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Academic Information and Regulations

Academic Information

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Course Credit Units and Modes of Instruction

Course Credit Units

Each course has a specific credit unit value which is indicated in parentheses following the course titles in this Catalog.

In accordance with national standards, each semester unit corresponds to approximately 45 hours of work per semester, counting both class meeting time and outside preparation and study. For a traditional lecture or discussion course, this means that the class will meet one hour a week for every unit in a fall or spring semester (15 weeks of class meetings). For a laboratory or activity course, the class may meet two or three hours per week for every unit.

The instructional “hour” is fifty minutes long, allowing for transit between classes and rest breaks within multi-hour classes.

Classes scheduled in the six-week summer session, or in a three-week summer or winter session, are scheduled for additional class hours per week so the total meeting time is the same as in a fall or spring semester. Classes taught by other modes of instruction are expected to require the same time commitment as traditionally-scheduled classes.

Hybrid Classes and Distance Education Classes

Some classes use academic technology to replace part or all of the face-to-face class meetings. In a hybrid class, one-third to two-thirds of the student/faculty and student/student contact time uses academic technology to structure remote activities. The remaining communication is face-to-face, similar to traditional classes. A Local Online Class (LOC) is a course offering in which the majority of the instruction occurs when the student and instructor are not in the same place, but it may require up to two hours of face-to-face meetings per unit on the California State University, Long Beach campus within the given semester. A Distance Education Class is a course offering in which communication between faculty and student occurs primarily via academic technology, but it may also include off-site meetings. The mode of instruction is indicated in the online class schedule for each term. (PS 03-11)

Student Rights Relative to Course Instructional Mode

  • 1. Student access to the faculty shall not be reduced by the instructional mode of a class.
  • 2. The University shall make every effort to inform students of the mode of instruction and technological requirements of a course offering before the student enrolls in the class.
  • 3. Matriculated students enrolled in non-traditional classes shall have access to the on-site academic advising services at California State University, Long Beach.
  • 4. All students have equal access to the University library and other on-site learning resources offered at California State University, Long Beach.
  • 5. Students in non-traditional classes shall have reasonable support services. These include:
    • A. Phone-based and online technology help to handle student questions and to refer students to appropriate available services for hybrid and local online or distance education courses;
    • B. Online and phone-based access to university administrative services;
    • C. Online dissemination of information describing the resources available for obtaining the technical competence needed to succeed in a specific course offering;
    • D. Online access to the library research databases and other research-related resources.
  • 6. The University shall provide adequate technical support for academic technology.

Credit for Independent Study Courses

Each student enrolled in a supervised independent study, research, or reading course (excludes thesis courses) must have an agreement on file in the department office where the course is offered. The agreement is to be made between the student and the instructor at the beginning of the course and must include the following: a description of the work to be accomplished, specific information on the tasks required, the nature of the final report, and the basis for determining the final grade. The agreement must be signed by both the instructor and the student.

If a department wishes to use a written agreement different from the standard university form, it must be approved by the dean of the appropriate college prior to its use.

No independent study credit shall be awarded for classroom instruction, assisting in classroom instruction, or for other instructionally related activities, such as grading.

Credit for Cross-Listed Courses

Certain courses are listed in this Catalog under more than one department. For purposes of awarding credit, all such listings are considered to be the same course, and a student may receive credit for only one of the listings. Normally, students will receive credit for such a cross-listed course in the department under which they register for it.