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Carnegie Unit

Carnegie Unit

Occasionally a student complains about the amount of work required in Music 1. To help students understand State-mandated workloads for each unit of credit given, I have excerpted the California Education Code's discusstion of "Carnegie Units"--the relationship of unit credits and workload. As you can see, a four-unit class (whether it's English, math, or music) requires a minimum of two hours of outside work for every hour of in-class time. Thus, four hours of class time equals eight to twelve hours of work each week outside of class.

To better understand the course guidelines, take a look at the Music 1 Course Outline that has been created by the College and Music Department; pay special attention to Section VI: Assignments.

From the
California Education Code

Sections 55002-55002.5 - Standards and Criteria for Courses and Classes.
Section 55002.

(A) Grading Policy. The course provides for measurement of student performance in
terms of the stated course objectives and culminates in a formal, permanently recorded
grade based upon uniform standards in accordance with section 55758 of this Division.
The grade is based on demonstrated proficiency in subject matter and the ability to
demonstrate that proficiency, at least in part, by means of essays, or, in courses where
the curriculum committee deems them to be appropriate, by problem-solving exercises
or skills demonstrations by students.
(B) Units. The course grants units of credit based upon a relationship specified by the
governing board between the number of units assigned to the course and the number of
lecture and/or laboratory hours or performance criteria specified in the course outline.
The course also requires a minimum of three hours of work per week, including class
time for each unit of credit, prorated for short-term, laboratory and activity courses.
(C) Intensity. The course treats subject matter with a scope and intensity that requires
students to study independently outside of class time.
(D) Prerequisites and Core requisites. When the college and/or district curriculum
committee determines, based on a review of the course outline of record, that a student
would be highly unlikely to receive a satisfactory grade unless the student has
knowledge or skills not taught in the course, then the course shall require prerequisites
or core requisites that are established, reviewed, and applied in accordance with the
requirements of Article 2.5 (commencing with Section 55200) of this Subchapter.
(E) Basic Skills Requirements. If success in the course is dependent upon
communication or computation skills, then the course shall require, consistent with the
provisions of Article 2.5 (commencing with Section 55200) of this Subchapter, as
prerequisites or core requisites eligibility for enrollment in associate degree credit
courses in English and/or mathematics, respectively.
(F) Difficulty. The course work calls for critical thinking and the understanding and
application of concepts determined by the curriculum committee to be at college level.
(G) Level. The course requires learning skills and a vocabulary that the curriculum
committee deems appropriate for a college course.

email icon Email: Ron Dunn
phone icon Phone: 408.864.8818



Last Updated: 4/1/16