North Central Missouri College (NCMC) follows the guidelines and policies concerning credits, program length, and tuition established by the Higher Learning Commission and the Missouri Coordinating Board of Higher Education.
Credits and Course Length
Course credit is recorded on the academic transcript in semester credit hours. NCMC calculates semester credit hours based on the standard Carnegie unit, and meets or exceeds the minimum requirement set by the Federal Student Aid (FSA) program regulations. A semester credit hour is defined as equivalent to one contact hour of classroom lecture or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of student work outside of class each week for approximately fifteen weeks. More specifically, the credit hours awarded are based on the number of minutes a lecture class meets per week, and dependent on the student successfully meeting the stated learning outcomes. One semester credit hour equates to at least 750 minutes (15 contact hours) of lecture time.
The process of setting the academic calendar includes counting minutes of instructional time available for each semester. Scheduled class lengths may vary, depending on holidays, semester start and end dates, and number of days the class meets each week. Certain types of courses must meet additional instructional time, as required by state regulations. Two contact hours of laboratory/activity or three contact hours of clinical/internship are equated to one contact hour of lecture. NCMC adheres to these standards when developing class schedules each semester.
The fall and spring semesters are approximately 16 weeks in length. During fall and spring, first and second sessions of approximately eight weeks each are also offered. The summer semester includes one eight-week main session and two four-week sessions. NCMC also offers two intersessions, which occur between semesters. Each intersession is affiliated with the semester immediately following the intersession and consists of 4 weeks. Courses may be delivered in the traditional on-ground format, entirely online, or in a hybrid format combining in-class instructional contact with an online component.
The foundation for determining credit awarded for online/blended courses is to ensure that students are meeting the same learning outcomes as those delivered in traditional on-ground coursework. Students are expected to spend comparable amounts of time in achieving the course objectives. However, because learning cannot be quantified in terms of minutes and hours in online and blended courses, emphasis is placed upon successfully achieving student learning outcomes and additional evidence of student learning. To make a course eligible for online delivery, faculty must follow the process for curriculum proposals and complete the Teaching Online course. In addition, the proposal for an online/hybrid course must include information about the estimated work time needed for students to satisfactorily complete assignments; incorporate a measured student outcome within the first week of the course offering to help verify all students are enrolled and engaged in the learning process; and provide an instructional platform that significantly engages the student weekly in some manner that is instructor initiated.
Program Length and Tuition
NCMC offers degrees designed for students who plan to transfer to other institutions, as well as degrees and certificates designed to prepare students for specific occupations.
The length of time required for a student to complete a particular program will depend on course scheduling, sequencing, and selection. It may be possible to complete certain certificates in one semester, but most programs require two semesters or longer to complete.
NCMC’s tuition and fee rates are established by the Board of Trustees adopted each year. Tuition and fees are posted on the NCMC website. Some courses have an additional course fee, also approved by the Board of Trustees.