Effective July 1, 2011, the U. S. Department of Education will require institutions offering vocational training programs to apply new formulas in converting clock hours to credit-hours. Programs eligible for conversion are defined as undergraduate degree programs of less than two years and non-degree programs that are not fully transferrable to degree programs of at least two years in length (with at least two graduates) at the same institution and are not defined as a clock hour program. Under the regulations in 668.8(k)(2), an undergraduate program is considered to be a clock-hour program (and, as a consequence, is required to measure student progress in clock hours and not eligible for converting to credit-hours) when Federal or State approval or licensing requirements specify that the program must be offered in clock hours or that it consist of a specific number of clock hours, or when completing clock hours is a requirement for graduates to apply for licensure or the authorization to practice the occupation the student is intending to pursue(For details, please read Federal Register, October 29, 2010, §668.8(l)(2) Eligible Program). Under these new conversion formulas, programs that are 720 clock hours in length, for example, will no longer be eligible for 24 semester credits of Federal Title IV, HEA student financial aid. Only programs that are 900 clock hours in length will be eligible for this amount of aid. The new formulas given below and related regulations will be used in determining program eligibility for financial aid.
- One semester/trimester credit hour is equal to at least 37.5 clock hours of instruction, including a minimum of 30 clock hours of classroom or direct faculty instruction. The remaining 7.5 clock hours may include acceptable and documented student work outside of class and/or instructional hours.
- One quarter credit hour is equal to at least 25 clock hours of instruction, including a minimum of 20 clock hours of classroom or direct faculty instruction. The remaining 5.0 clock hours may include acceptable and documented student work outside of class and/or instructional hours.
- An institution may use the clock hours of instruction currently in place if the institution's accrediting agency recognizes student work outside of class as additional clock hours which combined with the instructional clock-hours is at least 37.5 clock hours for 1 semester/trimester credit hour or 25 clock hours for 1 quarter credit hour.
- Accrediting agencies are required to develop policies and procedures to validate institutional compliance with these standards and are also required to notify the Department if an institution demonstrates “systemic” or "significant" noncompliance.
Important: It is the responsibility of the institution to secure full information from the Department of Education and to comply with regulations affecting eligibility for Federal Title IV, HEA student financial aid programs. ACICS instructions and guidelines are subject to change as Council considers further implementation advisories from the U. S. Department of Education.
In addition to complying with Council’s formula for conversion, institutions participating in Federal Title IV, HEA programs must comply with applicable federal regulations, including those related to clock hours to credit hours conversion.
Upon request of the institution and submission of required documents and fees, ACICS will apply Council’s standards in reviewing institutional policies and course syllabi, and recognizing attribution of instructional and out-of-class work. Institutions must comply with the new formulas for currently approved programs to maintain eligibility for Federal Title IV, HEA financial aid.
Please note that all outstanding invoices must be paid before purchasing an application. To view outstanding orders, go to MY ACCOUNTS once you are logged in.
For a complete list of fees, see the Schedule of Fees. For payment by check, see the following instructions.