Credit hours for the Emory & Henry School of Health Sciences Graduate Programs, (e.g., Doctor of Physical Therapy, Master of Occupational Therapy, Doctor of Occupational Therapy, Master of Physician Assistant Studies, Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling), are defined as an amount of work represented by intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that reasonably approximates:
For Didactic (Classroom and Laboratory) Experiences
- Not less than one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work for each week for approximately 15 weeks for one semester, or
- At least two hours of in-class student work combined with a minimum of 1 hour of out-of-class student work for other academic activities, including laboratory activities, for each week for approximately 15 weeks for one semester as established by the College and the School of Health Sciences leading to the award of credit hours.
For Clinical Experiences
Contact hours are operationally defined based on the nature of the clinical experience and the standards established by the specific professional discipline or the corresponding professional accrediting agency. For this reason, the operational definition of contact hours to semester credit hours may vary across academic programs.
- Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Physician Assistant Studies
Within these rehabilitation and medical science graduate programs, contact hours for clinical experiences are operationally defined as 80 contact hours to 1 semester credit hour. Additionally, contact hours for clinical experiences (e.g., clinical immersions, fieldwork, internships, supervised clinical practice experiences) are defined as clinical experiences, completion of documentation assignments, and out-of-clinic learning experiences (e.g., online lectures, reading assignments, on-campus didactic activities, service-learning activities).
- Clinical Mental Health Counseling
In keeping with the standards established within counselor education programs throughout the country, the E&H counseling graduate program operationally defines contact hours for counseling practicum experiences (the students’ first exposure to direct client care in a supervised setting) to be 40 contact hours to 1 semester credit hour. The contact hours for counseling internship experiences are operationally defined as 100 contact hours to 1 semester credit hour. CACREP requires that practicum is a distinct educational experience from internship. Because the practicum is the first experience with direct client contact the clinical experience hour requirement is lower and there tends to be more didactic instruction. In both cases the CACREP group supervision requirement is stated as a minimum.
These definitions follow that specified in the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 34, part 600. Its application to Emory & Henry College courses is as follows:
The standard for credit hour calculation is the 3-credit hour course, meeting for three hours per week. Depending on holidays and days of the week a class meets, a three-hour course meets for 45 hours per semester. In line with the federal definition of two hours of work outside of class for each hour of direct faculty instruction, each three-hour class should require nine hours of work per week (three hours of direct instruction and six hours of homework). In applying this formula to other methods of delivery, we maintain the principles (1) that the total estimated time spent on task by each student to earn one semester credit hour shall be approximately 45 hours or more for didactic courses and approximately 40-100 hours or more for clinical experiences, depending on the academic program and the type of clinical experience, and (2) that at least one-third of those hours are directly supervised by faculty, whether through lecture, discussion, supervised laboratory work, supervised internship activity, structured on-line activities, or other means.