, 2013 and revised on September 2, 2015.