All compressed courses must follow government-mandated guidelines on effort hours. The federal definition of "credit hour" is based on the Carnegie Unit of academic credit and is defined in 34 CFR 600.2 (and further modified in 34 CFR 668.8 (k) and (l)) as "an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than:
- One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or trimester hour of credit, or ten to twelve weeks for one quarter hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or
- At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution, including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours."
All compressed courses must be assessed using the same methods as semester courses.
Compressed course schedules must adhere to federal guidelines and HLC policies regarding academic scheduling. Per federal regulations, the maximum number of days before or after the start and end dates of the term (as shown on the Academic Calendar) in which instruction can occur across the university is 14; in addition, classes beyond the end of a semester or term cannot overlap a subsequent term with the exception of winter term classes may overlap into spring semester.