3.5.2 Institutional Credits for a Degree

At least 25 percent of the credit hours required for the degree are earned through instruction offered by the institution awarding the degree. In the case of undergraduate degree programs offered through joint, cooperative, or consortia arrangements, the student earns 25 percent of the credits required for the degree through instruction offered by the participating institutions. (See Commission policy “The Transfer or Transcripting of Academic Credit.”)

Judgment of Compliance

PVAMU SACS Accreditation - Judgement Compliance

Narrative of Compliance

Prairie View A&M University awards degrees only to those students who have earned at least 25 percent of the credit hours required for the degree at PVAMU. The undergraduate catalog makes clear that a minimum of 36 semester credit hours must be earned in residence at PVAMU [1]. The policy also requires, in addition to the 36 semester credit hours, that 30 of those hours be taken while in senior standing. The catalog lists seven major requirements of all undergraduates, including: "Completion of the residency requirement: A minimum of 36 semester hours of credit toward a degree must be earned in residence at Prairie View A&M University" and "Completion of 30 of the final 36 semester hours of credit in residence at Prairie View A&M University" [1].

Since no undergraduate degree requires more than 135 semester credit hours [2] [1], and no more than 90 semester credit hours can be transferred and used to meet degree requirements [3], all undergraduates are required to take at least 25% of their degree from PVAMU. The residency requirement is monitored at the advising and department level, but is also monitored by the registrar's office at the time of application for graduation and through Banner degree audits prior to graduation [4] [5]. Students may on rare occasions be allowed a waiver of catalog requirements for the 30 semester credit hour of the final 36 semester credit rule, but waivers are not allowed for the residency requirement [6] [7].

The graduate catalog stipulates that up to six semester credit hours may be transferred from another accredited university and used, after approval, toward a graduate degree at PVAMU [8]. Since no graduate degree is less than 30 semester credit hours, all students at the graduate level take at least 80% of their degree with the University [2].

All transfer courses are transcripted with a T for transfer credit next to the grade (such as TC for a transfer with a grade of "C") along with the full institution name from which credit was transferred [9].

Prairie View A&M University and Lone Star College System have entered into a Joint Admissions Program Agreement. Effective fall 2008, students interested in pursuing or completing a bachelor’s degree in business can take Prairie View A&M University courses at the Lone Star College-CyFair campus. Prairie View A&M University will offer upper division courses leading to a bachelor of business administration degree. The agreement between the two institutions is designed to ensure a seamless transition for LSC-CyFair students to PVAMU while maximizing the number of course transfer hours from the Lone Star College to PVAMU (up to 72 semester credit hours). This agreement, however, still requires students to satisfy PVAMU residence requirements and ensures that at least 25% of the degree requirements are offered by PVAMU instruction [10]. The University has no consortia agreements for degree programs.

Supporting Documentation and Links

Comprehensive Standards 3.5.2

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