Higher unit courses require more work, hours for students in class

Tami Olivares
February 22, 2002
Filed under News

It seems unfair to be enrolled in a two-unit class when students are spending an abundance of time outside of the class reading, studying and doing homework. But the higher the number of units, the more work students should expect.

The class schedule listed biology, calculus and chemistry as five-unit classses that meet five days a week.

Samuel Lopez, a liberal studies major, said he has such a heavy load of classes this semester that he really hasn’t given it much thought.

“I have taken academic development for half a unit. It was a lot of work.” Lopez said. “Then again, I work, get paid and earn four units at the same time.”

Work experience is a program that gives one to eight units for working part-time in a declared major. Students have to meet program qualifications and be evaluated by advisers.

Community colleges decide the correct amount of units accordng to Title V of the Program and Course Approval Handbook.

Title 5 states that for every one hour of lecture, 48 hours of student work must occur. One-third of these hours should occur in the classroom and can be in the form of lecture and/or lab hours.

Two-thirds of the time should occur outside of the classroom as in homework or study time, according to Margo Brock, curriculum assistant.

An instructor can petition for a change in units assigned to a class if the hours warrant it.

“We can get the paperwork started but it would be the commitee’s decision to make any changes,” Brock said. “If these changes are approved they wouldn’t be put in place until the following semester.”

Brock also noted that there had been student members on that committee in the past but none attend now.

“We try to match four-year schools so that you (the student) will be getting the proper amount of transferrable units,” she said.

Tuition also has to do with class units.

Students could encouter hefty fees when they enroll in high unit classes. BC tuition is $11 per unit.

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