The following is the process the institution utilizes to verify length of academic period and compliance with credit hour requirements through course scheduling.
SWOSU follows the guidelines of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education’s Policy 3.19, which sets a uniform academic calendar for the state system. This policy defines academic period, sets academic standards, and defines semester-hour credit requirements. As defined by OSRHE:
All classes are expected to meet for sixteen weeks, and no institution, academic department, or individual faculty member is authorized to reduce the number of academic weeks in the standard semester without specific approval of the State Regents. Those institutions which reserve the final week of the semester as a testing period shall ensure that all classes meet during the testing period.
The semester-credit-hour is the standard and traditional unit of credit to be used by institutions in evaluating a student's educational attainment and progress. Semester-hour of credit is calculated as follows:
- One semester-hour of credit is normally awarded for completion of a course meeting for 800 instructional minutes, (50 minutes per week for sixteen weeks), exclusive of enrollment, orientation, and scheduled breaks. Organized examination days may be counted as instructional days.
- Laboratory credit is normally awarded at a rate not to exceed one-half the instructional rate. One semester-hour of credit is normally awarded for completion of a laboratory meeting a minimum of 1600 minutes (100 minutes per week for sixteen weeks).
- Instruction offered through a combination of class and laboratory meetings would normally observe the standards set forth above on a pro rata basis. For example, a course offered for four semester-hours of credit might meet for 100 minutes of organized instruction plus 200 minutes of laboratory per week for 16 weeks.
- Block or alternative course schedules may also occur within the dates set forth for a semester or summer session. Courses offered during academic terms shorter than a semester will observe the same academic standards involving instructional hours per semester-credit-hour as those courses offered during a standard academic semester. Institutions are encouraged to be flexible in offering courses in alternative schedules to meet student and employer needs.
- The drop period is during the first ten regular instructional days of a regular semester and the first five regular instructional days of a summer session, or, in general, the first one-eighth of the academic term. Institutions may also allow students to add courses during this period or a designated shorter period. In either case, appropriate add/drop charges apply. See the State Regents’ Grading policy for timelines for student withdrawal.
SWOSU’s calendar is developed by the Provost, checked by the Registrar, then approved by the President and submitted annually to the State Regents on a standardized form. The academic calendar describes any alternative schedules. Submission is due by December 1 prior to the summer session to which the proposed calendar applies.
The process to verify length of academic period and compliance with credit hour requirements through course scheduling is managed by the academic department, the college, each college’s Curriculum Committee (as appropriate), and the Provost’s Office.
- Once approved through the course/program assignment procedure, courses are entered by the Vice President for Student Affairs office into the master catalog which carries into the master schedule.
- As the schedule for each semester is built, the course credit hours carry forward from the catalog to the semester class schedule.
- The department chairperson, in conjunction with faculty and the administrative assistant, create a schedule of all classes being offered by the department.
- Each semester’s class schedule is entered into Colleague, Southwestern’s institutional information platform, by the VPSA’s office.
- After the course information is entered, it is the responsibility of the department chairperson to ensure its accuracy.
- Number of credit hours, instructor names, times and days of class meetings, room assignments associated with each section of each course, maximum enrollments, and other information are verified by the department chairperson before the course schedule is published for students’ view.
- If errors are found, either the department chairperson or the administrative assistant makes corrections through a Course Modification document submitted to the VPSA office.
- Course offerings become visible to students in early February for fall semester, early October for spring semester and late January for the summer semester.