This document provides an overview of variable credit and outlines how to review and update credits for a particular class section/association number.
What is variable (versus fixed) credit?
The number of credits students may earn for completing a course is approved through academic governance. The minimum and maximum credits that a course may be offered for are part of the course catalog. Variable credit means that a course is available to be offered for a credit range, e.g., 1-4 credits. Some course offerings are appropriate to be scheduled for variable credit, and some should be scheduled for a fixed number of credits even if a credit range is allowed in the course catalog.
Examples of classes where variable credit is appropriate:
- Independent Study sections, since individual students work with their instructor to determine the appropriate credit number based on student workload
- A course offering where students choose the number of credits to enroll for, e.g., 3 versus 4 credits, where students who enroll for an additional credit must complete additional work
- A course with mixed-career enrollment where different students enroll for different credit levels (e.g. undergraduates enroll for 4 credits, graduate students enroll for 3 credits)
Examples of classes where fixed credit is appropriate:
- A course is available for a range of credits in the course catalog (e.g., 3-4), but as scheduled and based on student workload, all students should earn only 3 credits for the specific course offering per the credit-hour policy
- The minimum and maximum credits for a course are identical in the course catalog, i.e., variable credit is not approved for this course, and students always earn the same fixed number of credits for all offerings
How to edit variable credit: Class Associations tab
You can change the credits – referred to as "units" in SIS – for a particular section/association number. Class association values can only be changed if the Term Update Switch is ‘On” and the class has zero enrollment. The minimum and maximum units term roll, so be sure to verify the credits on all sections that rolled forward from the past like term.
In addition, when a course is approved for variable credit in the course catalog, a new section scheduled in SIS will have the catalog minimum and maximum units auto-populate for any new class association. Thus, you must be sure to review units (and update them as needed) when scheduling a new section of a variable credit course, since the catalog minimum and maximum may not be appropriate for a specific offering.
From Home, select: Curric & Enroll Rep WorkCenter, Adjust Class Association. The Find page will display.
Tip: Menu navigation: > Curriculum Management > Schedule of Classes > Adjust Class Associations.
Use the Find page to locate the desired course. Search by Term and Subject Area to view a list of all scheduled courses, or search by Term, Subject Area, and Catalog Nbr to find a specific course. Select the course you want to view, and the Adjust Class Associations page will display.
Note: Associations of ‘9999’ do not display. For course offerings using 9999 associations, review and update credits on the associations for the enrollment components, i.e., the non-9999 associations.
When you select the course, units can be viewed and updated on the Class Associations tab, as displayed below:
Change Minimum Units and/or Maximum Units as needed. Progress Units and FA Units are always grayed out and cannot be edited directly, but they will automatically update based on changes to Minimum Units.
Note: Variable credit courses allow each Associated Class/section to have a separate credit value. As noted above, units are limited to the range set by the minimum and maximum in the course catalog setup. Reference SIS/Building Your Schedule of Classes - Accessing the Course Catalog for more information.
Continue changing units (credits) for all needed section/Association numbers.