The Purposes of General Education

For the Associate in Science and Arts Degree at Muskegon Community College


The College shares the view held by many that an education should prepare you not only for a career, but also for life. It is primarily through the curriculum of the general education program for the Associate in Science and Arts Degree that the College seeks to help you acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to understand both yourself and the world in which you live. General education encourages community by providing access to the knowledge common to all educated men and women, regardless of their vocation. General education is designed to cultivate in each student four general abilities of an educated person:

  • Communication: Knowledge and application of written and verbal communication competencies using college level information literacy skills
  • Problem Solving and Technology: Knowledge and problem solving skills using logical, mathematical, and scientific reasoning as well as technological resources
  • Ethical Reasoning and Creativity: Knowledge and application of creativity in the arts as well as knowledge of, and the ability to critically examine ethical values, principles, and issues.
  • Personal, Social, and Cultural Awareness: Knowledge and life skills required of an effective member of a diverse and global community

Assessing Student Academic Achievement

Muskegon Community College is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Accreditation helps ensure students that they are receiving a quality education and can transfer to other colleges and universities with ease and confidence. MCC is committed to an essential part of the accreditation process: assessing student learning.

Credit Hours

A credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement. Academic credit for each course is approved and assigned by the Instructional Affairs Council and the Coordinating Council. This information is published in the MCC catalog, the class schedule, and the online student registration system.

The standard of class time shall be one hour of class and two hours of out-of-class (homework) student work per week over a semester.

Most colleges, including Muskegon Community College, require a semester credit hour to be not less than 800 instructional minutes.

Muskegon Community College follows a semester schedule for its academic programs. In addition to a fall and winter semester of fifteen weeks, the College offers a twelve-week summer session.

Program length is determined by the number of credits required for each degree. All Associate in Science and Arts (ASA) Associate in Applied Science (AAS) and Associate in General Studies (AGS) degrees require at least 62 credits. A fulltime student could complete an ASA or AAS degree in two years, provided the classes are available in the correct sequence for the student. The College also offers a variety of certificate programs, which range from the 18-credit hour Automotive Technician Certificate to the 37-credit Electronics Technology Certificate.

Contact Hours

Tuition is assessed by the number of weekly contact hours. The contact hours for a course are the number of hours per week in which a course meets. The definition of a contact hour is a total of 55 minutes of student instruction in which the student comes into contact with an instructor or with tutorial or laboratory equipment.


For laboratory experiences where the contact hours exceed the number of credit hours for a course, the academic department will decide, based on past experience, how much of the designated contact time will be devoted to lecture or classroom activities, and how much contact time will be devoted to laboratory experiences. This information will be spelled out in the class syllabus. For every one hour of laboratory time per week, the students will be responsible to complete two hours of outside student learning activities or homework for the length of the semester.

Distance Education

For online or hybrid classes, the same 55 minute credit and contact requirement for regular classes will be followed. The standard of class time shall be one hour of class and two hours of out-of-class student work per week over a semester for a semester. For distance education, academic engagement is defined as, but not limited to, submitting an academic assignment; taking an exam, an interactive tutorial, or computer-assisted instruction; attending a study group that was assigned by the institution; contributing to an academic online discussion; and initiating contact with a faculty member to ask a question about the academic subject studied in the course. Merely logging into an online class does not constitute academic engagement or attendance. Each faculty member shall maintain an accurate record of attendance of each student enrolled in each of the faculty member’s classes, while also defining “online attendance” in their distance learning courses.

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For internship experiences, one credit is equal to 60 hours of supervised training or work experience. Students can earn 1-5 credits through a documented and approved internship experience. Visit for more information.