Charter Oak State College Official Catalog
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Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education

Terminology of Degree Requirements

Charter Oak State College courses, both credit and non-credit, are conducted asynchronously using internet-based computer technology and interactive conferencing software. The College offers courses in 5, 8, 10 and 15 week formats. Faculty guide students through the courses via electronic communication.

Once matriculated, the prerequisite for all other courses is ENG 101 (English Composition 1). If the student has already successfully completed that requirement prior to matriculation, he or she will be enrolled into IDS 101 (Cornerstone), otherwise, ENG 101 will be the first course taken.

Degree requirements are expressed in terms of semester credits, levels of mastery, and subject matter areas.

Semester Credits

Semester credits are a kind of academic currency. In the traditional college, a "semester hour" credit usually is considered to represent satisfactory completion of studies involving one hour of lecture or recitation plus two hours of outside preparation per week for a period of 15 weeks. In addition, a final examination follows the 15 week period of classes.

The semester credits granted by Charter Oak State College are intended to represent academic achievement equivalent to "semester hour" credits earned in the traditional college classroom. Some institutions award quarter-hour or "term" credit. These are converted to semester hour credit on the transcript with one quarter-hour credit equaling 2/3 of a semester credit.

Levels of Mastery

Two levels of mastery are recognized, lower and upper. Courses are numbered 100-400. Courses at the 100- and 200- level are lower level; courses at the 300- and 400-level courses are upper level.

100 level - assumes no previous college-level knowledge.

400 level - assumes prior study at the 200 and 300 level and a strong knowledge of the field. Students should not register for 400 level courses if they have not taken 100 - 300 level courses in the field.

Lower-level credits are awarded for learning that:

  • is at the introductory college level in nature;
  • assumes no prerequisite college-level or basic level of knowledge in the fields;
  • is typically acquired in courses numbered in the 100s and 200s; and
  • provides a broad survey of skills or a survey of specific areas of study.

Upper-level credits are awarded for learning that:

  • assumes knowledge of the language of the fields;
  • is focused on some aspect of the fields;
  • may include research in a specialized topic;
  • assumes prior study at the intermediate level; and
  • is earned at a senior institution of higher education or the equivalent.

In the case of Individualized Studies and Liberal Studies concentrations, credits will be classified according to discipline norms.