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Coursework Specifications

"Coursework" is any event, exam, class, digital archive, or collection of documents that can be assessed in order to grant a student credit toward a degree. Some examples of coursework are mediated classes, non-mediated classes, projects, portfolios, logs, comprehensives, study trips, and internships.

Absolutely all coursework must meet any coursework requirements specified in the OpenLATCH Education Foundation accreditation manual and in the list below.

1) The coursework must have an overall map which explains the goals and assignments (assignment weights, instructions, due dates, etc.) involved. This map is to include a general overall timeline for the course and contact information so that the student can have reasonable access to the instructor or facilitator. This map usually takes the form of a class syllabus, but other formats or versions are possible.

2) The coursework must be designed in such a way that its format aids rather than impedes instructions. Assignments must be clearly explained before they are due, and the instructions must be constantly accessible to the students. The less complicated the format or platform of the coursework, the less the student is likely to miss the coursework objective due to mismanagement of superficial elements.

3) The coursework must have a substantial amount of work (but not necessarily a majority) that can be quantifiably and, as far as is possible, objectively graded.

4) The degree-specific coursework must fit a rationale upon which the structure of the degree or program is built. This is to say, there is to be no degree-specific coursework that is not related to the overall skills and concepts that constitute the degree's "major" element.

5) The coursework must be at the appropriate and reasonable level for the student.

6) The coursework must have an instructor or facilitator that is qualified to lead students through the coursework and to assess the student's work. If the coursework is a degree-specific class, the instructor or facilitator must be qualified in that degree itself. If the coursework is not degree-specific but is serving a purpose ancillary yet connected to the learning goals of the degree, the instructor or facilitator should be qualified to the extent that the faculty college requires.

7) The coursework must be connected to proper materials (including assignment instructions and ancillary elements that enhance understanding), resources, and, when applicable, technology to facilitate mastery.

8) Along with other formats of coursework, a faculty-school college offering a degree must offer at least 1/2 of the total coursework as non-mediated (that is, land-based face-to-face) classes. The ratio used to figure out the clock time is 5 clock hours per every 1 credit of the coursework, rounded to the nearest hour and evenly spread over 8-week terms. So a class of 3 credits must meet for at least 15 clock hours over 8 weeks, or 2 hours per week (1 and 7/8 hours rounded to the nearest hour).

9) Faculty teaching classes must take attendance. The absolute minimum amount that a student must attend in order for the OpenLATCH Education Foundation to agree to archive his or her grade for the class is 3/4ths of the total time that the class meets cumulatively. Barring a documented medical emergency, this limit is non-negotiable.


10) All BA degrees must incorporate at least 2 8-week terms where students intern at various civic and business entities in the community in which the faculty school is located (a mix of experiences is required--say, a library, Town Hall, a church, and a small privately owned business). The minimum total number of credits allotted to the civic internship process is 8.


11) The absolute minimum for credits earned in one calendar year is 42.

Open Latch Education Foundation, a Non-Profit Organization

1242 North Wyngate Way,  Maryville TN 37803