Programs, Courses & Credits

Programs:

  • Official Program Designations
  • Degree Programs

Course Information:

  • Abbreviations Used in Course Listings
  • Plan for Numbering Courses
  • Common Course Numbers and Descriptions
  • Independent Study Classes
  • Final Exams
  • Last week of Classes

Credits:

  • Classification of Students
  • Course Overload
  • Credit Hour Definition

In this section:

Official program designations

  • Degree program: A degree program is an area of study approved as such by the institution and the Board of Governors (BOG) and listed on the official inventory of degree programs. The degree, which is an award signifying a rank or level of educational attainment and which is conferred on students who have successfully completed a degree program, is represented by the official degree designation (e.g., B.A.—bachelor of arts, B.S.—bachelor of science, etc.)
  • Major: A major is a field of study within an approved degree program, having its own curriculum. A degree program may have more than one major.

Degree programs

The Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree/transfer program is designed to parallel the first two years of a liberal arts education at a four-year college. Credits earned usually can be transferred to West Virginia University or another four -year school granting the baccalaureate degree. The degree encourages students to:

  • explore, discover and develop their special aptitudes and interests and to reach beyond their own perceived limitations;
  • acquire the knowledge, critical thinking, problem solving, communication, teamwork, ethical, and social skills needed to support their immediate educational goals, as well as life -long learning in a world characterized by change;
  • nurture social responsibility and receptive attitudes compatible with citizenship within a global society.

The Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree/career and technical program offers students the opportunity to gain the technical and occupational skills needed for employment. Some four -year colleges accept a portion of A.A.S. degree credits as part of a bachelor’s degree. The degree encourages students to:

  • explore, discover and develop their special aptitudes and interests and to reach beyond their own perceived limitations;
  • acquire the knowledge, critical thinking, problem solving, communication, teamwork, ethical, and social skills needed to support their immediate educational goals, as well as life -long learning in a world characterized by change;
  • nurture social responsibility and receptive attitudes compatible with citizenship within a global society;
  • acquire and develop skills necessary to enter the workforce.

The Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.S.) degree allows students holding an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree to earn a bachelor’s degree upon completion of a prescribed curriculum of 61 to 62 credits. Emphases are currently offered in Business Management , Computer Information Systems, and Criminal Justice. The degree encourages students to:

  • explore, discover and develop their special aptitudes and interests and to reach beyond their own perceived limitations;
  • acquire the knowledge, critical thinking, problem solving, communication, teamwork, ethical, and social skills needed to support their immediate educational goals, as well as life -long learning in a world characterized by change;
  • nurture social responsibility and receptive attitudes compatible with citizenship within a global society;
  • acquire skills necessary to enter the workforce;
  • experience leadership;
  • experience opportunities for defining relationships between the student’s degree program and post-baccalaureate goals;
  • apply acquired skills and knowledge in a capstone experience involving a simulated business (Business Management) or in discipline -related research (Criminal Justice).

Regents Bachelor of Arts (RBA)

Potomac State College makes it possible for adults to complete a bachelor’s degree through the Regent’s Bachelor of Arts (RBA) program in the University College of West Virginia University. Students design their degree in conjunction with an adviser at Potomac State. West Virginia University confers the baccalaureate degree.

The College of Education and Human Services instills high expectations for personal academic achievement in students, along with the skills, experience and confidence to succeed. Through nontraditional degree programs, students gain empowerment to set and accomplish personal academic success goals. The Regents Bachelor of Arts (RBA) degree is an innovative baccalaureate designed to be a foundational bachelor’s degree for adult students. It makes use of flexible methods of degree completion including the use of prior learning as credit. The RBA is designed to provide a broad set of core competencies that support general education while allowing students to develop skills and knowledge for the next step in their career, education, or life. Through the guidance of their academic advisor, RBA students design a curriculum that meets their current and future academic and life needs.

The Regents Bachelor of Arts (RBA) degree program will:

  • provide ability to communicate effectively in various contexts;
  • build on past life experiences for a well-rounded curriculum of knowledge;
  • promote development of core competencies;
  • demonstrate connections between general education courses and career goals;
  • provide a flexible path of an undergraduate degree;
  • serve as a foundation to graduate education.

