A credit hour is a way of measuring how much credit a student receives for attending a course which correspond to the hours per week spent in that course. Every hour that a student spends in the class typically corresponds to a credit hour. In this article, we would be talking about why credit hours are important, and how do semester credit hours influence your General Point Average (GPA ) or Cumulated Weighed Average(CWA).
Many tertiary institutions use the semester system, while others use the trimester system. This determines what type of credits students will receive and how much they are worth, as different types of hours must be converted in order to be comparable to one another. Tertiary institutions that operate using a semester generally have 2 semesters, both which are around15 to 16 weeks in length.
In KNUST for instance, students receive credit hours based on the number of “contact hours” per week in class, for one semester: better known as semester credit hours (SCH). A contact hour includes any lecture or lab time, when a lecturer includes any lecture or lab time or when the lecturer is teaching the student or coaching the student while they apply the course information to an activity.
Regardless of the duration of the course. A semester credit our is 15-21 contact hours per semester.
A student should take his/her credit hours seriously because it is a way to assign value to the time a student spends in class, credit hours serve a very important purpose in relation to how a student can track their progress towards earning a degree. In order to earn a bachelor’s degree, students typically need to earn a minimum number of credit hours.
Each course is assigned a number of credit hours. It is a weighted factor in the computation of the average points earned by students at the end of the semester. Credit hours could comprise only theory hours or only practical or both theory or practical. The theory hours indicate the number of contact hours used by the lecturer in teaching the theoretical aspect of the course. The practical hours on the other hand, indicate the number of contact hours used to deliver the practical aspect of the course and it may be in the form of laboratory work, studio/worshop, field work, etc
For instance in knust, undergraduates taught courses are assigned, 0,1,2,3,4,6 credit hours(s), credits are assigned to courses on the basis of contact hours(theory and laboratory/practical/filed work) as follows.
- A zero-credit hour course is a course which does not attract any credit.
- A one-credit course is a course which has either one contact hour theory class per week for one semester, or two or three contact hours laboratory/practical/filed work per week for one semester.
- A two-credit course is a course which has either two contact hour theory classes per week for one semester, or one hour of theory and two or three hours of laboratory/practical/file work per week for one semester.
- A three-credit hour course has either three contact hour theory classes per week for one semester, or two contact hour theory classes and two or three hours of laboratory/practical/field work per week for one semester.
- A four-credit hour course has four contact hour theory classes per week for one semester, or three contact hour theory classes and three or four hours of laboratory/practical/field work per week for one semester.
- A six-credit hour has five contact hour theory classes per week for one semester, or six contact hour theory classes and four or five hours of laboratory/practical/field work per week for one semester.
The number of credit hours spent on each course in every semester has an influence in your GPA or CWA. The CWA is simply the system that some universities like Knust use whilst GPA is used by UDS, UG and the rest.
For first year first semester every student has a CWA of 100. So to calculate for the CWA, you will have to multiply the marks scored in each course by the course credit to obtain the weighted marks.
HOW CWA IS CALCULATED.
Add up all the weighted marks calculated to obtain the cumulated weighted marks. Add up the corresponding course credits to obtain the cumulative credits and lastly divide the cumulated weighted marks by the cumulative credits to obtain you CWA for the semester. For the second and the rest of the semester, the CWA is calculated by adding the current cumulative weighted marks of the semesters to the cumulative weighted marks of the previous semester and dividing the answer of the sum of the cumulative credits of the previous semesters and the current.