Staff Policy D-104.06
Institutional Effectiveness Criterion: Scholarship

Credit Hour Policy

Northwestern Michigan College operates under a semester credit hour system. The credit hour policy applies equally to courses of varying credits, duration, and modes of instruction, and applies to all credits granted by the college.

Credit hours are determined by the Curriculum Committee to align with the documented direct instructional time needed to address all required student learning outcomes as identified on the official Course Outline. In addition, students are expected to engage in a minimum of two hours of independent learning activities (e.g., reading, research, homework, studying) for every credit hour of direct instruction provided.

NMC awards one credit hour for a minimum of 800 minutes of lecture time (55 minutes per week for 15 weeks). Other methods of instructional delivery (e.g., clinicals, lab, studio, music lessons) are assigned credit hours based on a contact hour to credit hour ratio as follows:

Delivery Method

Lab, Studio, Music Ensembles


One-on-one Instruction (e.g. Applied Music)

Contact Hour to Credit Hour Ratio




For example, two contact hours of lab instruction are equal to one credit hour; three contact hours of clinical instruction are equal to one credit hour; and one-half contact hour of one-on-one instruction is equal to one credit hour.

This policy is available to students through the College Syllabus, the College website, and the College catalog.

The Vice President for Educational Services, in conjunction with the appropriate faculty and staff, is responsible for the development and publication of any procedures or guidelines that may be necessary to administer this policy effectively.

If any provision(s) of this policy or set of bylaws conflicts with laws applicable to Northwestern Michigan College, including the Community College Act of 1966, the Freedom of Information Act, or the Open Meetings Act, as each may be amended from time to time, such laws shall control and supersede such provision(s).

Initially adopted as D-104.06 April 30, 2019