In this section:

Abbreviations Used in Course Listings

Abbreviation Description
Yr a course continued through two semesters
S a course given in the summer
HR credit hours per course
Lec lecture period
Rec recitation period
Lab laboratory period
GLAB graded lab
WEB web-based course
CONC concurrent - listed with PR meaning the course may be completed at the same time as enrollment in the course for which it is listed
PR prerequisite - course must be completed in a term prior to enrollment in the course for which it is listed
Coreq co-requisite - courses must be taken in the same term
Consent consent of instructor required
CR credit but no grade

plan for numbering courses

For convenience, each course of study is designated by the name of the department in which it is given and by the number of that course. The plan for numbering courses is as follows:

Courses 1–99 Developmental and community college certificate courses (does not require WVU Faculty Senate approval) and undergraduate professional development courses (courses that are designed for professional development and require students to possess a high school diploma but the course would not count toward graduation).

Courses 100 Freshman/Lower Division: Intended primarily for freshmen, although upper-division students may take them if needed to complete degree requirements.

Courses 200 Sophomore/Lower Division: Intended primarily for sophomores. These courses may have 100 or 200-level prerequisites.

Courses 300 Juniors/Upper Division: Intended primarily for juniors. These courses may have extensive prerequisites or be limited to specific majors.

Courses 400 Seniors/Upper Division: Intended primarily for seniors and selected graduate students. These courses are typically limited to advanced undergraduates within a particular major or degree program and selected graduate students.

In this section:

Classification of students

Students are classified as freshmen, sophomores, juniors, or seniors. These classifications are based upon the number of hours completed. The classifications are as follows:

Classification Hours
Freshman 1-28 Earned Credit Hours, Inclusive
Sophomore 29-58 Earned Credit Hours, Inclusive
Junior 59-88 Earned Credit Hours, Inclusive
Senior 89 or More Earned Hours

The normal semester load for a full-time college student varies from 12 to 18 hours according to the curriculum selected. A college credit or semester hour represents the amount of work done in one recitation hour per week for the duration of a semester. As a rule, two to three hours of laboratory work are equivalent to one hour of recitation.

course overload

Students may not enroll for more than 18 credit-hours of course work in a fall or spring semester of 14 credits in a summer semester without first receiving permission from the Dean of Academic Affairs.

credit hour definition

Potomac state college course offered for credit are based on semester hours. Semesters are fifteen weeks long plus one week for final exams. A single credit hour is equivalent to fifty minutes of guided instruction with the classroom. An hour of preparation, or related activity outside of the classroom, is equivalent to sixty minutes.

face-to-face classroom learning

One credit hour is equivalent to one hour of guided instruction (fifty minute class) and a minimum of two hours of out -of-class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time such as during the summer sessions, which may vary in duration. One credit hour in other academic activities, as established by the institution, including laboratory work, internships, practicums, studio work, study abroad, experiential learning opportunities, online learning, and other academic work must include an equivalent amount of required work listed in the preceding paragraph and is outlined in more detail below.

online classroom learning

One credit hour of online learning is equivalent to fifteen hours of direct instruction and thirty hours of student work. Direct instruction can occur via computer -assisted (modules), multi -media interaction, discussions, and/or completion of exams/quizzes/assessments as documented in the course syllabus and approved to meet best practices in online learning. Student work includes activities like readings and supplemental home work. Students must fulfill these hours to complete the course requirements as set forth by the course instructor. Online courses developed from existing face -to-face instruction adhere to the defined learning outcomes and assessments of the original face -to-face format for the course.

experiential learning

In experiential learning, including opportunities representing laboratory/lecture courses, professional development internships, and service learning, a total of three hours of classroom and preparation time per week over a period of fifteen weeks for one credit hour or the equivalent amount of work over a shorter period of time is required. Courses must incorporate adequate opportunities to document student progress and student completion of the stated learning objectives for each experience.

study abroad

One credit hour is equivalent to fifteen hours of guided instruction and thirty hours of cultural, linguistic or other types of engagements as described by the syllabus and approved by the faculty, Division Chair, Dean, and President. Exceptions to this general rule would need to be justified and approved on an individual basis.