The Carnegie Units Worksheet

Resolution Number
April Pavlik
Assigned to
Curriculum Committee
Status Report

CCCCO Memo on credit hour calculations was sent to the field in Fall 2015 and is incorporated into the 6th edtion of the PCAH.  

Whereas, In October 2014, the Academic Affairs division of the Chancellor’s Office prepared and distributed the “Carnegie Units Worksheet”, creating standards for local credit hour calculations[1] to address internal concerns that colleges had local practices that resulted in students either being awarded too many or too few units and, in some cases, local districts inappropriately claiming apportionment for student work outside of the classroom;

Whereas, Carnegie Units Worksheet restated the standards for credit hour calculation in §55002.5 of Title 5, the guidelines described in the Program and Course Approval Handbook (5th edition, pp.80-83) and the standards for claiming apportionment in §58050 of Title 5; and introduced the following:

  • Tables for calculating credit hours;
  • a requirement that local credit hour calculations must conform to the calculation tables based on the “Carnegie Unit” formula; and
  • the constraint that the calculations on the tables “…are the only permitted methods and formulas for calculating units in the California Community Colleges” and that “…[t]here are no allowable locally derived formulas or exceptions for specific disciplines”

Whereas, While this worksheet has proved useful for Chancellor’s Office staff in curriculum review and for providing clearer restrictions on questionable local practices, it has also introduced new restrictions on credit hour calculation practices that are otherwise compliant with federal and state regulations, accreditation standards, and accepted practices in higher education; and

Whereas, The Chancellor’s Office began implementing these restrictions immediately without any prior notification to the field so that many that colleges submitting non-substantial changes were forced to recalculate units in manner that may not serve students;

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges assert that the authority for credit hour calculations is granted to local governing boards in Title 5 §55002(a)(2)(B), and that this issue is subject to accreditation and articulation standards, because local colleges are directly responsible to regional and professional accreditors and higher education partners; and 

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges work with the Chancellor’s Office to ensure that curriculum approval by the Chancellor’s Office is based only on approved requirements that are clearly published and available to all colleges, prior to implementation.