Grace Christian University seeks to comply with Policy FDCR.A.10.020 of the Higher Learning Commission:
An institution shall be able to equate its learning experiences with semester or quarter credit hours using practices common to institutions of higher education, to justify the lengths of its programs in comparison to similar programs found in accredited institutions of higher education, and to justify any program-specific tuition in terms of program costs, program length, and program objectives.
This policy addresses three key areas:
1. PROGRAM LENGTH
The program length of all degrees is stipulated by the State of Michigan in the document published in October 2003, POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ON THE ESTABLISHMENT AND APPROVAL OF NONPUBLIC COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES IN MICHIGAN:
- An associate degree shall be granted only after the successful completion of at least 60 semester hours or equivalent of collegiate level study.
- A bachelor’s degree shall be granted only after the successful completion of 120 semester hours or equivalent of collegiate level study.
- A master’s degree shall be granted only after the successful completion of the requirements for a bachelors degree and at least 30 semester hours of credit or the equivalent in courses applicable to the graduate degree.
The following table lists the degrees and program lengths offered at Grace Christian University:
|Associate of Arts
|Bachelor of Science
|Associate of Arts
Leadership & Ministry
M.A. in Higher Education
M.A. in Ministry
M.A. in Organizational
Master of Business
Grace students who elect to declare a Dual Degree will typically earn a B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies at Grace and the selected bachelor-level degree from the respective partner institution. The number of credits necessary to earn the degrees will vary but meet the State of Michigan’s minimum requirements.
2. CREDIT HOURS
Grace Christian University also seeks to comply with the federal guidelines for the credit hour:
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:
- 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 activities as established by and institution, including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading toward the award of credit hours. 34CFR 600.2 (11/1/2010)
While the course offerings are diverse in modality and calendar, all courses are expected to meet certain minimum work load requirements. For on-campus and hybrid classes, these requirements include both direct faculty instruction and out-of-class student work. For undergraduate and graduate online courses, these requirements include student work completed under the direction of a faculty member.
- For the on-campus undergraduate program, a semester hour represents 750 minutes of classroom instruction and 1500 minutes of student work outside of class or its equivalent (37 ½ hours per semester hour).
- For the online undergraduate program, a semester hour represents 2,250 minutes of coursework or its equivalent (37 ½ hours per semester hour).
- For the graduate online program, a semester hour represents 3,000 miniues of coursework or its evalualent (50 hours per semester hour).
|Type of Course
|Minimum Work Load
All undergraduate three credit courses (on-campus/hybrid/online)
All undergraduate two credit courses (on-campus only)
All undergraduate one credit courses (on-campus only)
All graduate three credit courses (online only)
112 ½ hours
37 ½ hours
To ensure that this minimum work load is met, faculty members complete a course work load worksheet for each course taught on campus. This worksheet is submitted and reviewed before the course is taught. This information regarding the minimum work load is included in each course syllabus which must also be peer-reviewed prior to the beginning of classes.
Besides the minimum work load, every effort is made to ensure adequate seat time. The on-campus program is primarily based on the traditional fall and spring semesters. The fall semester is fourteen weeks, while the spring semester is fifteen weeks. When establishing the calendar for each semester in the on-campus program, the registrar’s office seeks to ensure a minimum seat time requirement of 12 ½ hours (750 minutes) per credit hour is met. This calculation is based on 50 minutes times 15 weeks.
However, each course may vary in how this time is structured:
- Some three-credit classes meet twice each week for 90 minutes for a minimum of 25 sessions for a total of 37 ½ hours of seat time.
- Other three-credit classes meet once each week in 3 ¾ hour blocks for a minimum of 10 sessions for a total of 37 ½ hours of seat time.
- “Early Fall” courses meet for ten sessions over three weeks before the start of the regular semester. Three credit courses meet for a total of 40 hours of seat time, while two credit courses meet for 25 hours of seat time.
- Internships require students to complete 120 hours of field education in lieu of seat time.
- Private music lessons and group ensembles are available for students to take for one credit. Beyond the scheduled meeting times, students are expected to practice regularly.
- Students may enroll in team sports and/or activity classes for one credit graded as a pass/fail. This grade is based largely on their participation in scheduled practices and activities.
- Courses designed for high school students participating in dual enrollment must also meet the minimum work load requirements (112 ½ hours).
- Online and hybrid courses (including both F2F instruction and online activities) offered as part of the on-campus program must also meet the specified minimum work load requirements (112 ½ hours).
Online and Graduate Programs
Both the online and graduate programs use pre-designed curriculum guides which have been reviewed by faculty and staff to ensure compliance with the minimum work load requirements. Online courses offered at the undergraduate level offered as part of the academic program aimed at adult learners are three credits each and five weeks in length. These courses must still meet the minimum work load requirement of 112 ½ hours. Graduate courses, which are offered exclusively online, are also three credits each and are six weeks in length. The minimum work load requirement for these graduate courses is 150 hours.
3. TUITION COSTS
Grace Christian University is committed to being reasonably priced when compared with other local institutions of higher education, as well as similar faith-based institutions throughout the country. Each academic program (on-campus, online, and graduate) has its own tuition rate, which is established and approved by the board of directors annually. These tuition rates, based on modality and degree level, are in large part determined by competitive analyses of similar programs of study in each modality offered at other institutions.