Courses and Coursework

Credit Hour

The credit hour is the basic unit of academic credit.  Amberton University defines a credit hour in terms of work expected of students in the achievement of established learning outcomes.  As traditionally defined, a credit hour has two components - classroom instruction as well as out of class student work throughout the term of the session.  All Amberton University courses are three credit hours. 

For campus courses, students will receive four hours of classroom instruction per week for ten weeks and will complete at least three hours of out of class work for each hour spent in class, for a total of 160 clock hours over the length of the session (16 hours per week for ten weeks.)  Distance education courses and shorter intensive courses will have the same learning outcomes, comparable assignments, assessments, and expectations of student achievement as traditional campus based courses and will require 160 clock hours of intense work on the part of the student, regardless of delivery method.  

Course Syllabi

Prior to the beginning of registration for a session, the University makes all course syllabi for the session available through the University’s Course Guide. A student can search for a specifc course to review the syllabus. A student should NOT register for a course until he/she has carefully read the course syllabus. Minimally, a course syllabus identifies:

  1. course prerequisites
  2. course competencies
  3. texts and materials required for the course
  4. the course outline
  5. assignments and grading criteria
  6. remote access technologies to be employed, when appropriate
  7. methods for contacting the instructor outside class
  8. research resources available.

Assessment And Course Competencies

Amberton University uses an assessment system to evaluate all University academic programs. The system involves the use of technical hardware and software programs that allow University faculty and administration to evaluate the quality of learning as well as the effectiveness of teaching that occurs at Amberton. As part of this system, Amberton University provides its students an opportunity to review course content in more detail than provided by most institutions. In addition to the expected course description, the faculty has developed competency statements for each course offered by the University. These statements enable students to evaluate, in depth, the content and competency level of each course. In addition to the course-specific competency statements, the following general education competencies have been identified that are applicable to all course offerings. Upon completion of a course, the Amberton University student is expected to be competent in:

  • COMMUNICATION: The application of effective speaking and/or writing principles and techniques appropriate to the discipline.
  • CRITICAL THINKING: The application of skills of critical thinking (knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation) to solve problems and to support statements of beliefs and opinions.
  • COMPREHENSION AND APPLICATION: The linking and synthesizing of information learned in the course to the greater body of knowledge related to the discipline.
  • ETHICS: The incorporation of appropriate ethical standards to discussions, interpretations, and personal use of information related to the discipline.
  • INFORMATION LITERACY: The application of technology effectively in conducting class related research.

The Undergraduate and the Graduate course competencies are located in the respective degree level sections of this catalog.

Student Attendance/Engagement For Course Work

Students at Amberton University are expected to actively participate in the classes in which they are enrolled for credit and to meet all requirements of the class in order to receive a final grade. The active engagement includes the expectation of attending class for classroom students and regularly working on- line for distance learning students.

All examinations of the course are to be taken. Final examinations are given the last week of the session. Examinations are never given in advance, except by authorization of the Vice President for Academic Services.

Papers submitted to meet course requirements are expected to be the students' own work. Information drawn from whatever source is to be attributed specifically to the respective source. Students should use a recognized form of citation.

Students who submit work either not their own or without clear attribution to original sources are guilty of plagiarism and will be subject to disciplinary action. Students are also subject to disciplinary action if they make use of the services of a term paper company. Students may not submit the same paper in substance in two or more classes without prior written permission of the instructors involved. Refer to Ethical Standards of Students section for further information.

Life-Learning Experiences And Portfolio Credit

Amberton University is receptive to the idea of awarding academic credit for learning acquired through noncollegiate experiences. By definition, noncollegiate experiences will be considered as learning that has resulted from experiences occurring while the individual was not enrolled in an educational institution for academic credit.

Noncollegiate learning may be considered for transfer if such work is documented and submitted by means of the portfolio. By definition, the portfolio is a concise and explicit document that clearly identifies noncollegiate learning that merits academic credit. The awarding of academic credit for noncollegiate learning is restricted to verifiable learning. Students interested in the submission of a portfolio should review the Handbook for Preparing A Portfolio for the Academic Assessment of Learning Experiences, which is available on the Amberton University web site in the Current Students section. The awarding of portfolio credit is restricted to undergraduate credit and to disciplines offered by the University.

The following guidelines govern all noncollegiate learning that is awarded credit by Amberton University:

  • Noncollegiate learning credit is considered transfer work and will not satisfy the residency requirements for a degree.
  • After three years of nonenrollment at Amberton University, transfer work is deleted from Amberton University records. A student who subsequently re- enrolls will have to resubmit records for transfer of credit.
  • The awarding of portfolio credit is restricted to undergraduate credit only. Individuals interested in submitting noncollegiate learning for possible transfer credit via the portfolio should direct their inquiries to the Vice President for Academic Services.
  • Military Service - Amberton University may be able to offer credit to undergraduate Service Men and Women for military experience and training received while active in the United States Armed Forces.  Active military and veterans seeking academic credit for military training should provide the University with an official transcript of courses/training supplied through the American Council on Education (ACE), the Department of Defense (Joint Services Transcript) or the Community College of the Air Force.
  • Credit by Exam - Nationally recognized examinations such as College Level Examination Program (CLEP) Subject Exams Only, Defense Activity for Nontraditional Education Support (DANTES/DSST), and military courses evaluated by ACE are treated in the same manner as transferred credit. The number of credits awarded for courses recommended by ACE is at the discretion of Amberton University.
  • All official transcripts, military credit, exam scores, and life-learning experience portfolios should be submitted during the first session's enrollment to avoid duplication of courses previously taken.